With the rainy weather moving through Middle Tennessee came the return of the nasty humidity this morning. This was probably the worst humidity I’ve run in since the 500 Festival Mini Marathon back in May.
There was a slight variation to my normal Monday workout this morning. For the last three weeks it has been 70 minutes total with 20 minutes easy, 30 minutes at tempo pace, and 20 minutes easy. Today it was 60 minutes total with 20 minutes easy, 20 minutes at tempo pace, and 20 minutes easy, with 6 x 100m stride outs at the end. During the previous three weeks, my goal pace for the tempo portion has been 7:15, 7:15, and 7:10. Today that goal was was dropped to 7:00 flat, though it was 10 minutes shorter.
Nathan and I again met at the Forest Home Church on Old Natchez Trace and ran our 20-minute warmup through the Monpier Farms subdivision. Before we started our loop, Nathan suggested that we run it backwards to mix things up a bit from the previous weeks. Very early on in the loop we realized that running it in reverse was a LOT harder with two fairly steep climbs…
There are two things funny about this… (1) We didn’t realize how sharp the downhills were when running it the “normal” way, and (2) Even with the climbs we still ran the loop faster than the previous weeks. For the 20 minute warmup we completed 2.45-miles at an 8:14 average pace, and by the time we got back to the church building I was already dripping with sweat.
For the tempo portion we ran 10 minutes out-and-back on Old Natchez, Old Hillsboro Road, and Del Rio Pike. It is interesting to me how different my Garmin 405 is from Nathan’s 305. My watch showed that we ran the entire 20-minutes almost dead-on 7:00 pace, while Nathan’s showed that we ran both of the first two miles several seconds too fast. Anyway, the pace definitely felt faster than last week’s 7:10, especially with the humidity, but I felt pretty good throughout.
I figured the humidity and faster pace would make my heart rate increase significantly during the tempo portion over the previous 3 weeks, but it wasn’t too bad. The first week my average heart rate was 164 for 30 minutes at 7:15 pace. The second week it was 160 for 30 minutes at 7:15 pace. Last week it was 158 for 30 minutes at 7:10 pace. Today it was 160 for 20 minutes at 7:00 pace.
For our 20-minute cooldown, we ran another 10 minutes out-and-back in the opposite direction down Old Natchez. By the end of this section my legs were beginning to feel a bit heavy, but we still completed 2.41 miles with an average pace of 8:22.
The last thing on the agenda was the 6 x 100m stride outs, and both of us knew these were gonna be tough on tired legs. Nathan suggested that we use this long, flat driveway beside the church building for the strides. It was definitely the perfect spot, with no traffic, but it did have a sign that said “Private Drive: No Trespassing!” With our experience at Ensworth High School at few weeks ago, I half expected a security guard in a Hummer to jump out and tell us to get lost.
Needless to say that never happened, and the strides were indeed challenging on tired legs, but my average pace was around 5:45. However, Nathan repeatedly blew past me like I was standing still.
Overall it was another good workout with Nathan. In total we finished 8.12-miles with a 7:43 average pace per mile.