Entering 2015, the biggest thing I needed to work on to get back to racing was my workouts. I have made good on my goal to become more consistent with my workouts, especially over the past few weeks. At first when I got back on the track, I'll admit, it wasn't pretty. Some of the intervals were not quite up to the standard I had for myself. At some point over the last month or so, however, things have started to click. Those early workouts are finally starting to pay off.
I have been following Daniels' 5k to 15k plan somewhat closely, and last week's workout called for good old Coach Smith's bread and butter workout. Coach Smith was my high school running coach. He has been the coach at my high school since the '70s, and holds countless district championships and a Pennsylvania Cross Country State Championship under his belt as well. We knew the workout was coming when Coach had us meet him on the track. We feared for our safety when we saw the huge racing clock lying near the 50 yard line. Quarter. Mile. Repeats.
I cannot possibly count how many times I ran a single lap around that track, rested for a short time, and did it again at Coach Smith's order. I'll admit, in high school, I hated them. It was my least favorite day of cross country practice. But for some strange reason, since about the time I ran my last lap around the track for Coach Smith, I love this workout. I haven't done it since probably last spring, far too long I know, but I was excited to get back at it. After some sub-par performances with my workouts on the Paul H. Derr Track in 2015, it felt great to complete a 12x400m workout averaging about 83 seconds a piece.
This workout gave me a ton of confidence. It's not quite as fast as I did it in high school, but I felt really good about my interval times. That's not an easy workout to complete. And I had more in the tank when I finished. Since last week, I've nailed two more workouts. Today I ran 2x2 miles at tempo pace with 2 minutes rest in between. I averaged these miles under 6:20, running each one faster and feeling stronger each time.
It's time to race. I have submitted my registration and will be running my first 5k since 2011 on May 30. Can't wait.