Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back To The Track

It's speedwork Wednesday today. I decided to hit the track instead of the treadmill - since I have been working a lot on pacing, I wanted to be cognizant of my own pace instead of having a rubber mat set the pace for me like I did all summer.

Actually, it has been more than just "the summer". My training log tells me that the last time I was at the oval was in August of LAST YEAR. YIKES! I guess it kind of makes sense as I have been hesitant to go to the track with my Garmin as I felt that it would be really inaccurate in distance. Well, Garmin was a bit inaccurate - I ran 8.45 miles and Garmin had me at about 8.7 - but who cares! I'm able to go into my log and put in the exact distances anyhow since I hit the lap button when I finish a particular interval or recovery. Plus, Garmin did pretty well mapping my run :-) No more avoiding the track on account of the Garmin...

The weather was a bit on the chilly side for lunchtime (65 degrees) and there was some wind as well, but I can't say I minded a bit. It was nice to be in the cool air while I was heating up in my workout.

My plan for today - Yasso 800s - 10 x 800m with 400m recoveries, targeting a 4:40 for the 800m (a 9:20/mile pace). The Yasso 800 wisdom is that if I can do this workout, I should be able to run a 4:40 marathon - which is my goal for New York.

After my warm-up, I started out a bit faster than 4:40, and my first interval was 4:36. I slowed it down a bit for the second interval and came in at 4:39. Nice! However, that was the closest I would get to 4:40 today. The next intervals were 4:35, 4:29, 4:28, 4:27 and 4:18!

I had three more intervals to go and I was still feeling pretty good. I decided to try and slow down the next two and get closer to 4:40 and then go as fast as I could on interval number 10. Interval 8 was 4:33. On interval 9, my first split around the track was 2:08 - too fast. I tried to slow myself down, but I guess halfway around the track I got my groove again and ended up with another 2:08 for a 4:16 800m split.

Interval 10 was all guts. I started out really fast, but then reminded myself it's 800m - not 200 or 400! My first 400 split was 2:03. Could I beat an 8:00/mile pace? I got a bit faster as I started my second loop, rounded the turn and tried to pick up the pace even more down the straightaway. As I was rounding the last turn the wind picked up - I was charging into a strong headwind as I dug in and crossed the line. Garmin flashed my lap time of 3:51! My last 400m was a 1:47 (a 7:11/mile pace).

I really amazed myself on that last interval. Not that I was able to hit a 1:47 for 400m or a 3:51 for 800m. I know that I can do that if needed. I just didn't think I could do it after already running 7.5 miles.

The average time for my 800m intervals was 4:25. I know that this does not mean that I should be shooting for a 4:25 marathon time. I'm afraid that if I try to raise the bar too much on my goal that I will tire myself out and bonk like I did last year. So, I'll still be shooting for a steady 4:40 in New York.

Training runs like this and my 20 miler this past weekend are giving me some good confidence in reaching that goal!

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