Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Speed Work? I think not!

Today was a day for the ages for three reasons: 1) It would have been my 36th anniversary had my ex and I made it past the 17th, 2) I weighed in lower today than any time in the last seven years and 3) I did my first speed/strength interval type workout in a decade. One at a time...

First, my 36th anniversary.  Shortly after our divorce in 1991, she remarried and fifteen years later I did as well. Unfortunately, my ex passed away several years ago, but I still have fond memories of our rainy, car-accidented wedding day.

Next: Weight.... good, but a long way to go.

That leaves the workout. Today I did 3 X 800 with a 400 jog as my rest interval. Originally the workout was to be 4 by 8, but my stubbed toe and a tweaky knee caused a lowering of my expectations. Because it's been so long, I had no idea of what would be the proper pace. With my tempo runs in the 8:20-30 range, I figured I'd shoot for sub 4:00 as a reasonable goal (whooo, breaking four minutes..... oh yeah, we're talking HALF mile here).

The first one felt like I was BLAZING! Oxygen debt came quickly and I passed the 400 in 1:49 wondering why I wasn't on my usual easy run. Maybe a hundred yards later, I began to relax and get into a rhythm. First 800 - 3:45. I have to say that the 400 jog was pretty long, more than I probably needed. The next two passed without incident in 3:42 and 3:44. I didn't push that hard, could have done the fourth rep and probably been 6-8 seconds faster, but I figured I would not press my luck and stay hungry for the next time.

I confess to feeling a little proud of my first "interval" workout. Not because it was fast or anything, but because I planned it and did it! Interestingly, running log research shows I did half mile repeats during the first week of August two other times in my running life. In 2000, I ran 12 x 800 with a 200 jog averaging 3:04 (3:10 marathon that year at age 48). And as a collegian, in 1972, I ran 12 x 880 in Alpena, Michigan with a two minute rest averaging 2:14. 

Makes my 3:42 seem a bit tired, heavy and a hair old. But I'm happy with it. But, oh yeah ..... what about the other nine reps?

3 comments:

  1. Nice work there Rich. I am jealous of your 3:40s. By the way, what's the difference between 880s and 800s? Sometimes I hear them used interchangeably.

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  2. The difference is just a few feet. In the olden days, tracks were 440 yards around (1/4 mile) so we did 880's. Now that they're 400 meters, we do 800's.

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  3. Got it, so 440 as in yards is the same as in 400 meters. I never noticed the yards and meters before, I guess old time coaches refer to the 440s more so than meters. Thank you.

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