Athlete Journal: Patrick Woodford (Entry #2) is bringing back a popular feature from several years ago with weekly journal blogs from some of the state's top athletes. Hopefully, these journals will allow site visitors to get to know better some of the Virginia's best runners in what's going on with their running and life in general as they share a little bit about both. The last season that we posted athlete journals, the participating runners definitely grew a greater fan base and a few more cheers at meets from the site followers of their weekly blogs.


Second journal entry from Patrick Henry senior Patrick Woodford, who had a quality week of training leading into the Albemarle Invitational where he placed 7th individually with a time of 16:32. Earlier in the week, Woodford turned in a solid 4xmile repeat workout with Cave Spring's Cody Seymour and ran all four repeats under five including a 4:45 final repeat.


Patrick Woodford Journal Entry #2 (10/11/10)


All photos by John Herzog

Hello again! I hope everyone had a great week. This entry will be more like the majority you will see from me in the future. I will go in to detail about my training week and other events that have recently happened in my life. When I log, I start my weeks on Monday and end them on Sunday.

Monday- Normally, our team has a hard workout scheduled for Monday. But, since our coach was planning on going hard on Tuesday, the plan was to take today as a mileage day. I woke up and did an easy jog around my neighborhood. At practice, I ran for 50 minutes on the trails near our school. After the run, I did 8 hill strides with push-ups and core exercises in between each one. My legs felt good and ready to roll for tomorrow’s workout.

Tuesday- After waking up and getting in a couple easy miles, I was ready to conquer today’s workout: 4x1 mile repeats. Our coach told us that a nearby high school, Cave Spring, was coming to join us. Well, this added to the excitement because one of my hometown rivals, Cody Seymour, runs for Cave Spring and he would be there to help me push the pace during the workout. My coach kept saying, “Just remember, it’s a workout…not a race.” I told him I thought of it as a “competitive workout”. The plan was to run the mile repeats at or under goal 5K pace. After a 10 minute warm-up and a few quick strides, we began the workout. The first repeat seemed like the hardest one to me because you have to get into your pace. We finished the first mile in 4:58, the first time I had ever broken 5 minutes in a mile repeat workout. This was about to drastically change as I thought about my plan for the rest of the workout. I’m the kind of guy that believes if you run a time for the first repeat, you have to run at or under that time for the rest of the workout. So, the battle against the clock began. Working together, Cody and I finished the second mile in 4:57. The workout felt a lot better as it went on and I was getting into a rhythm. My third mile was 4:55, with Cody right behind me. After that one, I saw him sitting on the track instead of doing the 400m jog that everyone did in between repeats. I approached him and asked what was wrong. He was having some mild injury problems going into the workout and they started bothering him as it progressed. As I walked away to start the final repeat, he said, “Show me something on this one!” The fourth mile felt amazing. I went through in 1:06 at the 400m mark, feeling great. After hitting the 800m mark in 2:20, I continued to push through. Closing in on the last 200m, I began to get my leg turnover going, simulating the end of a race. My fourth mile was 4:45! As I cooled down, I thought about how this was one of the most successful workouts I had ever completed. Today was awesome!

Wednesday- I woke up early this morning and lifted weights at the YMCA. Lifting in the morning is nice because it seems to “jump-start” my body and gets me feeling alert throughout the day. At practice, I ran 80 minutes LSD (long slow distance), about 10 miles or so. It felt good to have nice & relaxed run after yesterday’s workout.

Thursday- In the morning, I jogged around my neighborhood. The plan for today was to go to Greenfield in Botetourt County and do a moderate paced run on the XC course and some uphill/downhill intervals at race pace. On the way to the course, my Dad and I got stuck in multiple traffic jams and a drive that normally takes 30 minutes took over an hour. When we finally arrived at Greenfield, I did active warm-up and began my moderate paced 4 mile run. I ran from the 3 mile mark to the 1 mile mark and back. The way back was definitely harder, anyone who has run the XC course at Greenfield can tell you about the hills after the first mile. I hit two miles in a little over 13 minutes, right on the pace I wanted to run. Coming back, the run felt harder but I pushed on to finish in 25:39. I was happy with the run and ready to start the uphill/downhill intervals at race pace. The course I use for the intervals is about 450m and I give myself about 90 seconds recovery between repeats. I use this kind of speed work to get my legs moving at a good pace with solid turnover on XC-like terrain. My average time going up is about 1:35 and coming down is about 1:20. Despite the windy conditions, I ran 6 total intervals (3 up, 3 down) and felt strong. After the intervals, I did some light jogging and stretching before heading home. Greenfield is one of my favorite places to run.

Friday- Today’s run was an easy 5 mile jog on the trails. I bought some new running gear at Fleet Feet Sports and our team had a pre-race dinner. Race @ Panorama Farms tomorrow!

Saturday- Panorama Farms: known for its infamous “Cardiac Hill”. The Albemarle Invite had all of the hype to be one of the most competitive races in VA. The downhill start, 224 runners in the boy’s varsity race, multiple top-ranked runners in the state, and Northwest region runners looking at the race as a preview for one of the biggest meets of their season; the NWR XC Championship. The gun went off, and I got out pretty well. Not exactly what I wanted, but I was in about 25th-30th position through the half mile mark. I made a move to get around a pack and did it successfully. Shortly after my move, I was running with William Brown of Bethel in about 5th or 6th position. I went through the mile in 4:57. Continuing to push the pace, I went through the two mile in 10:14. This encouraged me because these splits were around the same as my splits at Green Hill Park (a flat & fast course). As I went up “Cardiac Hill”, I passed two people and seemed like I was accelerating up the hill. During the last mile, I was battling with a few NWR competitors, and we were really going at it. After the hill before the final stretch, the adrenaline began to kick in and I started to attempt to accelerate one last time. I was pretty much out of gas, but I gave it everything I had. I finished in 7th place with a time of 16:32 and looked back after the finish to see my teammate; Hartnell Paultre, as he out-kicked another runner and finished one position behind me. I was happy to see him, but not surprised. Hartnell has been working hard in practice and it has been showing in his races. I felt pretty good about my race today, but I definitely think I can knock a lot of time off next time I take on the course at Panorama Farms. The NWR Championship is going to be intense. I’d like to give a shout-out to Brandon Miles for the awesome t-shirt that he gave me…it’s awesome!
Sunday- Today I went to the YMCA to lift and ran LSD on 50/50 road/trails & grass. I felt pretty good, the weather was nice, and I enjoyed my run.

Well, that’s all for this week, thanks for reading. My next race is Saturday, October 16th @ Wolf Branch Farm. I’ll be posting again next week!