Of course my punishment for enjoying the nice weather out in San Francisco is 90 degree temperatures and humidity back in Houston. I wasn't able to run until the evening and I headed out around 7:30, but is was in the mid-80's and miserably humid. My workout was 9 - 10 miles total with a 1600, 1200, 800, 400 with about 3 minutes recovery between each one. I did a little over a 5 mile warmup because I knew that I would really lack the motivation to add extra miles after I ran the hard workout. I felt good at the beginning of the warmup but as it progressed I felt like I was slowing down in the heat and humidity and I started thinking of all sorts of excuses to throw in the towel on the workout. I could just run another lap and then head home and that would be close to 9 miles. I hadn't run enough on my vacation so I probably shouldn't run hard. Maybe I'll just run the first mile and it will probably be slow and so I'll call it a day and cool down after that. Usually when it is 7:30 pm and I haven't started a run, I'll just skip it. I had been reading a couple of old Runner's World magazines I was catching up on during my trip and one of the articles was about how the pros train and making the most out of our hard workouts and getting quality workouts in. I also know that I need to win the mental toughness battles that I am always fighting with myself so that I don't give up late in a race when I start getting tired and experience the pain and agony of the last few miles of a marathon.
I had plugged a 16:30 5k time into the calculator that gave me my target times and I was aiming for a 5:10 mile, 3:45 1200, 2:28 800 and 70 400. I started my mile and went through the 1/4 at 80. I thought that if I'm at 5:25 when I finish I'm done with the workout. I picked up the pace and went through the 1/2 at 2:38 and then ran a 2:35 right on pace in the 2nd half to finish in 5:13. Between running around people and the footing at the park, I think I lost at least 3 seconds. I walked for about 2 minutes and then jogged the last minute for each of the recoveries. I hit 75 for the first 1/4 of the 1200 and hung on pretty close to pace the last 800 and hit 3:48. I was a few seconds off my goal, but close enough considering the heat and humidity. A lot of times I really blow up on the 1200 when I do this ladder workout and end up running the same pace as my mile. I hit my 800 in 2:31 and ran the 400 in 71. I was feeling pretty good the last 400 and felt like picking up the pace and sprinting in during the final 100, but I could feel my quads burning and I was worried that if I picked up the pace any more I might pull my quad. Since I'm training for the marathon, running my 400 in 68 isn't really going to do anything good and I've missed enough runs lately that I don't need to miss any more. I ran a 1.5 miles cooldown for a total workout of about 9.5 miles. I was pleased with my workout and happy I was pretty close to my goal times despite having to weave around people at the park and the oppressive weather. The weather is supposed to be much better this weekend as a front moves in and cools it off with highs in the mid-70's and lows in the mid-to-upper 50's.