Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fartleks and 400s

Seven x 800 this morning = FAIL. Not even a DNF, simply a DNS. Was it the rain on the roof? (Maybe.) Was it the inevitably muddy track? (Maybe.) Was it the general achiness of my bod (which turned out to be illusory after I finally got going)? (Maybe.) Was it PURE FREAKING LAZINESS? (Well...maybe....)

In the end, I managed to overcome at least the laziness portion and get up and dressed and on the road. I wasted a little too much time trying to decide whether to go to the Y and then run in the afternoon, or run some in the morning and try to do the 800s in the afternoon, or just stay in bed and run in the afternoon (that one got overruled). Eventually, I started out with the plan of doing an easy run in the morning and trying for the 800s later on.

But as usual, conditions were not nearly as bad as I feared. It really wasn't raining (well, barely), and by 6:30 it was practically daylight (soon to change with Daylight Savings Time). I still didn't want to go to the track (and I didn't have enough time for the full track workout anyway), but I managed to work up a nice little speed workout all the same.

After about a mile of warm-up, I started doing little fartleks, just a little sprint alternating with a jog. This also helped speed things up so that I made it to my bathroom stop faster...always a good thing. After the stop I expanded the fartlek distance to blocks, running hard for a block then jogging for a block, until I got to Grand Avenue Park. There my fartleks turned into 400s (convenient as the length of the park is about a quarter mile!). I ran up and down the park four times (4 x 400), then decided to extend the 400s back toward downtown.

7 x 400 - 8:35 pace, 8:08, 8:29, 8:03, 8:24, 8:29, 8:27.

Instead of an eighth one, I decided to make the last one a half mile, but miscalculated and did .65 mile instead (pace 8:55).

Finally, I busted out a final mile at 7:57! It would have been a little faster, but I had to stop abruptly (pausing the Garmin of course), when a car turning right out of the McDonald's driveway did their best to run me down in their haste to leave.

In the end, 7.56 miles, 9:11 average pace.

Even though this wasn't my planned speed work, I think it was successful enough to call it good and move the 800s to next week instead. I'm not going to try to get in a second run this afternoon. Although I must say, I was right when I gauged that the weather would be better in the afternoon! Blue skies and sunbreaks midafternoon, though who knows how it will be by the end of the workday.

I was also vindicated (as such) when I was walked home from Starbucks past the track...muddy and puddley. It would not have been a good time this morning. Or very clean.

Dilemma of the day: Should I register for the night time Vegas Rock & Roll Half Marathon on December 4? Apparently registration closes tomorrow...a decision must be made! Do I want to do this for fun a week before the Tucson Marathon? If I thought I could fly in and out of Vegas in one day I would (almost) definitely do it, but I don't think I could get a flight late enough to avoid spending the night. If I were a partier or gambler I would appreciate this opportunity a lot more. I don't know. I still need to think about it!

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