Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Land of Lost Intervals

Ever had one of those days where just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This is how my day seems to be going to today.

The story is long – actually too long so I will only share the lost interval portion with everyone.

Early this morning Megan and I headed to the PDS track so I can finish my last hard workout. This was to be my final tune up before my marathon on Sunday. I am not sure why but I am dreading doing this workout. The weather was warm and humid with a steady drizzle of rain falling on us.

We make one pass around the track before I start my 6 x 800s with quarter recovery.

If sluggishness were water, I could fill a swimming pool with it.

A few weeks ago, I did a similar type of workout and could only average 2:45 to 2:46. I guess part of my hesitation in doing this workout falls back to the "Yasso 800" theory. The minutes and seconds of my 800s would equate to the hours and minutes of my potential marathon time. Honestly, I really don't need to know this info. I would rather be surprised on race day. If someone could tell me right now what I would run on race day, I would have a hard time deciding if I would disappointed or relieved. This is why I run the marathon. To see what I am made of.

Back to the story, I take off on the first 800. Two laps fly by and my body feels like it is struggling to come up to speed. I click my Garmin – 2:46. Ugh, I was hoping for something faster. The effort was present but there was no turnover in my legs.

I take my quarter recovery and head off on the second 800 interval. Again two laps pass. This time I click my Garmin and it says 2:43. Ah, this is definitely better but not nearly enough.

I come around to finish the third interval. This time my Garmin says 2:42. This is still not perfect, but I am definitely getting happier with the result.

I hit my lap button to start the fourth interval, and I am digging up the track to make this the fastest one so far. For two laps, I am pumping my arms and churning my legs and listening to pretty much the absence of any steady breathing. I came around to finish the second lap and attempt to hit my Garmin split button. Nothing happens. I try pressing it again. Again, nothing happened. I try pressing the "start" button thinking that I stopped it instead of hitting the lap button. Still nothing happened. I jogged along trying to catch my breath and figure out my Garmin troubles. Finally, I try to cut if off and back on. This seems to have done the trick but I lost my fourth interval. I no idea how much time, effort and energy was expended on it. Possibly this was my best and fastest interval of the day, and it is forever doomed to the land of lost intervals.

I could not ponder the issue to longer. A quarter mile goes by quickly even when I am jogging.

If I was never going to figure out the fourth interval, I was going to make doubly sure intervals 5 and 6 were good ones.

I went hard on 5. My legs felt wobbly after the first quarter. I wanted badly to slow up but I didn't. Elapse time for the fifth 800 was 2:41. The recovery seems to fly by again. Everyone can get it up for the last one. Right? I pushed hard from the start. I could feel my legs wanting to quit. My breathing was heavy. I could feel the wind blowing into my face coming down the front stretch and at my back going in the opposite direction. I remind myself that it was only 2 laps. I can suffer through anything for 2 laps.

I clicked my Garmin lap split. The time was 2:40. Nice.

The week of OBX last fall, I ran this exact same workout. Every interval I ran between 2:45 to 2:46. On race day I ran 2 hours and 46 minutes. This morning, I started at 2:46 and finished at 2:40.

What does this mean?

My guess, it means I could run anywhere between 2:40 and 2:46 with the most likely time being around 2:43. When I consider that I ran Myrtle Beach in 1:17. Using the standard marathon math abstraction, my projected time would be 2 hours and 44 minutes

Now, comes the hard part. On Sunday, I have to go out and prove that I am capable of doing this marathon in this range.

Wish me luck,


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


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