Yesterday, I had a killer of a track workout on my plan. Now, I made this workout from information I have gathered from numerous sources, including Run Less Run Faster, the McMillan Running Calculator and Coach Mel. But I am the only one to blame for its difficulty.
Why is it that I want kick my ass’s ass so much?
The workout was 8×400-meter repeats at a 7:04 pace with 400-meter Rest Intervals at an easy pace. Plus, a 10-15 minute warm up and a 10-15 minute cool down.
I’ve strategically put repeats on Wednesdays (a day I go to work) because I have a good straightaway to do them on, and because my tempo runs are too long to fit in during my 60-minute lunch hour. Yesterday, after the first Rest Interval hit a 1:30 and I was only at abou 200 meters, I realized I needed to make my RIs 90 seconds or I’d never get the session done in time to get back to work, wiped down, changed and at my desk (with my lunch).
During my “track” sesh I realized that there were stages to this kind of speed work. Ready?
STAGE 1: DOUBT
During the warm up, I nervously ran an easy pace and wondered how I would be able to hit a 7:04 pace for 200 meters let alone 400 (.25 of a mile). I did some kick-butts, high knees and strides during the warm up. Time running: 8:54 (.92 of a mile).
Finally, I was ready for my first quarter-mile sprint. I toed the crack in the sidewalk outside of the Lexus delivery truck place. Adjust capris. Deep breath. Go.
I felt good. Too good. I looked at my watch after about 200 meters: 6:38 pace. Um. I tried to slow down gradually. At .25, I pushed stop.
Repeat 1: 1:44 (7:03 pace)
STAGE 2: BELIEF
Booyah! I did it! I got this. I did my RI (1:39 – 9:29 pace), then turned to go back the way I just came. Adjusted capris. Deep breath. Go!
I felt okay. It felt harder to get down to the 6’s this time. In fact, I just barely kissed the 6’s. Breathing hard. A little dizzy. When am I going to get there? Glance at watch: .17. Damn. Glance at watch: .19. Really?
Repeat 2: 1:47 (7:08 pace)
I felt like maybe the route is very slightly downhill/uphill because that direction seemed so much harder. But then again, it was my second one, so maybe my legs were already toast. I walked, then ran my RI (1:37 – 13:05 pace). Turned. Pulled up capris. Deep breath. Go!
Repeat 3: 1:47 (Garmin says 7:03 pace, but the 1:47 on Repeat 2 says 7:08 — maybe I hit the button immediately after it turned to .25? I really need to learn how to set up repeat workouts on my watch.)
RI (1:33 – 12:40 pace). Deep breath. Pants up. Go!
I think this is the one where I realized I was forgetting to breathe. I tried to concentrate on being tall, taking smaller strides and really driving my legs with my glute muscles. Out of breath. Out of breath. Done.
Repeat 4: 1:49 (7:07 pace)
Really starting to think that direction is uphill. (It’s not, now that I have consulted the Garmin elevation.) RI (1:35 – 13:58 pace).
STAGE 3: FEAR
I still have FOUR more to go? I can’t do four more of these. I will die. Thank god I wore my RoadID. I’ll just do six. Yeah, six sounds good. I probably should only do six. Deep breath. Pull up pants. Go!
Oh god, this is far. It hurst. I hate 400s. Why do I want to punish myself like this? I need to relax my arms a little. There. Do I look like Desi? I wonder if my stride looks as short as it feels? Am I hitting the ground with my whole foot, mid or are my heels hitting first? I should make someone record me sometime.
Repeat 5: 1:49 (7:13 pace)
STAGE 4: ACCEPTANCE
I decided to do all eight. I didn’t want to quit. Maybe I can’t hit the 7:04 pace for eight repeats YET, but I can at least run as fast as I can and see how it goes.
RI (1:00 – 16:12; I’d forgotten to push start). Turn, pants up. Breathe. Go!
Don’t look at your watch. You will be disappointed. Just run. Don’t look at it don’t look at it don’t look at it. I gotta look at it. I could see I was in the 7:20’s. I tried to turn my legs over faster.
Repeat 6: 1:48 (7:16 pace according to Garmin, which doesn’t make sense because Repeat 5 was 1:49 – 7:13 pace. Whatever.)
I knew I could do two more. I glanced at the time thinking maybe the clock could get me out of it, though. Maybe I would be late to work. Nope. Darn it.
RI (1:23 – 15:32 pace). Let’s just get this over with. Turn. Pants. Breathe. Go.
Ouch. My glutes and hamstrings felt like Jell-O. I just tried to not die.
Repeat 7: 1:51 (7:27 pace)
STAGE 5: TOAST
It felt laughable. I obviously had underestimated these repeats. I obviously needed to ease back into track (on a sidewalk in an industrial area) work. Alas, I had one more.
RI (1:23 – 14:52 pace). Pants. Breathe. Go!
Oh this is hilarious. Thank god I’m almost done. Maybe I can just hold it under a 7:30 pace. I’d be just fine with that. I channeled Desi. Imagined myself floating over the sidewalk…in Detroit. I did feel like I was in Detroit a little bit, or what I always pictured Detroit would look like: industrial. Sorry if you are from Detroit. I’ve never been there and I know this is a stereotype, even though I know that there are lots of beautiful places to run there because I read Detroit Runner‘s blog.
Repeat 8: 1:51 (7:22 pace. Whatever Garmin.)
No time to think about the repeats, gotta get in my cool down so I can get back to work. Time running: 10:40 (1.11 miles at a 9:36 pace). Back at work, I quickly added everything up and posted to DailyMile, and then hit the final stage:
STAGE 6: VICTORY!
I felt like a bad-ass. I also felt like I needed to stretch, and I did a multi-tasking hamstring stretch while tying my shoes back on after changing in the bathroom. I didn’t feel like the yogurt , fruit and an English muffin I brought for lunch, so instead, I bought Cup of Noodles from the vending machine for $1.00, and it was THE BEST. Also, I had a lot of fun singing along with Justin Timberlake in my head. What’s my weakness: SOUP!
Justin Timberlake – Cup O Soup by tony0413
Do you do repeats? Do you go through different mental stages during them? Ever been to Detroit? What’s your favorite post-speedwork food? Running Betty tells me that Cup of Noodles will not help me get rid of my Jelly Belly. Say, wha? I think you know what JT would say about that: SOUP, THERE IT IS!
Hahaha! I run intervals (800’s) once a week… and there are definitely “stages” which is why I loved this post so much. I’m always a Doubtful Debbie getting dressed and then I try to syke myself up… “You’re gonna kill this.” The first one always sucks but the time is good (fresh legs). Fear is definitely in the middle! Geesh, I’m only half done! This week, I turned a corner and was actually having a little fun at #5… and then by #6, I had a spectator in the stands – had to put on a good show for him, right? Yup, best split of the session. Ha!
P.S. I channel Shalene! I heard once that her mantra in the trials was “cold execution” so I use that a lot when I’m spent.
You crack me up! I felt like I was right there with you.
I grew up in the suburbs about an hour north of Detroit. My husband and I also lived in Detroit for about 3 years. No worries, I was not the least bit offended by your image of it! It’s true, there are some beautiful places, but there are also lots of industrial areas and a ton of urban blight. We moved out after our next door neighbor told me she was going to shoot my husband.
I got such a visual kick out of this! You rock it doing this from work. I do intervals on the stationary bike (CycleOps) or on the treadmill. I’m going for strong, and good cardio so just do my best, and I’m going faster for longer on the road as a result. But definitely there are stages,and definitely fear in the middle of the Super 8s I’ve been practicing on the bike… I especially delight in your names for the stages and your all-important capri hikes, which set the entire tone. Thanks for sharing!
I was cracking up picturing you pulling up your pants each time. And “Victory” is right! way to go!
Are those capris too big, by chance? Way to go on the 400s! Jess’s comment reminds me that once I had to share the track with two college track athletes. I was proud of myself for doing my repeats at all, and not just going home with my head hung in shame.
I’m with Carla, I think you need some smaller stretchy pants!! LOL I like your descriptiveness…is that a word?? I make up words all the time because I think they exist but they don’t so then I get confused as to which words are real and which ones are not…uh..oh well. I do repeats…they are usually way easier for me than tempo runs but I just found out I’ve been running them too slow since I did my “magic mile” on Saturday, hmmm maybe that’s why they have been so easy? Ugh! I take a protein supplement after my hard workouts, currently I’m taking Vega Sport Berry flavor (I would prefer vanilla but they were out). It’s gluten, dairy and soy free and it actually tastes pretty good for A protein powder. I really hate cup of noodles because when I was in grade school I ate it all the time and now I just gag when I see them, blah!! Not sure if cup o soup is the same or not…
It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one constantly pulling up my capris!
That seems too tough for me. I know how you feel after that workout.
Good job on finishing the track workout strong. I think track workout is great for lunch breaks, I started to do them during lunch as well, way better than on the treadmill.