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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working the Oval

Track workouts! Woooooo!

Today was a first for yours truly as I took to the oval for a 4 x 800 workout. The temperature was cool in the early to late morning and I thought to capitalize on this. However, I was late getting out and the temp increased. It was still a great day to be a runner!

I went to Georgian Court University. and jogged over to Lake Carasaljo where chipmunks were all the rage. One barely budged as I trotted by. Same for a Canada Goose. I ran across two bridges, then immediately back as I simply wanted a warmup. (The trail around the lake is in the ballpark of four miles.)

I felt somewhat weak during my warmup and popped a GU for help. I took too long preparing my food for the day and hadn’t eaten since breakfast nearly four hours earlier. I ducked into the cafeteria and topped off my new water bottle – nestled perfectly inside the Ultimate Direction strap – with a healthy amount of ice chips.

I set my few items behind a garbage can which offered the only shade in the track area. I methodically wrapped a stopwatch around my right hand so that I could still relax my hands while pumping my arms. I toed the line, took a deep breath and began my workout.

The first 800 felt pretty good. I was probably at the 100 meter mark when I started breathing heavily. I made a note to focus on my breathing immediately after takeoff. I wasn’t sprinting, but I was running as hard as I could for having to take two trips around the oval. I completed the first lap at 1:24-and-change (hadn’t played with the splits feature on the stopwatch yet, only glanced at it) and a 2:49:10 final time for the 800. According to a race estimator, that time would probably calculate to a 20:01 5k time. What a tease!

After my second try at the 800 (2:49:15 – consistant), my only goal became to actually complete four 800’s as I had never even done one before. The third attempt came back positive, too – 2:50:75. My final go at the 800 was pretty bad and I was feeling tired and unable to push myself any faster. (Or at least as fast as I had been running.) I completed the fourth 800 in 3:01:86. Not bad, but certainly something I’ll be aiming to improve next time.

That wasn’t all either. I went to the gym afterwards, worked on the upper body – especially my pectoral muscles which haven’t been the same since a tear back in January – and walked for 25 minutes on some serious incline. What a calorie burner that can be!

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