Friday, June 19, 2009

Flashback Friday: Hello, McFly?

I could hear Huey Lewis singing in my head as I loped along slowly back home after an epic defeat at the track. My defeat.

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:
  • Intervals: 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
[Drunkard's note: Total distance includes one mile warm up, 400-meter recovery laps and one mile cool down.]

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.

Back Talk
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 ...


Funnyrunner said...

You are too funny. It was definitely the puddles. I did a 3-mile recovery run last night just after finishing dinner with a nice big glass of red wine. today it's those wretched hills. 8 x 2 minutes at 1 mile pace. hate those.

BrianFlash said...

Looping out to lane 4 on the curve definitely adds distance.

You are really being too hard on yourself - a 25 second per mile improvement because you ran speed work two or three weeks?! That seems pretty ambitious to me.

You'd get more out of cutting back on the drinking, but I wouldn't even think of suggesting that kind of blasphemy...

X-Country2 said...

Looping out to lane 4 adds distance, but probably not 12 seconds of distance. Sorry dude.

B. Kramer said...

For clarity: I am not looping out to avoid the puddle. I am running in Lane 4 for the entirety. But I wonder if I'm using the wrong lines to mark my start and finish. Cheers.

Mike said...

Lanes: Run the inside lanes and deviate outside as necessary. Don't run the whole thing on outside lanes.

Speed: Those are excellent splits. Your goal pace might have been a shade too ambitious this time, but that's what goals are for.

Pace: You have to decide if the idea is to run the fastest 800 you can each time, or if the idea is to run the fastest 4 x 800 you can. In other words, do you pace yourself on the first 800, knowing you have more to do?

I don't know if there's a right or a wrong way, but it affects how you look at the results.

Schedule: I think alternating 400s and 800s each week is a good plan, so I'll steal it myself. Although when we get into autumn, I'll probably bump it up to mile repeats. (Gaaak!)

You're set up for a monstrous marathon PR. Just get your long runs in and I guarantee you'll surprise yourself on race day.

Ian said...

I posit that you are too old for two-a-days.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for defending me on that whole margarita issue, I think.

Nitmos said...

Why alternate? Do 800's one day and 400's another day with an easy run in between. Twice as much bang for the run each week!

Nice splits though!

Carolina John said...

any way you look at it, you're still getting faster viper. nice job.

Jess said...

Either way, there are many factors to blame, which is always more preferrable than having no factors to blame.

tfh said...

Hey, you still ran significantly faster than those old 3:45s. I'm always mildly befuddled by all those lines on the track, too, especially when I'm running, say, 300s. Clockwise.

Unknown said...

Time for me to crank up "The Heart of Rock and Roll" right now!

Lauren said...

Can every post please have a BTTF theme, please? Highly entertaining. If only I had a hover board to prop my feet up on.

mr loser said...

You are running great, but I'm somewhat concerned about your taste in music. :)