Friday, August 14, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

When we first moved back here to Eugene we were living in an apartment where our back door opened up to South Eugene High School's track. This was during the time that Hayward field was being "all gussied up" for the Olympic Trials so the university's runners and other area elite were doing their track workouts right outside my house. It was amazing to watch them run repeat after repeat of 400's, 800's, 1600's...etc and very inspiring too. They looked so smooth and although it was obvious that they were in pain, they still seemed to be enjoying themselves and jovial enough to even talk and laugh a bit on their recovery laps. I remember feeling a strange motivation to get out there and do some speed work of my own. Apparently not motivated enough's been almost exactly 2 years since I posted about them running (my very first blog entry) and just barely did my first interval training two days ago. (I guess in the game of "monkey see, monkey do" I have a very delayed reaction.)

So, how did my intervals go, you ask? I'm so glad you did. It actually went surprisingly well. Okay, that's not entirely true, it hurt... a lot, in fact my quads are still sore, but it is a good kind of sore, the sore that tells me I'm doing something right, something that is really going to get me going. Anyway, it really wasn't too bad of a workout. I think I mentioned previously that the intervals themselves were 800's and only 3 of them at 3:46 pace with a 400 jog recovery. The first one was a little scary because I wasn't really sure what I was capable of and I've never really had a very good grasp of pacing, so I just ran it...not quite "all out" but much faster than I would normally run. It was a 3:21. I then followed it up with a 3:18 and although I was about ready to quit by my 3rd one (thank goodness there only 3) I didn't. Lucky for me, I had a master's swim coach who use to always yell at us "last one, best one" at the end of our swim sets...well this stuck with me and I decided I better do my best, after all there was only one left. So, I took off on my last 800 and felt very sluggish and slow and at the 400, I was 10 seconds above my previous pace so I really had to kick it up for the final 400... I ended up sprinting the final 200 all out (maybe what my coach meant was "the last part of the last one" is the best one...) and ended up with a 3:22, so not my best one, but at least I stayed fairly consistent.

All-in-all, it was a pretty decent workout and I ended up averaging about 8:40 pace for the whole 5 miles (warm-up, intervals, recover & cool down combined) which isn't too bad considering my 400 recovery jog was barely above walking speed (in fact it might have been slower). If nothing else, it was nice to add some variety into my normal running routine. I think following a training plan is going to be a good thing for me.

Tomorrow, I'll finish off my first week of actual training with an 8-miler. As much as I'd like to sleep in, I'll probably get up pretty early to get it over with. I plan to take Leona with me mostly so I can bring my phone and water and other essentials without having to carry them. I'm sure it seems pretty silly to push a stroller just so I don't have to carry stuff, but hey that's me... pretty silly


Dick said...

Good job, Laurie. I ran one interval...once. I decided it wasn't any fun, so after recovering from THE 400 (I was supposed to run 4 of them, with 200 recoveries) I went to the Dairy Queen and got a milkshake. Intervals suck!

Janet said...

Laurie, You are truly inspiring! When I was pregnant with Jeff (only my second) I jogged across the street and that was more than I could handle. I don't know how you keep it up being pregnant with your 4th! Keep up the good work.