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Thursday, October 11, 2012

a killer track workout and dreaming bigger

Yesterday was an important track workout for the honey badgers.  With our marathon just a little over 2 weeks away, this was going to be one of the last really challenging track workouts on our training schedule.  We needed to make it count yesterday.  We needed to step up to the daunting task and hang outside our comfort zone for a while.  I think all of us were dreading it, just like we dread every other track workout before we get started.  They are HARD.  But they are always worth it.  Every single time.

Yesterday's workout was as much about testing our fitness as it was about renewing our faith in ourselves and in our training.  It was about reminding us that we are where we are for a reason.  We've done the work to bring us to this point.  We've earned it.  We've shown up each and every week for run after run AFTER RUN - no matter the weather or the time of day or how badly we didn't feel like showing up.  Or what was going on in our lives.  We've put in the time and the energy and the work.  Now we need to own it.  We need to believe that we can and we WILL do what we are setting out to do.  Everything is falling into place now as we begin our taper ... and it is so cool to witness, in myself as well as in each one of my incredible friends.

Perseverance (aka, Dora)
The plan - 10 sets of 800s at a controlled - yet fast - pace.  Also known as "Yasso 800s," this workout is KILLER and is a fantastic gauge of both physical and mental stamina.  Ten repeats is a lot, and 800s (two laps around the track) are FAST.  But you cannot make them too fast at first, or you will regret it then feel drained and heavy for the later sets.  Running on the track teaches you to push yourself in a controlled way.  You must learn to listen to your body, otherwise you will fizzle out or worse - hurt yourself.  When you practice pushing through discomfort, you come to realize that you can go even farther and are capable of so much more than you thought possible.  The track teaches you to embrace your own edges and the discomfort that exists there.  It shows you that you are the one in charge - perspective is a CHOICE and the track is great place to practice this.

Track workouts are different from the marathon in so many ways - the workouts are shorter, the paces are faster, the PAIN is different - yet the mental strength and self awareness they require are one and the same if you ask me.  What I learn about myself on the track, I know I can and will apply to my racing on marathon day.  Start out strong and determined, push myself - yet hold back in the beginning because I have a LONG way to go.  And when the end is near, when I know it is safe to do so, I will give it everything I've got and finish fast and strong.

Before heading to the track yesterday, I checked out what paces McMillan recommended I try to hit for a 3:15 marathon.  He suggests a range of 3:04-3:10 for 800s.  I wasn't sure how it would feel, so I just dialed in and went with it.  I am pretty certain that I was right where I needed to be.


10x800 with 2 minutes active rest between each:
3:10, 3:04, 3:07, 3:07, 3:06, 3:05, 3:04, 3:04, 3:02, 2:55





The last few weeks of my training have inspired me to DREAM BIGGER than a 3:20 marathon.  At first this thought really scared me.  My PR (set this spring) is a 3:34.  Fourteen minutes is a LOT to try to shave off in one cycle, especially after making such huge leaps this past year.  BUT it is what it is and I am so grateful.  I know that I am capable of more.  I have earned it.  I truly believe that.  So in the next couple of weeks I am going to be putting my heart out on the line, setting goals for this race and dreaming very very very BIG dreams.

10 comments:

800's are no joke. I've only managed 5. Those are some fantastic times!!

I need to find a track near where I live. I have been running "track" work-outs on the circle driveway at my daughter's school. LOL!! I desperately need a real track. You are as ever inspiring to me.

Nice workout! If you can do the last one at a 2:55 then sounds like you're definitely on track for a big PR!

Wow! Way to go. I did 6-800s at the track yesterday an have never dreamed of ten! Ok, I guess I have since it's in the plan in the next few months. I'll have to bookmark this post so I can go back and read it when I am dreading the big10!
Good job and you are so going to hit 3:15!!!!

Bam! Look at that 2:55! So very excited for what you're going to pull off in this next marathon! Way to go.

LOVE that 2:55 to finish.. You got it!!!!!!!!

Check out that 2:55!! How were you feeling by the end?

Great 800 paces! Sounds like you are ready for your marathon!

Wow! What an awesome and confidence-inspiring workout! Obviously, anything can happen on marathon day so you can't take anything for granted...but you have put in the work to definitely run sub 3:20. Sounds like 3:15 is well within reach and if it all comes together perfectly, who knows what you will be able to do that day?!

Congrats on being basically finished with a long training cycle where you really put the work in to make good things happen! :)

Jess, I LOVE this. You perfectly describe how a track workout should be executed and what we can learn from it! I am so unbelievably inspired by what you have done in this training cycle. It gives me so much hope for what I can do in my running, if I put my heart and effort into it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your goals...I really do learn from every post that you write about your training. Your honey badgers are so blessed to have you guide them through this training. I am so excited for October 28 for you!!!

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