Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Track time!

Last year's National Half Marathon was my first half.  I did things a little backwards, running my first marathon before my first half marathon.  So when it came to training for that race, I did what I had done for the marathon, two relatively short weekday runs and a long run on the weekends.  Then three weeks before the race I went to Spain for two weeks.  And came back with a horrible cold.  Needless to say, I wasn't so sure about how the race would go.  My original goal had been to average under 10 minute miles, but given my health, I decided anything faster than the first half split of my marathon (2:25) would be acceptable.  Despite wildly inconsistent splits and feeling awful from about mile seven on, I was able to finish in 2:09, and was very happy.

This year, I'm hoping that with a stronger training plan and no two week vacation, I can significantly improve on that time.  For me, 2010 was all about quantity.  I worked my way up to running five times a week and almost doubled my mileage from 2009.  In 2011, I'm hoping to maintain the miles, but starting adding some speed.  There will be a lot more quality runs this year!

With that in mind, I headed to the track last night for my first speed session of this training cycle.  I had 800s on the schedule and had no idea how it was going to go.  I think it may have been my first time on a track in at least ten years!  

speedy shoes

I was excited to test out my (relatively) new Kinvaras after a few test runs on the treadmill and also finally use my Garmin for more than timing my run.  You can program in workouts - who knew? :)  I had a slight hiccup after the first 800 when my 1:30 rest interval wouldn't end.  Since I couldn't figure out was going on, I changed the rest to 400m.  As I was running the workout, I realized that I had probably programmed in an hour and thirty minutes of rest instead of a minute and thirty seconds.  Oops!  I saw 00:00:00 and assumed it was minutes, seconds, tenths of seconds.  It made total sense at the time, but thinking about it now I can see that if I wear the watch to time a marathon, it needs to track hours (and, really, who times their rest down to the tenth of a second?).  Maybe my brain was just frozen when I was setting it up - it was pretty cold out there last night!

6x800 later and I was done.  I even managed to be consistent, which is definitely not my strength.  I tend to be a "start too fast and then die" type of runner.  All in all, a pretty good experience.  That's probably a good thing, since I have to go back next week!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first track workout!! You'll get the Garmin figured out. I still haven't ever set mine up for programming workouts! :)

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo on your first track workout! Love that the Garmin can be your trusty training buddy :)