Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Early Morning Workout Improvisation

2 mile w/u
Target: 8 mile wave tempo alternating every 800m: 2:50/3:10 (48:00 total); 2 miles @11:40
Revised Target: 13k wave tempo alternating every 1000m: 3:33/3:58 (or 5:42/6:23 mile pace = 48:50 total)
Actual: 3:39, 3:57, 3:32, 3:49, 3:29, 3:50, 3:29, 3:52, 3:23, 3:53, 3:31, 3:52, 3:31 = 47:47 for 13k (8+ miles); 4 min. rest/jog; 3k @11:00
1 mile c/d
Total: 13 miles

I was up dark and early this morning for another solo marathon workout. My favorite! At 35 degrees, it was one of the coldest mornings thus far this fall, and I was barely adequately dressed with a light jacket and gloves. As I jogged around for an easy warmup, I tried to refamiliarize myself with Jordan's Garmin. After using it rather successfully last week, I was hoping I'd be able to operate it with minimal bungling today. Jordan spent some time last night and this morning poking and prodding various buttons to ensure that it would display pace in miles instead of kilometers and would also beep every half mile--perfect!

Or so I thought. Soon after beginning the first interval, it became obvious that the pace was being displayed in relation to kilometers. Not ideal, but no biggie. The same thing happened last week but it still beeped (and displayed splits) every mile, so I was confident it would do the same at every half mile marker today. So when 2:50, then 3:00 came and went, I just assumed that I'd somehow missed the beep indicating the interval had elapsed. I slowed to the "easy" pace of the "off" interval, only to hear and see a 3:38 split shortly thereafter. For a fraction of a second I came to the incredulous realization that I was actually running that slow for 800 meters before realizing that it must've split at the kilometer. This too was frustrating, considering I definitely wouldn't have backed off the pace so soon and probably would've split closer to the target pace had I known. Once I realized that half mile splits weren't an option, it only took a few seconds to settle on the least confusing of my remaining options: I would abandon the half-mile paradigm and instead adjust to kilometers. A simple solution, if slightly ambiguous. After all, I had only a vague idea of what kilometer paces equated to 5:40/6:20 mile paces, so with little concrete info to go on I sort of decided on the arbitrary range of low 3:30s/low 3:50s. If nothing else, it gave me a goal to aim for with each split.

At the time, based on the perceived level of effort and the loose adherence to my admittedly arbitrary pace standards, I had a general sense that the workout was going pretty well. It wasn't until afterward, when Coach Jordan did all the math and scrawled a few tallies on a scrap piece of paper, that I was told I had "crushed it." Those of you who know Jordan are aware that such high praise doesn't flow frequently, so I chose to take his word for it. I haven't tackled many of these wave workouts previously, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could switch gears and juggle different paces at will. If I can do it in a cold, solo early morning workout, I'm confident I can carry the ability with me to race day! 


Unknown said...

All I know is 3:30 = 21:00 6k which is good, so when I read your splits too, I thought, damn she nailed it. Glad Jordan was giving out high praises. I'm sure he'll be singing even more praise (about his own coaching abilities of course, instead of your ability to run fast) in a couple of weeks! Can you tell I'm catching up on blogging?