After a few accelerations up to workout pace I was ready to roll with the Yasso 800 Pretest. With my goal of 2:50 at Boston this April, I was hoping to run 10x800m at 2:50 with equal rest. This is essentially a 10k pace workout then... last time I did a similar track session I fell apart around 6k in, I'd be going a mile beyond that in this workout.
I removed the pants and felt the 45 degree, wet, darkness hit my skin and upon running my legs tasted the frigid water jump up from the track's surface... wake up call! Let's get moving!
Off I went in the twilight... "85 seconds per lap should be doable- stay patient" filled my thought bubbles as I focused on efficient striding and a relaxed face and shoulders. #1 2:50- on the spot. only 9 more to go!
Now warmed up (#1 is always the hardest... except for the one just after exhaustion) I set off again, a little darker out but feeling toasty inside and completely at ease with the challenge before me. Not to say this was a forgone conclusion of success... but I was in the mindset for achievement.
"Relaxed and Quick
with Power to stick!"
I came through in 2:46... then 2:48. A bit worried I was going to end up in the deep end too soon (running in lane 2 mainly with the rain and sharing the track early in the workout) I made a decision to back off a bit. This is race preparation too and we all know about running a great half marathon with 13 miles remaining... so, number four I was able to settle down and click in a 2:50 followed by a 2:49 for the halfway split. Averaging 2:48.6 per 800m... right on the money and feeling snappy and light!
Now it was dark with only the distant lights of Boone being blurred by the heavy mist of the night sky. I covered the track by the light of the press box shining down on the glassy surface of the oval and with Indiglo Flix technology proving to me the time at hand. Into the second half I went, channeling the feelings on the backside miles of the marathon. The solitude and near-loneliness, the self-reliance to step through challenges yard by yard as a goal becomes ever more present. Number 6- 2:50. This was getting fun, "4 to go".
The rest intervals were equal to the repeat, so 2:50 with a 400m jog, leaving me about 20seconds to mill about at the starting line each time. During this time I was able to adjust my long sleeves back up for the work, down for the recovery, get in some knee bends or butt kicks to keep loose. At no point was the rest rushed as it can be when we are over-extended. This session was going fantastically well... but still 4 to go!
Number 7 I exploded down the stretch, getting out quickly and maintaining once settled. 2:46. Followed by a 2:45 for #8. I was feeling even better now! This is fun!! And, the payoff was coming from the previous 5 weeks of hill running. I could feel the power from the core, legs and arms propelling me onward with a momentum I did not have during the summer. These strides were not new exactly... but previously estranged.
Now with 2 to go I restated the mantra... "Relaxed and Quick
with Power to stick!" I moved along trying to hold some in reserve.
I was mostly successful running a 2:44 and leaving me with relaxation, ample breathe and a healthy edge for the celebration of #10 in my Yasso 800 Pretest!!! I ran this one much the same as #9, a bit quick on lap one and then maintaining, not looking at the watch the whole way- just running by feel and with crisp power. With a final 'beep' of the Timex I was done. The rush of adrenaline and satisfaction filled me and I trotted over to my dry pants to stay warm for the jaunt back to the car.
This was certainly a great start to the the speed work phase of training and I have hill work and the aerobic adaptations of long runs to thank. With a goal of 2:50 per 800m I finished the session with an average of 2:47 per repeat, slowest at 2:50 and fastest of 2:40... the last one and I felt I had plenty more to call on.