Well the workout that we all got so excited for turned out to be a little anti-climactic. I ran over to the XC course at Fort Henry with the boys and when I arrived, the coach split the men's team into 4 different groups based on whether they had raced on not on the weekend before and if they would race this coming weekend. I got put into the group who had not raced and were not going to race and was given a workout of 3 sets of 6mins-1min-2mins, at tempo, steady, and race pace respectively. With all of the top guys in the other groups, I went off alone, wondering what tempo and race pace was. Tempo pace is probably 10-20secs per km slower than race pace but somehow I found it difficult to find the right pace. It's tough when you haven't raced in a while and you run by feel most of the time. Consequently I went off too fast and then struggled in the last set. However, that wasn't my main beef with the workout. At the start of the workout, I got so caught up with trying to figure out what pace to run that I forgot the reason why I was there: to workout with the boys. It was only in the middle of the workout when I saw the boys in a pack up ahead that I realized "I can run on my own whenever I like, but I should be up with them right now". Next time, whatever the workout is, or what group I am supposed to be in I will make sure I'm running with the boys.
Anyway, it was still good to get the workout in and I got a little of the sense that I am on the right track in terms of my training. However, running, especially XC, is mostly about relativity and how you fare against others. Not only would have working out with the boys vanquished the "lonliness of the long distance runner" for a bit, but would have been a good indicator of my fitness.
So that was Tuesday - on Wednesday I did a steady run on the course. Afterwards I went to Hot Yoga with some friends of mine. I know yoga is good to develop core strength and flexibility so I figured that it couldn't help but be good for my running, especially when my current issues are due to a lack of the aforementioned strength and flexibility. Now, while it certainly wasn't the easiest hour I have ever spent in a sauna, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. I quickly went from merely glistening with sweat to iceberg in Egypt as I contorted my body: opening up my hips in one direction, shoulders in another, and pointing 3 limbs in different directions and balancing on the other. Now, its too early to tell what effect it has had on me, but not only did I work hard but it made me focus on controlling my breathing (something every runner should be proficient at). As an additional bonus, I left feeling somehow refreshed, rather than wrung out! I bought a $30, 2 week unlimited attendance pass, so I will go a few more times to at least get my money's worth. I'll keep you posted!
Long and easy day today, then progression workout tomorrow.