I returned to 800-meter intervals for the first time in a month, when I was running 800s in the 3:45 range. After all my 400s since then, I knew I was faster and ambitiously set my goal at 3:20 per 800. Period, I said.
I cruised around for the first interval, nailing it. But I knew I was in trouble. The next 800 was seven seconds slower. I couldn't control my breath, and it destroyed my pacing. The final two intervals were consistent, but 12 seconds slower than my first.
By the time I finished, I felt as if I had been whisked into the past at 88 miles per hour. What was I, a first-timer? Why wasn't I hitting my times? I gotta get back in time.
My next attempt at 800s will be in two weeks, as I alternate speed work between 400s and 800s. By then, I hope I'm back to the future.
And now the statistical rundown:
4 x 800 meters
- Goal pace: 3:20 or less per interval (6:42 per mile)
- Lap 1: 3:19.1 (6:40 per mile)
- Lap 2: 3:26.53 (6:54 per mile) FAIL
- Lap 3: 3:31.5 (7:04 per mile) FAIL
- Lap 4: 3:31.96 (7:04 per mile) FAIL
- Average pace: 6:56 per mile
- Total distance: 4.7 miles
This was a rough outing. So what happened?
Perhaps the heat and humidity got to me. Or perhaps the wimpy, but fast two-miler yesterday morning wore on me. Or perhaps I set my speed goal too high. Or perhaps I screwed up my pacing by running the first lap like a 400-meter interval, blowing up my second lap. Running too fast: a typical rookie mistake.
Or I have this theory: I was running too far. The track I typically run at gets a huge puddle at one curve after a rain, which it did in buckets Wednesday. This puddle usually forces me into Lane 4. Not a problem if I'm running 400 meters, because the staggered start and finish lines compensate for the added distance from the inside lane to the outer lanes. However, I did not consider that if I stay in the fourth lane for the second 400 meters and use the same finish line, I am running farther than 800 meters.
Duh. Hello, anybody home?
I probably should have known this prior to yesterday. This is how I ran 800s in the past, sticking to my one lane, not considering the extra distance. So maybe those weren't FAILs above (or in the past). But I'll leave them there for your amusement.
Are there markings for 800 meters in outer lanes? Tracks have all those esoteric lines and triangles, and I have no idea what they're supposed to mean.
Wherein I don't bother think of anything clever to describe Back Talk.
Dr. Nic thinks I should be more careful with my words: "Did the Laphroaig come before the trip to Dick's, as written? If so ... I think you should have included a disclaimer to only drink that kind of alcohol before driving if you're a board-certified member of the BHI."
Answer: If you're following my example, you have bigger problems.
Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend and good luck to you racers out there. Run well and drink well. Cheers!
Now make like a tree and get out of here ...