Thursday, April 7, 2011

Victory laps

Today I finished my final set of Yasso 800s, and if I do say so, I. Kicked. Ass. (My own ass, anyway.) And by kicked ass, I mean I accomplished my totally reasonable and moderate goals. Go me! More on that in a mo.

As you may recall, my speed work efforts these last few months have been strong, but dictated somewhat by our crazy winter (and spring) weather. Rain, snow, hail, bitter cold, and (as of this week) flooding on the track, have affected the scheduling of speed work.

I've done an assortment of tempo runs and other types of speed runs. As far as 800s on the track go, I've done 4x800, 6x800, 7x800, 8x800, and another 8x800 which was supposed to be 9 but I ran out of time before Starbucks was closing and I needed to get over there.

So today was my final opportunity to do a set of 800s before Boston. (I adhere to the theory that your last Yassos should be no closer than ten days before the marathon.) The weather had been terrible all week. Finally today the rain had stopped and it stayed dry all day long. In fact, by late afternoon the sun even came out a little!

I hoped to get away from work quickly, so I changed into running clothes while waiting for my last appointment (who never did show). I hustled as much as I could but it was still almost 6:00 before I walked out the door. Starbucks closed at I had a goal.

I started with a warm-up jog downtown and back, 2.25 miles. During this time I was a bit frustrated because my Garmin was freaking out, jumping around from 15 minute pace to 7 minute pace and everywhere in between, all the while I was doing about 10-10:30 pace. It never abated, even when I was in the bathroom, Garmin paused, sitting down (if you know what I mean). I was extremely stressed out, not about measuring my pace during this warm-up, but by the idea that my Garmin could be blowing up one week before leaving for Boston!

Luckily it seemed to settle down once I got to the track and restarted it. Maybe the satellites are just weird downtown. This wasn't the first time I've had problems, although this was extreme.

So, the plan...10x800 or bust. Unless it didn't work out. I didn't want to hold myself to impossible standards. I didn't want to rest the entire outcome of Boston on this one workout! (I'm being a little facetious, but....) Luckily the track had dried up and there were only a few puddles remaining.

#1 (no, I'm not going to count through every one). Turns out my legs could move pretty well...3:59 (7:58 pace), right on! I made it through the first four at sub-8 pace. In fact, #4 was my fastest pace overall, 7:41, and #5 was 7:49 pace After that I had a bit of slippage on the sixth one, dropping (raising?) to 4:03, 8:05 pace.

But I was more than halfway through! Two more at 7:54 and 7:57 pace, and then I had only two left. And it wasn't even 7:20 yet. Plenty of time.

My last two splits were 3:58 (7:57) and 3:54 (7:49) (always nice to finish strong). I finished just before 7:30 and cooled down jogging to Starbucks.

My recovery jogs were .2 mile between laps in the first half, and .1 mile to save time in the condition half. My total distance in this segment, including the trip to the store, was 6.8 miles and 56:56 minutes. With the warm-up, I ran 9.05 miles total tonight.

I am quite thrilled that I finished ten 800s and did them at my desired pace. While I don't think it predicts too much for the marathon, it is still an accomplishment and quite encouraging. It does suggest that my modest goals for Boston are not unachievable. (I'll write about them next week.)

I have about four runs left before we fly out next Thursday. One is the Whidbey Half Marathon on Sunday. To be run at marathon pace we shall see what that means soon!


lifestudent said...

Hope you still got your Starbucks ... and that your Garmin was just teasing you instead of foreshadowing ;)

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