Oh, baby, 800 repeats, again!!
But, let me go back.
Saturday I had 10 miles with 4 at marathon pace. Here's the thing. I live in a hilly area. The camp where my husband works is about 6 miles away. The hills to get there are ENORMOUS. So, going into this workout (which started at my house and ended at camp... with 4 extra miles dropped in along the way) and believing that I would be able to achieve 6 "easy" miles and 4 at race pace (8:23) was exceptionally delusional. Add to that the fact that I had a time line to meet (agreed to get to camp to take over kid duty by 7:30AM) and it was just such a rookie mistake.
There's no such thing as "easy" on these hills. You could walk them and it would still not qualify as easy. And I don't think I ever achieved 8:23 pace. So what the heck am I going to do?? I have to train for this marathon and I have to do it with a 3:40 in mind and I have to do it where and when my life allows. Ever resourceful, I have come up with a new idea.
I will (somehow find time to) do an "easy" long run with marathon pace miles mixed in on the Cotton Valley rail trail in Wolfeboro... it's flat. I will wear my heart monitor. I will take note of my heart rate when I am doing race pace. Then, when I am doing "race simulation" workouts, I will use the heart rate as my guide instead of the pace. GENIUS! (I think... it sounds smart but it incorporates even more technology into my runs... which provides more opportunities for me to lose things, be frustrated by things, etc. etc.) Anyway, I'm going to try it and see how it feels.
But, on to Tuesday Tough Grrrrlllll! We have sort of gotten into the pattern (if 2 weeks in a row is a pattern) of the boys staying at camp on Monday nights with Scott. This allows me to get a good night's sleep at home and get up at scary o'clock to get to the track. Done and done.
I did the normal 20 minute warm up and got back to the track dreading (of course) the fact that I had six (SIX!) 800 repeats to do. That's 3 miles of running pretty fast. Oh, baby!
Because I am incapable of figuring out how to make my already-broken-at-the-wrist-band-Garmin keep track of splits, I wore my $9.00 Walmart watch so I could time each set of 800. The McMillan training guide says that I should be running 800s for speed work between 3:27 and 3:36. So, I had a very specific goal and a very convenient way to keep track of whether I was doing it.
And the results? Very gratifying:
First set: 3:37
I was THRILLED. Once again I had to sexually harass the nice boy who was doing landscaping because after 3 sets I could feel my shirt chafing my underarms BIG time. So, off it went. You go to the track at 6AM and you assume there won't be anyone to horrify with your bare mid-section. You would be wrong.... I am going to start a small fund for his therapy sessions.
After that, I did a quick cool down (supposed to be 15 minutes, I did 10.... which is easily twice as much as I normally do!) and decided to go barefoot for it. I'm not really going to go whole hog into barefoot running but since Born to Run was the book that really got me psyched to run again, I've been interested in the idea that shoes are what cause our weaknesses as runners. Anyway, The Nick has beautiful fields (tended by said-horrified-college boy) that are perfect for my feet to trod upon. It was cool. I'll do it again.
Happy Tuesday, everybody. Hope you are able to be a Tough Grrrlll like me today!