Running in circles — and getting faster

When I do track workouts, I’ve never aimed to break a specific time. I more so want to keep my times consistent for the workout, to be able to maintain the same pace.

I was blown away by Thursday’s track workout.

My times for the 6×800 workout, that Joanna did with me, came out to: 2:59, 3:07, 3:15, 3:11, 3:15, 3:09.

To give you an idea as to why I was so shocked, here are my times from the same workout about four weeks ago: 3:17, 3:20, 3:10, 3:27, 3:17, 3:20.

None of my times this time around were even close to 3:20s, which usually I clock in at. Also, what the heck is up with that sub-3 minutes time??

Joanna, who is a faster sprinter than I am, said she would stay with me and go at my pace for the workout. We both weren’t feeling great at the beginning when we arrived at the track. She played a hard-fought soccer game the night before. I was just tired from not getting enough sleep. Also, the sun was out and bright and with the track being one of those black rubber-y ones, the heat was just rising to our legs.

The first 800 felt like hell. It also felt like it lasted a whole five minutes. My legs were tight. My arms felt like they weighed 20 pounds each! As we made out way down the last straight-away, I felt a bit defeated. There was a lot of pain happening. When I looked down at my watch and read 2:59, I was in shock. I had to check again. Did we really just run that fast? 

Yes, yes, we did.

And, that was why it hurt so badly.

We had just run the fastest I have ever run 800 meters since high school, which was 10 years ago!

We told ourselves we would not go any faster for the rest of the workout. In fact, we would try to hit around 3:15s — which we successfully did. By the last half of the workout, my body felt a little more accustomed to sprinting. Don’t get me wrong, I was still in pain, but not the horrible pain from the too-fast first 800.

Best of all, my IT band did not act up at all — I didn’t even get the slightest bit of aggravation. That hasn’t happened since before my IT band injury, which was the summer of 2013! And, speaking of two years ago … two years ago I was doing 800s in 3:30/3:40! I’m getting so much faster!

But, I told Joanna that if she hadn’t done the workout with me, I would never have gone as fast as we did.

“But you can go that fast on your own,” she replied. “That first 800 was all you. I followed your lead.”

She was right.

Sometimes even when you’re running in circles, you’re actually getting somewhere.

I’m getting closer to that sub-4 hour marathon time.

Bring it, Eugene.


One thought on “Running in circles — and getting faster

  1. Pingback: Road to Eugene: 4 weeks ’til race day | Ready, set, KO!

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