Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A "Run-Thru" McDs, Mental Training and Fast Intervals

Yesterday's Total Calorie Intake: 2598
(Exercise Calories: 541)
Total Net Calories:  2057

This morning I had an 8 mile run on the schedule.  A speedwork workout as it is my longer weekday run.  My plan - jog to the track at Quince Orchard High School (1.6 miles from my house), do a 5 miles of a Yasso 800s workout at the track and then jog back.

When I left the house it was a lot windier than I had thought it was going to be.  I almost went back into the house to get my windbreaker, but I didn't want to risk waking everyone up.  I was probably a little underdressed, but I didn't want to overheat while running intervals.

One thing I did forget to take with me were tissues.  The cold wind across my face made my nose start to run (English is such a funny language - your nose can run and your feet can smell!).  I remembered that there is a McDs right across the street from the High School, so I ran in, grabbed a few napkins and ran out.  There were no customers in there at the time, so I was not inconspicuous to the people who worked there...I'm sure they probably thought I was nuts - but they probably see all kinds of nut cases every day, so maybe they didn't think anything of it.

I got to the track and I really did not want to be there.  Not that I was lethargic - I probably could have easily run a steady 8 miles without a complaint - but it was dark, windy and a bit chilly...not the best day for a track workout IMHO.  But I started running my intervals.

Frequent readers of my blog know that my heart rate monitor watch does not have a backlight, so I was pretty blind as to how fast I was running my intervals and what my heart rate was.  Since I was running "by feel" I did not wear my iPod during the track portion of my run today.  I wanted to listen to my body and try to tell whether I'm overdoing and how my pace was.  I didn't listen all the time, as I felt that I was running the intervals faster than normal (see later in the post which confirms this), but I was able to run them at this pace, so perhaps I was just running them too slow previously.

Unfortunately, part of me just wasn't into doing this whole speedwork thing today.  After each of the first few intervals I kept hearing a voice that said "OK, you've now run 1.5 miles at the track - with the run to and from the house that's a bit over 4.5 miles...that's respectable, right?  Can I go home now???"

But another part of me - and this part won out - kept saying "you're at the track for 5 miles to complete your 8 mile workout...harden up and just do it".  That part of me continued to count down how many intervals were left and kept me focused on finishing the track work.  I believe this is the type of "mental training" that will keep me strong and moving during the marathon.  The training plan is not just about training the legs, it's also about training the brain.

There were a handful of other crazies at the track in the pre-6:30am darkness with me.  One guy was also doing some kind of interval work as well.  He was a good deal faster than me, but on the last two intervals I was doing my best to not let him get too far ahead of me.  That was a good boost and kept me going.  Ironically, when I finished running home and started to walk around my house for a brief cooldown, this same guy passed me!  So he was actually a neighbor with the same crazy idea.

When I got inside, I checked my watch for splits.  HOLY COW!  I was smokin' on the track!  Here are the 800 splits:  3:59, 4:09, 4:04, 4:01, 4:05, 4:02, 3:59

1 comment:

tootie said...

Ha! I'll have to remember the McDonald's trick. (But I wonder if I would be too tempted to actually stop and eat something!)