Tuesday: 7 miles. 1 mile warmup, 5 x mile, 1 mile cooldown. On a treadmill, so it was possibly inaccurate (seems pretty fast), but my miles were 5:27, 5:18, 5:18, 5:09, 5:08 with 3 minutes rest between each (probably too much rest, need to cut that down to 90-120 seconds next time). Calves were pretty sore afterwards since I haven't done anything this fast in a long time. I genuinely felt like I was going super super fast, but at the same time, the effort level was lower than I expected. I've always felt that higher pace reps just seem easier on a treadmill, so I doubt I could replicate this on a track.
Wednesday: 9 miles, 73 minutes, with Holly, 1500' gain. Started in some small little cul-de-sac off of Eagleridge Loop (just south of the golf course in Bountiful), followed a maze of indirect trails I've never run on before, eventually getting up to Wildrose Ridge (I think that was the name?), followed yet another maze of pretty indirect trails and eventually popped out on the City Creek Ridge. After a little while up there, I finally recognized where I was on the ridge, took the long way around, followed the dirt access road by the towers up there, down to the bottom one, down BoSho Trail, and back through Bountiful to my car. Moderately hard on the uphills, easy on the downs (Holly didn't really seem to want to run fast on this run). I had never previously run over half of this loop, but it was pretty fun, so I'll have to do it again at some point.
Thursday: 10 miles, 7x minutes, 600+' gain. Don't know the exact time because I restarted my watch with 2.8 miles to go to see what tempo pace would be over the last few miles. Standard NSL/Woods Cross/Bountiful loop. Decided to tempo in the last 3-ish miles, but the legs just still felt kind of thrashed after Tuesday's workout, so anything under 6:00 pace didn't feel very good. Still, the last 2.8 was split in 16:30 even. Not all that quick, but like I said, the legs were sore, so I didn't want to push harder.
Friday: 4 miles. 2 mile easy, 1 mile @ 5:30 on treadmill (legs felt better), 1 mile easy.
Saturday: 6 miles. 2 mile warmup + Dracula's Dash For Hope 5k + 1 mile cooldown, total 300+' gain, 200' during the race. Yes, that's actually the name of the race. I decided a few days back that I wanted to see what I could run for a 5k. Despite the treadmill most likely being generous on Tuesday, I figured I could run somewhere in the ballpark of 17-flat for a 5k right now on a perfect course in good conditions (PR is 16:34, although that was definitely soft at the time as I once split 16:35 in a 10k). Anyway, there were 2 5ks I could find around the SLC area on Saturday. One had a crappy looking course and the other, Dracula's Dash for Hope, had no course description, so I took a gamble on the latter. Of course, after I signed up, I received an email with the course description, telling me that it was an all-grass XC course consisting of 3 laps. A quick google map of the area showed 3 significant and steep climbs for the course, which would prevent any sort of rhythm, so I decided to scrap my plans of pushing for a fast time and just figured I'd go for the win instead. Race day morning, I got out there a bit early and ran the loop once and also did some additional jogging around the area + strides. Unfortunately, I hadn't run a 5k in 3 1/2 years, so I was nervous about having to run fast. Starting the race, I was actually nervous enough that it took about half a mile to get my breathing and heart rate properly controlled. By this point, I was trailing the leader (an 18 year old kid) by about 10 feet, as he had taken off like a rocket over the first quarter mile. Knowing that I wasn't exactly going to run a fast time on a 5k course with 200' of climb, 12 (4 per lap, not exaggerating) extremely sharp 90-180 degree muddy turns (it had stormed the night before), and a generally very slow long grass surface, I decided to have some fun with a tactical race, so I snuck right up to his shoulder and just sat there. He had long since slowed down, so we came through the first mile in somewhere around 6:20. Hah... I continued to sit on him for about a half mile more, until I decided it was time. Going up the steepest hill of the lap, I kicked into a sprint, immediately taking the lead and putting myself 100 feet in front within a few tens of seconds. Coming around a sharp turn shortly thereafter, I noticed he had fallen back a lot and I knew the race was mine, so I slowed it down to what felt like a nice slow trot again. I held a similarly easy pace for the rest of the lap as well as the 3rd one, constantly having to run way out of my way, off the side of the course, to go around the groups of people just out walking the race. The course was over a minute slow (Daniels tables put it at 49 seconds slow, not accounting for the grass/mud surface and all the sharp turns and having to run way out of my way to lap people, which have to add another 20-30 seconds), and I also figured I was running a minute slower than I could've done had I been in an actual race (honestly, the pace was easier than a tempo workout), so while 19:21 sounds absurdly slow, I can't complain. I got the win by 81 seconds (all put on in the 2nd half of the race), my first win in several years, and I'm still confident that I can run somewhere in the ballpark of 17 flat right now if I find a fast course and run it hard.
Sunday: 14 miles, 1:40:01 (the indiglo on my watch is broken and I finished after dark without a light, so I had no idea of my time until I finished, otherwise, I wouldn't have let myself end in such a time), 1500' gain. My apt in NSL up Center to Orchard, over to Eaglewood, up to Eagleridge/Bountiful Blvd (1000'+ climb), all the way up Bountiful Blvd, along the very rolling road, to where it turns down 400N, down to 500W, back up to where it becomes 89, and back. Map My Run called it 13.93, but I'm giving myself the extra 7 hundredths of a mile for having to jump back and forth between sidewalk and road repeatedly to avoid construction and other slower pedestrians. Hah. Took it out pretty easy, but began to pick it up a couple miles in. At sea level on flat, this effort translates to 1:31:31, which is not bad considering that I took the first 2-3 miles at an effort a minute or so per mile off what I was doing the rest of the time. In all honesty, my legs didn't feel all that fantastic when I finished, but it definitely wasn't race-level effort.
Totals: 50 miles, 4000' gain. Speaking of race-level effort and distances in the low-teens, I'm debating going out for a half marathon next weekend. If I did, anything under 1:23 would probably have to be considered a success due to the fact that I hadn't done any fast running in several years prior to 3 or 4 weeks ago. I'd also like to throw in some more 5ks and a 10k or two at some point, so I think I'll probably just be doing lots of "for fun" shorter stuff in the near future. We'll see. This week is slightly lower mileage than the last two, but I did a bit more quality work, which I'm OK with. If you'll notice, I didn't really mention the hip at all. It really didn't hurt, almost at all, this week. I'm continuing to notice a weird trend in which harder effort running doesn't hurt it at all, while I'm more likely to feel some twinges on easy days. This is an odd predicament to be in, but it actually seems like harder running is better for my body than easy running, at least for the time being. Go figure. I'm going to continue to kind of just run on feel, but my mileage has been remarkably consistent over the last 3 weeks now (53, 54, 50), so I doubt it's going to change that much. If I do the half marathon (or anything else, possibly another 5k) on Saturday, it will just be more for fun than anything, although I'd be willing to push myself hard in a 5k if the right situation presented itself. Running anything under 17:30 would be a nice confidence boost right now, but I imagine that if I raced a 5k, pushed hard, and ran slower than that, I'd be pretty disappointed, so I'm going to be selective about when I let myself really go for it.
Music for the week is the incredible Piano Concerto by Charles-Valentin Alkan, as orchestrated by Karl Klindworth. This recording features the unknown Dmitry Feofanov on piano, as on my CD of it. This is a pretty uncommonly played piece, especially considering that it was originally intended for solo piano (and more frequently played as such), so I'm not sure that I've even heard of other professional recordings of it with full orchestra.