Friday, December 17, 2010

Speedwork Wednesday - Laps in the dark

Thursday looks busy and Tuesday was easier than usual, so I moved Thursday speed day to Wednesday. My plan: Jog a mile to the local track, 8 x 800 with 400 recovery, jog home. Goal time: 3:15 per 800. I've never done so many 800s, and the time would be...challenging but possible. Trying to work on my endurance.
So I trot on over after work and I get to the local high school track. And the lights are off. Apparently there are no school activities for once. But the gate is open and there are some lights on the nearby field where some soccer practice is going on so it isn't pitch dark. So it's all good, and I have the track to myself. Also, they have some steeplechase type barriers up in lanes 1-3 to keep people out of the inside lanes. Yet they have them at the beginning and end of each straightaway. So it is pretty easy to still run the curves in lane 1 and swing out around the barriers - not very good design! I am not a rebel however, so I stick to lane 4 and try to guess how far 800 meters is in lane 4. I decide on 1 and 7/8 of a lap, with 7/8 lap recovery. That should keep my brain occupied trying to figure out where to stop and start. It's too dark to read my Garmin, even with the light button, my eyes are too old, so I end up running by feel most of the night. So I would not know my spilts until I got home - and neither will you!
First one feels good. I check my Garmin a few times to make sure I am in the ballpark. But after the 2nd one, I quit checking. By the 3rd one, my hamstrings are tired and tight, but I'm doing OK. The 4th one is where I really start to get tired, and I decide I can allow myself a 100 meter walk in my recovery. At this point, bargaining kicks in. "You know, getting the time isn't as important as finishing all 8. Get the miles in and don't kill yourself." The rest of the way I eased off a little on the first 400, but still pushed pretty hard on the 2nd lap. That little concession helped me get through. Made it through all 8 and had a great sense of accomplishment. Trotted home and totalled 8.2 miles.
Now I got to check my results. First, my distance was right on. All splits were between .50 and .52 miles. Here are my splits (calculated from avg pace):
3:08   No wonder I got tired here
Total average 3:15!!!  Dang, I'm good!

I could have sworn I slowed down more than that, but the numbers do not lie!
So I feel like a total BA. I think more PRs are going to fall in 2011!

1 comment:

  1. I tried to do 8X800's once last spring...yeah. I wasn't cool enough yet. I bagged it at 4.

    And I think there is something kinda cool that we both have a track one mile from our houses. It does make things like speed work easy to get to. I hope to be cool like you someday.