When we arrived back at the track after our warm-up, it was clear the high school meet wouldn’t be over for quite some time. We quickly divided ourselves into groups; some chose to wait out the meet while others opted to run their workout on the Capital Crescent Trail. Our five x mile workout wasn’t a “fast” one, so the CCT proved an ideal place to go. Our goal was to cut down 5 seconds each rep starting at 5:15 and ending at 4:55. Although the CCT is flat and fast, it is slightly uphill or slightly downhill depending on which way one is running. We started our workout heading east (or downhill) near the tunnel under Wisconsin Ave and ending at the mile marker just west of Connecticut. To be honest the pace felt easy and I’m certainly more comfortable running hard/fast off the track than on. I hit my first rep in 5:09 and shuffled about for 2:00 before racing back uphill in 5:11. The next two were 4:58 and 5:06. Being that I am 10-days out from Cherry Blossom, I wanted to push the final rep pretty hard, but my stomach was, as usual, giving me trouble. I “cheated” by running the first ½ mile easy before picking it up and coming in at 4:52. Meh. By the time we finished it was pitch black outside and damn near impossible to see.
The good news was that my legs felt excellent throughout the workout and it was the first time, in a long time, I was able to kick or push hard the last couple reps. I had plenty left in the tank too. It was also great to get off the oval and run on a “real” surface. My stomach continues to hinder me AFTER the workouts, on through the night and sometimes into the next morning. Some 10 hours later, while running with Karl, my legs were very achy and I was downright tired. Still, this was a very good workout and a fine confidence booster heading into Cherry Blossom.