Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yeehaw - that's a lot of 800s

One of the many components of my track workouts is that there is some sort of change. Either, it's a set amount of intervals (like mile repeats), but the pace steadily increases. Or, it's 2 sets of workouts - a fast cutdown set (like 2000 M or 2 miles), followed by a of intervals.
This was the super mega combination of both:
2.5 mile warm-up; 5 lap cut-down run; start at 7:15 pace and cut down about 2-3 seconds per lap; jog 2 laps; 8x800 meters, 1 lap jog between each rep, start at 3:37, aim to cut down 3-5 seconds per rep. 3 mile cool-down: Total mileage—13.25 miles
I was out the door by 5:25 - not just so I could make it to work, but to beat the heat. But no - started to sweat within a half mile of the warm up. Definitely made me miss the days of February and March - I will take the cold for running any day!
Anyways, I got through the cut down in 8:54. The thing that always freaks me out about the first set of speedwork is that I put too much effort in and that will negatively affect my performance in the second half. Took my 2 laps very slowly to regroup and focus, and just kept telling myself that each interval would be done in less than 4 minutes. Splits for the first 4 800s: 3:35, 3:32, 3:28, 3:25. Fatigue started to set in at this point..and thoughts of fear and doubt too. I was hot and tired - dumped some water on my head and told myself to calm down and take it one 800 at a time. Then 3:22, and 3:19. At this point, I know I am approaching my 800 limits (I think the fastest I've ever done one was about 3:05 - and that was not 8 of 8 800s. Anyways, (am I keeping anyone in suspense?), I get through the next one in 3:17 - not quite the 3 second increase, but I'll take 2 seconds. But I am beat - and there is still one to go. I took my lap, retied my shoes, did everything I could to refocus and charged ahead. 3:15! Even had to yell at people trotting along in lane 1 and still made it. I'll take it - that was a hard workout.
Average time - 3:24 - which in Yasso terms, confirms that I can run 3:35 in the fall and possibly 3:32-3:33! Of course, one run does not define the big race, but it definitely gave me a bit more confidence in my ability to press the pace at the end, even when it feels tough.
There was an older guy who got on the track halfway through my workout, and he came over to me right after I finished the last 800. Found out his name was Teddy, he was 70 and a 200 and 400 meter sprinter. Apparently Teddy competes at the national level, and he ran with me for part of my cool down. Always cool to meet another runner!
Somehow managed not to crash afterward and stayed strong through the rest of the work day. Just got punchy by the time of my faculty meeting, and made a joke about the funk section of our agenda (compared to fun section) - and that was the end of my serious state.
Let's get funky!

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