Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Track Treat

Prior to today's workout, I was planning on titling the ensuing blog entry "Tuesday Track Trauma", but it was surprisingly atraumatic and actually quite fun.  The best thing about track and other fixed interval or repeat workouts?  NUMBERS.  Post workout analysis is almost as much fun as the workout itself.  Actually, it's usually way more fun, but today was unusual.

I am so glad we ran intervals today instead of hill repeats.  I am so sick of hills, and I don't feel like I've been getting anything out of them.  We've been doing them almost every Tuesday, and I just don't see it translating into better performance.  They also make me feel slow and out of shape during the actual workout, whereas the track workouts seem to actually increase my confidence. 

The workout: 
  • Warmup jog to the track.  
  • One fast lap, one slow lap
  • Two fast laps, one slow lap
  • Three fast laps, one slow lap
  • Four fast laps, one slow lap
  • One fast lap, one slow lap
  • One fast lap, one slow lap
  • Back to store.

Adjust your speed so that you are able to complete the full "set". So the "set" of "one lap" would be run much faster than the "set" of "four laps".  

(If you're very astute you may have noticed that it appears that I skipped the last slow lap before returning to the store.  I didn't, I just forgot to start my watch after a water break)

I didn't look at my watch until the end of each lap, at that was just a quick glance at the lap pace after the fact, so I was pleasantly surprised at how consistent my pace was within each "set".  The only one that looks "bad" is lap 3 of the 4 lap set, but looking at the "time" column, instead of the "pace", it actually looks really good.  Might be a GPS fail.  Yeah, now that I'm looking at it, I should have probably highlighted times instead of paces.  But it would take too long to go back and change now.  And besides, "paces" have more meaning to me than times to run a 1/4 mile.  (Oh, by the way, this wasn't on a "real" track, it is just an unmarked asphalt loop that usually approximates 0.25 miles, but it was under construction and there was big "kink" in one side of the oval, so the fact that the laps don't say 0.25 miles is not necessarily a sign of my GPS sucking.) 
I'm not sure if the pace difference between each set is what it should have been.  I'm thinking my 1 and 2 lap sets should have been faster perhaps?  Not sure how much difference constitutes the "much faster" that coach prescribed in the instructions.  But, perfect or not, I'm always happy when I can maintain 5K pace (8:03) or better for any amount of time at all outside of a race.  I never cease to be amazed at how hard it is to hit race pace on a regular workout for me.  Looked at the other way, I can't believe I can run 8:03 for a whole 3 miles at a race when I was basically DONE after those 4 fast laps, which is only ONE mile!  Too bad races don't have recovery laps.   That don't count in your time. :P  Also, check out my recovery paces.  Seems like they should be slower than my normal easy or long run pace, but they're not.  They're the same or faster.  Not sure if it's the fact that I'm running the track with all these people from my group and trying not to look like a slow-poke, or the fact that running the fast laps made those paces feel easier.  I think it's the second one, because I definitely felt like I was getting good rest and wasn't pushing at all on the recovery laps.  Unfortunately that also means that I'm not pushing at all on most of my runs, and hence am logging probably 90% junk miles.  But junk miles = relaxing and fun :)  I went into today's workout planning on taking it "easy" for speedwork, so I think that has something to do with why I enjoyed it so much and why I was able to pace so well.  I think under different circumstances I would go out too fast on lap 1 of 4 and gradually decrease my speed as I went along.  Maybe I'm finally figuring this speedwork thing out.  It's supposed to be pleasantly hard, not nauseatingly, wishing-for-death hard. 

Okay, that's it for the post-workout debrief and analysis.  Sorry for boring you to death.   No wait, I forgot to mention that the weather was PERFECT.  Low 50s and sunny.  There, now I'm done. 

In other "news", we almost brought a random 3rd cat home today because we thought it was one of ours that escaped.  It was sitting in our driveway when Jeff and I got home from dinner, and looked *just* like one of ours, so we assumed he escaped and Jeff picked him (or her?) up and started to carry him in.  He didn't even fight, so that "confirmed" that he was ours.  Then we got into the light from the porch and I was like, "Umm, Jeff, I don't think that's our cat".  And Jeff was like "yeah it is, it feels like Otto, and here's his white spot."  But I was looking at his face and he had Max's ears and Otto's eyes and face like he was a mixture of our two cats.  So I told him not to bring him in yet, because I was pretty sure he wasn't ours, and if he wasn't, we would have absolute chaos in the house when the dogs saw him.  So Jeff put him down and we came inside, and sure enough, there were our two cats, comfortably sleeping INSIDE.  Haha.  Whoops.

As for dinner, we had gone to Noodles & Co. and I kicked myself like 12 times for not even thinking of the fact that we had a buy 1 get 1 coupon from the virtual race bag from the Shamrock & Roll 10K that I could have printed and used.  Whoops again.

Remaining this week: 4-5 miles with my Meetup group Wednesday evening at Gallup Park, 6 miles with 501 downtown Thursday evening,  Saturday morning 13 miles with Jeff (rare!) and Dani from 501, running my park route again.  Not going to the group run Saturday since it starts at Running Fit West.  (I'm actually not sure why I care?  Maybe I should just go .... )

Update: I just checked the Saturday run info and remembered/re-discovered the real reason I'm not going: it's only a 10 mile route and I need 12.  I knew I had a better reason that it being at RF West.


  1. I see on your profile you're a nurse who used to be an engineer. Based on the way you analyze your workouts, I'll bet you were a pretty good engineer. Kinda funny how consistent you can be on your pacing. I'm kinda the same way.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. Maybe cause I've got 'guy' traits, I didn't cry while reading Jill's story, but I've reread it, and I still get lumps in my throat, and maybe a bit teary. I've watched that video several times, and that's part of the reason why listening to the song is inspiring to me.

  2. I have a buy one get one for noodles that I forgot to use too =.=" /face palm.

  3. I have a buy one get one for noodles that I forgot to use too =.=" /face palm.

  4. I am so behind. I skimmed this.


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