Thursday, September 23, 2010

Countdown is On. T-10 Days.

Ho-lee crap.  10 days.  Had my second to last weekday morning group run with the guys this morning.  Last track workout until who knows when. 

It was a little weird this morning b/c some people had 5x1600, others had 5x1000, and David and I had 5x800.  At first, I thought Yassos, but then I realized that the schedule today was 5x800 at 5k pace, which for me works out to be about 10 secs/half mile faster than my Yasso pace.

Aside:  Yassos are 800s you run and have your finish time (mm:ss) equal your marathon goal (hh:mm), so 3:40 marathon would be 3 mins 40 secs for an 800 (or 1:50 per lap), and a 4:30 marathon would be 4 mins 30 secs for an 800 (2:15 per lap).  The Yasso theory is that if you can do 10 yassos at the Yasso pace for your goal, it predicts you can hit your goal.  You're supposed to do the 10 fairly close to your race for optimal prediction.  So Yasso pace is not marathon pace.  For a 4:30 marathon, that's an average of 10:17 per mile, but the Yassos to predict that are actually going at 9 min/mile pace, so it is a speed workout.  But it's just another predictor form, and it's been fairly accurate for me in the past.  When I haven't been able to nail all 10 before the race, generally I've also missed my marathon goal -- I was too ambitious, hadn't trained enough, whatever, but if I've hit my 10 fairly comfortably, I've generally been close to goal as well. 

But I nailed them this morning.  First 1 was 1 second slow, second was dead on, third was 4 seconds too fast, fourth was 3 seconds too fast, last one was 1 second too slow.  And I was fine with going about 3-4 seconds plus or minus my goal pace, so to keep them all within a 5 second split made me very happy. 

This morning's workout also started with 2x200 w/ 200 recovery.  It felt crazy to be running that fast.  Kind of fun though!  I feel like I've been very short on speedwork this season.  Anyway, it felt very freeing to be able to run hard, even if it was only for a very short time. 

Based on something I read today, I was thinking -- my legs are as ready as they're going to get, all I can improve at this point is my mind.  I seriously need to work on my mental game.  I need to take my training log home with me at night (I log my miles at work) and study it.  I always take it with me to the race but I need to start looking at it now.  I've done the work, the race (and the finish time) should be my reward.  But it's not going to be easy.  I'll have to work at it.  But I have to believe I can do it.  I will do it.  I'll be Boston-bound if I want (that's another set of issues, did I mention we're planning to go with family to Italy in the spring?).  Maybe I can calendar some thinking time over the weekend.

I keep meaning to spend some time focused mentally before I fall asleep, but every night there seems to be something.  We went to the symphony last night and stayed through the first encore, so by the time we got home, it was late and I was beat, and knew the 4:52 alarm was going to go over way sooner than I wanted.  Tonight we're doing an Italian conversation group, so again, out much later than normal.  But maybe this weekend. 


  1. How about moving your contemplation time to first thing in the morning? It's tough to make time or feel like you have to get up early, but that way it's a priority.

    While you're doing all of the above-mentioned mental stuff, consider adding some visualization to your brain time. It's amazing how much visualizing myself reaching my goals (finishing my 10K, reaching my goal weight) has helped my BRAIN to catch up with my body on this journey. I've read many times how successful this technique is for athletes.

    Good luck & can't wait to follow your progress and success with this marathon!

  2. I like that idea. First thing in the a.m. doesn't work b/c of my workout schedule, but I could do it right after that, which might be a good time anyway since I'm feeling good about having worked out. I get up at 4:52 (every minute of sleep helps) on Tues/Thurs b/c I have to start running at 5:15 and I have to drive there. I get up at 5:00 on M/W/F to work out at 5:30, and that's a longer drive and I have to set up my mat and everything. Then I get up at 4:35 on Sundays for a long run at 5:30 but there's more to do in the a.m. before a long run.

    Bottom line is that I'm out the door of our house before 5:15 every day of the week except Saturday, and the idea of getting up any earlier is almost inconceivable to me (though of course many people do it, including people I meet in the morning to exercise who have longer drives). But right afterward, when I get home, would be perfect. I'm going to start tomorrow!!

    You're 100% right on visualizing. I need to start picturing that marathon finish line and believing I'll not only PR but also qualify. And of course finish strong!