Weekly Miles: Gunning For One Forty

I had a wonderful six miles today. I took things easy because I have a race on Saturday, and I want my legs to be fresher than the first sip of a Pliny.Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 9.03.36 PM

Speaking of which, I accidentally signed up for a race on Saturday. Last week I stumbled upon the race online (Women’s San Diego Half Marathon), and signed up for it without fully thinking things through. I posted about the Surf City Half I did a few weeks ago and while I was proud of myself, I know I didn’t leave everything on the course. I’ve been feeling confident in my runs lately and getting in solid mileage—I know I could have given that race more. So not only was I yearning for another chance to prove myself, but I also already had 13 miles scheduled for Saturday…so why not, eh?

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 9.02.18 PMYesterday, I went to trivia night at a local pub style bar and drank a horrible blonde ale that was more reminiscent of water than beer—I wish I could remember the exact name of it so I could strongly advise against drinking it. At one point, someone asked my half marathon PR…and you know what, I couldn’t remember it! Today I looked up the times of the three half marathons I have ran, and to my pleasant surprise realized that in 2008 during my first half marathon I ran a 1:44:19 (average pace 7:57) and placed first in my age group. Damn, I’m good.

After some online back and forth with running friends I made the official decision to go for a PR, or perhaps even a sub-1:40, on Saturday. Okay, I’m going for a sub-1:40 half marathon.

That’s all for today. However, after my Tuesday and Wednesday workouts, I wrote some blurbs summarizing the sessions. I didn’t have time to post day of, so I’ve included those blurbs below.

(Tuesday) I have been patient the last week, anxious for today’s workout. Not a bad anxious, but similar to the feeling you experience before a weeklong beach vacation. Today, I ran my first round of Yasso 800’s. I ran them on a treadmill during my lunch break and the workout went exceptionally well.

The theory of the workout is that if two weeks (approximate) before your marathon you can run 10×800 at a pace of 3 minutes and 30 seconds, you will be able to run a 3 hour and 30 minute marathon. Let me be clear, I don’t subscribe to the theory. I personally think that it’s a simple and effective interval workout, that can to a degree estimate that you are capable of running a specific marathon time. However, I’m under no illusion that the workout will guarantee I am able to run a specific marathon time, let alone finish a marathon. Nonetheless, it’s a simple and solid interval workout.

Let’s move onto the stats. I did 4×800 and aimed to run at a 3:30 minutes/800m pace. I warmed up at a 10 minute/mile pace for 5 or so minutes, then started with my first 800. Between each of the 4 800s I ran at a 10 minute/mile pace for a quarter mile. I wrapped up the workout with a warm down of approximately ten minutes at a 9:00 pace. My 800s broke down to the following times, complete with my inner dialogue:

  • 3:26—wow, why doesn’t this hurt more? I love running fast. This feels awesome!
  • 3:24—still feeling great? Hell yeah I am! Let’s kick up the pace.
  • 3:20—this is going a lot better than expected. Is that me in the mirror? I’m flying! My ass looks great. Did I loose weight?
  • 3:10—let’s really push the pace. This last 400 is tough, yikes.
  • 8 hours later—why do my legs feel so dead? I’m tired. My legs are sore. Ouch.

Well there it is, my first Yasso 800 workout. My plan was to 4×800 again next week, but I might switch things up. As my training progresses, I’m considering replacing some of my Yasso workouts with longer intervals, such as 1200s or even mile repeats. The possibilities are endless!

(Wednesday) I ran on a treadmill for six miles today during my lunch break and it was wretched. In regards to my numbers, it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of—I began with three miles at 8:57 pace, bumped it up to 8:34 for 1.5 miles, and then continuously increased the speed the last 1.5 miles with my last 400m at a 7:36 pace. A solid run—if I do say so myself—and physically I felt strong.

Mentally though, running on a treadmill for a steady paced run is difficult. I came pretty close to stopping a few times out of pure boredom, and considered briefly switching over to the elliptical for the second half of the run. The treadmill was plopped right in front of a mirror and I was forced to look at myself the entire time. I tried to practice pretty facial running, with the hopes of one day taking a race picture in which I don’t look like literal death. We’ll see if it did me any good.

In the end I’m glad I suffered through mentally. Good run for the books. ‘Til tomorrow!

(Back to today, Thursday) Well, I think that sums things up for now. Stay posted for my race results on Saturday and wish me the best.

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