Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back to the track

I skipped last week's track workout, so I had butterflies in my stomach as I drove to the track tonight. Well, it was either anxiety, or the Entemann's mini chocolate-chip muffins I scarfed in the car on the way.

Hey, I was hungry.

At the track, about 20 men and women were already stretching. Meanwhile, several shirtless men zoomed by. Turns out they were distance-running champs and Olympic marathon qualifiers such as Michael Wardian. Good company, although they ignored us plebes.

The workout: 6 X 800, with 400 jog recovery in between reps. Coach G. stressed that we should not run like crazed maniacs, but at a controlled pace. The aim: hit our 800-meter pace, based on our marathon goal time, as closely as possible.

My marathon goal is 3 hrs 45 min or better. So according to Coach's chart, I should run about 3:36 for every half-mile split. How I fared:

1st 800: 3:30
2nd 800: 3:38
3rd 800: 3:30
4th 800: 3:37
5th 800: 3:37
6th 800: 3:33

But I didn't puke: The first 800 was tough. It was also a bit too fast. I wondered how I would finish five more repeats. But I settled in on the second rep. A group of teenage boys then flooded the track as they warmed up to play Ultimate frisbee on the field. They hooted as I ran past, but I ignored them.

I felt better as the track workout progressed. At the end, I felt so relaxed that I did an extra rep, ripping a 400 in 1:31. Note to self: Be diligent about track workouts. You always feel so much better - both mentally and physically - afterwards.

Whatever happened to sisterly support?: Coach reiterated that we should not compete with each other, but instead help each other out. I try to follow his advice. Unfortunately, there's always one or two women who want to beat me.

Not that I'm the fastest. Far from it. So I think it's funny that they pick me. Whatever. I usually let them go. It's not a race. But sometimes, I say, "What the hell," and blast by them in the last rep.

And it feels good.


  1. Excellent job! According to Bart Yasso if you can do 10 repeats at your goal time (so that means you need to slow down a little on those 800s) you are golden. Things are looking good for that 3:45!

    ps - where's the Tahoe relay report??? ;-)

  2. You ooze "beat me if you can" so what do you expect those other women to do? Roll over? In front of elites? In front of teenage boys? In front of plebemates?
    Not likely.
    And my question for the week/coach is why, if I am doing 3:37 800 repeats, am I running 4:50 marathons?

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  4. Nice job out there! There are a couple of women on my team who insist on pushing ahead of me in the last few pick-ups too; I just let them. I know that come race day I'm still faster than they are, and that's all that matters :-)

  5. Great repeats... and pretty consistent times too. Smokin’ 400m time too!

  6. Our coach encourages competition, only he calls it comraderie to take the edge off. It works.

    And so long as they were mini-muffins, you are free to indulge. :-)

  7. 800's are tough! Nice job. I like to run 400's, but it's been a while since I've put in a good track work out!

  8. Mini chocolate-chip muffins = breakfastg of champions.

    Nice intervals ... I can imagine that other women see you and want to show you up. Nice job blowing them off the track.

  9. The first time I met Michael Wardian I thought he needed to eat more food and maybe get a tan of some sort. Little did I know that he was a famous marathon runner.

    I found out how good he was at his wedding. My husband was like "you didn't tell me he was that fast" Yep he is.

  10. Am enjoying following your blog. Admire your speed work. Keep up your great running! Which marathon are you training for?

  11. M: You went to Michael Wardian's wedding?! Talk about a small world! Friend of the bride or groom?

    Tom: I'm batting around the ideas of running the Santa Clarita (CA) marathon on Nov. 4 for time, and the Honolulu Marathon in early December for fun. I'm also considering doing the Richmond (VA) marathon in Nov. in lieu of the SC race.

  12. I'm still skeptical about that "who's racing who" part ...