Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rice Track - 1 - Back on Speed Work Again

Warm Up
10x300 with 45 seconds rest, 5 minutes rest, 1x800, Max HR = 173 (91% max)Warm Down

Shon has been talking to me about running with his group at the Rice University track for quite some time. I finally went with him today to do my first training on a real track and I really enjoyed it.

The coach's name is Jon Warren, the coach for the Rice track and cross country team. He personalizes training plans for his athletes, which includes regular joes like me, all-stars like Brett Riley, and of course Division I athletes at a competitive university. I see this as the fourth major step in my training:
1) Joining PIM from a sedentary lifestyle
2) Joining Kenyan Way summer session for "easy" maintenance workouts (low mileage)
3) Joining Kenyan Way marathon program with "hard" workouts and long mileage
4) Joining Jon Warren's group

I ran today's workout cautiously, as I did the first workouts of each of my prior major steps. Let's be honest -- by "cautiously" I mean scared. I was afraid to blow out my splits and collapse. But when I finished, it was a tremendous confidence boost knowing I could hang with the crew. But, even at that, I know my place. I'll never be as good as the top tier of runners, who made me feel as though I was standing still as they blew past me. It was genuinely an honor to be on the same track with them. I recognized many faces as those who are finishing in the top 10% of the local races.

Some notes:
The wind was crazy today. The Garmin booked it at an average of 20.7MPH at the airport. I don't think it was that strong at Rice, but you could certainly feel the effect when rounding the track and getting punched in the mouth by the headwind.
For the most part my 300s were run increasingly faster.
I forgot to hit stop on one 300, hence the "user error" referenced below.
My 800 time was a bit disappointing because I was hoping to hit 2:40-2:45 since that was what Shon's target and I was shadowing him. But a quick review of my prior 800s tells me that it's around 5-10 seconds faster than I've ever run an 800 before. Hmmm . . . I guess I don't need to be too disappointed after all.

? - user error
(average = 0:59.70)

2:47.55 = 1:21.57 + 1:25.98

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