I managed to survive my last Stanley Park interval workout.
Last night's workout consisted of two times an approximately 3 km loop with full recovery. This loop begins with an approximately 600 metre downhill followed by around 1600 metres of climbing. The last stretch is slightly rolling terrain with a good gradual downhill for the last 300 metres. I felt tired, sluggish and sore before the workout though motivated to work hard. My quads were the most fatigued of all my muscle groups. My first interval went very well. Starting 15 seconds behind the last group of men I had a substantial gap to close over the course of the interval. The initial downhill enabled me to get into a quick cadence and to open my stride without forcing the motion. Normally I start to close in on the guys around half way through the first climb in the interval. In past workouts I may sit at the back of their pack and collect my wits before trying to get back to the pace that brought me to the group. Yesterday I had the group in sight from the bottom of the first decent but did not catch the group until after the end of the climb when we were into the terrain. I was planning on having a breather at the back of the pack but it was going too fast to facilitate rest. Instead of hanging out at the back I pushed hard and surged to the front. It was a tough pace and I was forced to work hard to maintain form and keep the turnover quick. I felt strong through the last 200 metres and finished with a few of the guys hot on my heels.
The second interval was mass start and I was thinking of running with the group for a bit for a mental break from pushing on my own. It is great to have a solid group of guys to train with and I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Once down the first hill I was on my own again and pushing hard. I think it was Pete who was breathing down my back up the first part of the climb which was certain motivation to go fast and get my feet off the ground. Soon I was unable to hear anything but my own wheezing and my feet stirring up the crushed gravel trails. I pushed hard but not as hard as I can go. I felt I got an adequate pummeling from my first interval and that I ought not to crush myself in the second. I finished around 10 seconds slower but still a good effort.
Tonight I am quite tired from a crazy busy day of work and a long work/training week. I was hoping to take it a little more easy then I have but I still feel satisfactory, so no real concerns. In the past two days I have gone to La Bicycletta, Fore Runners and Speed Theory. I have new brake pads for my bike (I am quite handy with bike maintenance), two new pair of shorts (very sexy high cut shorts for the 1/2 marathon) and my favorite Fast Twitch Flat. Of concern is my ability to rationalize spending all the money I have worked so hard to save on a useless bicycle. I absolutely love the P Series Cervelo Bikes. I want the P2 though would settle for the P1 in light of these tough economic times (I am not affected in the least by the economic downturn, I work in health care and people always get sick, especially in tough economic times...). I think I will wait for a while until I buy a new bike, but I sure like dreaming.
This weekend I have a track practice tomorrow morning and in the afternoon I am going to hit the Pacific for some open water swim training. I find swimming after a hard workout relaxes my muscles and aids my recovery. I also have a great group of friends to train with and I look forward to meeting up with them for our workouts. I am very fortunate to have a great group of guys and gals to train with at VFAC as well, and now that it is summer and hot I am loving the shirts off action! All look and no touch for me as most of the guys are both straight and in relationships. 'C'est la vie' said the old folks...