Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gotta Start Somewhere

So I had this grand plan last week of creating my own training schedule for the Houston Marathon in January.

I decided I'd count my RNRSA marathon as a long training run (that was a given from the outset, even if the weather had been perfect), and I mapped out my long runs for the 8 weeks in between.  And I set about mapping out a weekday running plan as well.

I managed to do my "first" long run on the schedule on this past Sunday -- 14 miles. 

But yesterday I attempted to do my first weekday workout and had pretty much a collossal failure.

I thought it would be fun to incorporate Yasso 800s into my training plan, building up the number each week.  For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of doing them, it's repeats of half a mile each at a pace faster than marathon pace -- your goal time for each half mile is your full marathon goal time (hours:minutes) in minutes:seconds.  So for a 3:30 marathon, you would do your 800 meters in 3 minutes, 30 seconds (a 7 minute mile pace, even though a 3:30 marathon is an 8 minute mile pace).  And for a 4 hour marathon, your 800 would be in 4 minutes (which is an 8 minute mile pace, but a 4 hour marathon is a 9:09 minute mile pace).  And for a 4:30 marathon, 800 meters in 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  You get the idea.  The Yasso theory is that if you do all your regular marathon training and you can do 10 Yasso 800s at the proper pace, you should be able to get your goal marathon time.

I hate 800s so much.  When I do the summer track series, 800 meters is always my weakest event.  I don't know why, it's just not my distance.  So why on earth did I use it as the foundation of my build-your-own marathon training plan?  Hmm, not the brightest bulb...

Anyway, because these 2 months essentially off have made me very lazy and very fat (nearly 10 pounds I think!!!!), I decided to blow off the schedule already yesterday morning, my very first planned weekday.

I intended to run 1.5 miles slowly to the track, run 6 sets of Yassos, and then run 1.5 miles slowly home.  Then have breakfast and run my slow commute to work (3.75 miles).  That would have been a grand total of about 11.5 miles, counting some recovery distance after each Yasso.

Instead, I decided to sleep in a little and just leave the house early, and since I go right past the track, just stop and do my Yassos there. 

But of course I slept too late, left the house too late, and got to the track too late.  I had already decided I'd only do 4 Yassos, but by the time I was at the track, I was thinking I'd only have time for 2. 
I did the first one and was 4 seconds fast.  But I didn't think I could even do a second one.  I decided I needed to get in at least the first lap of the second repeat, and I managed to do it slightly faster than planned, so I talked myself into continuing and finished the second repeat.  5 seconds fast.

But unfortunately, even if I'd been at the track an hour earlier as planned, there was just no way I could have done a third one.  Ideally, I should have tried.  At least started it and failed, rather than not even starting it.  But since I was running so late and since I was so worn out from just two Yassos, I left the track and just finished up my commute. 

That put my daily mileage total at a whopping 5 miles, instead of the intended 11.5.

This reminds me why I prefer training with a group.  I've mentioned before how much I love my running buddies for the social aspect, but it also keeps me accountable, gets me to push myself, and overall just works for me.  When I'm alone, I tend to be very slow and lazy when I run.  I'm not a big self-motivator I guess.  But if I'm talking to someone who's chugging along, I do my best to stay right there and keep up. 

So maybe next week I'll make plans to run with people and hopefully get myself back on track.  Because barely completing 2 Yassos 8 weeks before a race does not bode well for a PR...


  1. Ugh, I hear you!! I've been SOO lazy since the Chicago Marathon and I keep telling myself, just get past the Dallas Marathon and then kick it into gear for Houston… but the days are so short and a warm bed is more enticing than putting on running clothes and heading out. Part of me is excited to not be on the DRC training plan for the weeks leading up to Houston (so I can knock out a long run on a Friday night if I want to or do a Tuesday run at 6:00 AM instead of 7:00 PM), but I know not having a team of people holding me accountable is going to be SO difficult. There are a handful of us DRC folks doing Houston (or Cowtown) so I should have a few companions, but everyone lives all over the place, so we'll probably only be doing the long runs together… I could use the motivation and accountability for the rest of the week too!!

    Good luck! Hopefully you'll get in the groove, especially through the holidays!

  2. Hello Carina!
    How are you travelling? Can you believe we're on the cusp of December?
    I thought you might like to know that I am hosting Reverb again this year. It'd be a privilege to have you join us.
    Everything you need to know can be found at:
    We kick off on Sunday and it is going to be AMAZING. Hope to see you there!
    Kat xxx