Saturday, August 16, 2014

No Need for Speed

Until maybe 9 hours ago I was never really interested in getting faster. My "racing" goals have always just been survival. Occasionally I have secret time ideas in my head but I never really name a specific goal for various reasons. Let me just say, survival is always a valid goal. But somehow I tend to find myself repeatedly ever so slightly disappointed in my performances. I always say I never want to race to exhaustion. I don't want to be the person crawling and puking at the finish line. I want my pictures to be triumphant and as Carrie Bradshaw once said, "impossibly fresh looking". That's not entirely true, I actually think I look my best all sweaty and a little roughed up. The triumphant part was true though. 

Anyway, after my longest long run ever last week outside of a race (18 miles! Boom.) I felt awesome. I'd figured out my nutrition and hydration, kept an embarrassingly slow pace so I didn't die in the heat and humidity and finished feeling strong. My walk back to the car wasn't so bad, I could actually get myself in and out of the ice bath without assistance and honestly didn't feel all that tired. The next day I wasn't too sore but was really tired and took a nice nap. I wasn't interested in moving much but I could. 

And you know what? I was a little disappointed.

I'm making serious strides in my recovery and have been taking really great care of myself in terms of nutrition (before, during and after runs), sleep (getting as much as possible) and hydration so it's only normal that I would be feeling better after tough workouts and that's what I want. But sometimes a gal just wants to hurt! Something about that fatigue and soreness following a really hard effort makes it feel validated. Sitting on the couch is earned laziness, the whole pizza and nachos and ice cream are just replenishing your glycogen stores. But when I don't feel like I've worked hard enough it's really hard for me to do recovery right without feeling at least a little bit guilty.

My conclusion is that I've reached the point where I need to start pushing myself just a tad more. I've got distance going well so maybe it's time to add in those fast twitch muscles and get a little pep in my step. I tested my theory by doing some Yasso 800s (If you're a marathoner and not doing these you are doing yourself a disservice...although I can't confirm their effectiveness until after the race.)

For those who don't know, Yasso 800s work on the premise that running 800s in the time (in minutes) that you are hoping to run the marathon in will magically predict how likely you are to reach that goal. For example, if your goal is a 4 hour marathon and you are running Yassos in 4 minutes or less, you're probably on track. My loose marathon goal is 5:30 (impressive right?) which I shot for last year and missed by 11 minutes probably due to that broken leg. The problem is 5:30 Yassos are not only incredibly easy but also incredibly boring. I then decided to push for 5:15 which is still where I am. I ran my Yassos outside this week with the Garmin and paid a little more attention to feel than time and ended up with a range of 4:38 to 4:53. Not entirely sure what this means yet other than I have a pretty damn good shot at 5:30 this year.

To avoid droning on too long, I'll just say that I'm sticking with the Yassos and maybe after October I will do some real live actual painful unpleasant vomit enducing speed work sessions. 

Boston here I come!


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