MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 9, 2010

UUUGGGHHHH & more hardcore intervals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:46

That just about sums up my night.  I was feeling all great post-workout yesterday and my physics lab just tanked it.  I was in the lab from 2100-0100.  Yes 4 hours. I was cranky and tired and frustrated.  Basically the night didn’t end so well.  I was also sooo keyed up from the failure that was the lab experience that I couldn’t sleep at all.  I was wayyy too overtired. Pretty much a mini-meltdown ensued as this was the straw that broke my back.  I guess the plus of not wanting to sleep was that I got to catch up on my pleasure book?

Anyway I just got out of a meeting with my advisor who helped me a bit with the lab and I just came from finishing up the experiment with my partner and we got it to work.  It was a stupid trick that we didn’t know about.  Last night we were doing everything right but we needed the laser about 3 meters farther back.  But whatever, I feel silly for getting all worked up.  But everything’s okay and now it’s just re-writing the lab report. That and about the 30,000 other things I need to do.

BUT enough complaining.  There’s absolutely nothing I can do to change my stress and get rid of the stuff on my plate.  I can, however, change the way I respond to it so that’s what I’m trying to do.  I’m attempting to let the little things (like catching up on 24 from last night or watching LOST live tonight) go and concentrate on the big things (Spanish paper and physics lab).  Prioritize because as much as it pains me to say this school > LOST.  I know: admitting that hurts me too.

Obviously I need a good hard sweat session today because I was a bit keyed up when I got up this morning.  Lucky for me it’s Tuesday which means: intervals! And I threw in hills too because I skipped them last week. Here’s the deal-io:

  • 2 mile  warm up
  • 2 X  [4 X 800m (.5 mile) ] @ 10k pace (7:08) with 90 seconds recovery between intervals and 5 minutes between sets
  • 1 mile warm down
  • 5 minute bathroom break
  • 1/2 mile re-warm up
  • 2 X .5 mile hill @ 5% with .25mi recovery (.5%)
  • 4 X 90 seconds (7-8-8-7%) with 60 seconds recovery (.5%)
  • 2 miles GMP (8:00)
  • 1 mile warm down

GREAT WORKOUT.  I kind of need to pat myself on the back here for a moment (because after the hell of last night I need a victory haha). It felt hard but not exhaustive.  Painful but not extreme. Yay.

It’s gotten to the point in the training plan where intervals days are starting to repeat so I’d already done the core of this workout (the 800s) in the first week of training and I think I’ve had to have improved since then because of the previous reasons.

I actually slowed down the interval part by 5 seconds (from 7:03 in week 16 to 7:08 today. Still faster than my 10k PR pace though which was the prescribed pace) which may have helped make it seem easier but I definitely felt like I had more in me, not another set or anything but maybe 1-2 more. That kind of reminds me of Yassos, except without the 5 minutes between sets. Given my pace that I did today, as well as the pace I did 6 weeks ago, the correlation to a marathon pace would be around 3:31-3:34.I’m not too sure how I feel about Yassos as predictors but since I’m shooting for a <3:30 (I’m serious though: a 3:29:59 is the goal) I’m somewhat near that if you believe in that stuff.  Not too sure if I do or not.

In any case I finished the interval portion feeling not drained.  Sure the workout was tough but I wasn’t feeling worn or anything.  Not just in the physical sense but in the mental sense too. Which is good because I still had my hill portion to do.  Hills, like I always have said, are SO MENTAL for me.  I absolutely dread them. I don’t think I will ever fully embrace them in the sense of enjoyment.  Yes I know they’re good and have accepted that but love? Whole new ball game.

I hadn’t done long hills in 3 weeks so I knew I wanted to incorporate them.  At the same time I knew doing 4-6 of them would be pure torture from a mental standpoint.  So I ended up with 2 of long, not steep hills and 4 short & steep ones.  I think this worked out to my mental benefit because 2 is a great number.  After the first one I was already half way there! And the shorter ones are never really bad because you’re only doing it for 90 seconds. Definitely seems like a blink of an eye.  So I found myself enjoying hills more than normal (still not saying much though) because I was constantly switching it up and I couldn’t get into a negative rhythm.

Throwing in GMP (8:00) was not in the original plan.  I’m not sure how I feel about them.  They aren’t fast enough to work on my body the way speed work does but they’re not slow enough to be easy.  I guess it’s more for my mind to wrap my head around the fact that this is the pace I want to average for Boston. Which, after such a hard/intense workout, felt easy-peasy.

I left the gym feeling rejuvenated and all my anxiety from last night was melted away.  Funny how I said that yesterday and the rest of the day went to hell.  Hopefully today is NOT a repeat of yesterday haha.

And yes these miles were all on the treadmill.  I don’t think I’d be able to run lots of run on the thing but, like I’ve always maintained, the treadmill is great for speed work where exact pace is critical (and without a team to compare myself to I doubt I’d be able to maintain exact paces on my own). Plus I got to watch a really cool program on the History channel on our galaxy and universe in the context of gravity which was cool and very informative (yup the physics nerd in me was nurtured there) and then when that was over I caught some of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Guilty pleasure for sure.  🙂

Before I go slave away at my work, check off some of the top priorities of my work and feel accomplished by doing so, I want to say thanks for all the amazing comments you guys give me!  I feel like y’all are looking out for me and I love it.  Not many people in my “real life” know what it’s like to train or run or anything like you guys do so it’s always awesome to read your perspectives and advice.  Okay end Hallmark moment heh.

But to give back to you, I want you to check out this picture that was awaiting me this morning on my computer. I can’t get it to be put in-text so you guys will just have to click here.  Trust me, it’s worth it.



  1. that is one serious speed session 🙂 nice job girl!!! i cant wait to see what you run in boston 🙂

    Comment by aron — February 9, 2010 @ 17:08

  2. OMG GOOD JOB! You’re crazzzy, as usual, and I’m totally jealz of your speedy runnin 🙂 And YAY for Lost!

    Comment by kathleennnn — February 9, 2010 @ 17:09

  3. Love your workout today! Great job on those hills, I definitely need to start doing them more often though. Check out my latest post for the exact grade & distance for each hill in Boston, it really helped me last year. And I was cracking up that your goal for Boston is 3:29:59 because that is literally my exact goal, I just want to get UNDER 3:30.

    Comment by Jenny — February 9, 2010 @ 17:20

  4. LOL at the chick getting clocked by the geese!!! Ha! Sweet speed work w/ the hills adding spice. Just keep breathing and chopping down the trees one at a time. The chaos will subside soon.

    Comment by A Marathoner — February 9, 2010 @ 17:30

  5. Wow awesome workout! I obviously have no idea if Yassos work or not, but from the amount they’re talked about and how often I hear they work, I’d say your on a pretty good track for your sub 3:30 goal!! 🙂

    Comment by Heather — February 9, 2010 @ 17:42

  6. Nice! I wouldn’t worry about it being a little faster than your 10K pr pace, since you haven’t really raced since that huge mileage bump, you could very well be in better shape than that. Go by what’s comfortable.

    The thing about Yasso 800s is that they’re testing your ability to do 800 repeats, which only partly correlates to the demands of a marathon. If you do frequent track workouts, you’ll probably be able to do 800 repeats faster than your marathon time (I could go to the track today and do 10 x 800 @ 3:20, but considering that my longest run this year has been 14 miles, it’s not like I’d be able to bust out a 3:20 marathon next weekend). Conversely, if you’re not used to running 800s at 5K-10K pace BUT you log big mileage (and you do!) with lots of MP efforts you might struggle with the Yassos and end up with a great marathon time. I’d take a tune-up half marathon or a long MP workout as a better predictor any day.

    P.S. Roughly how fast/slow do you have the treadmill going for hills relative to your normal easy run pace? I have been going up to 4% for 0.25-0.5 mile just fine, but I remain unconvinced that I’m not going to fly off the back at 7-8%.

    Comment by kristinschleicher — February 9, 2010 @ 18:39

    • Great information from you again 🙂 I just want to tap into all your knowledge! I have the TM set for 8:34 (7mph) for my hills. I’d like to get that closer to GMP but I definitely felt at risk for a flight or two at this pace!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 10, 2010 @ 21:13

  7. so i came across your blog from lacey’s, and i thought i would say hi! i’m also training for boston and we seem to have similar goals/paces. nice workout!! lots of pace/grade changing on the treadmill always seems to help keep me from dying of boredom. don’t you love when a great workout totally makes you forget about life stress for awhile?

    that running fail picture is GREAT! lmao i can’t even imagine what would go through my head if that happened to me

    Comment by HurdlingHam — February 9, 2010 @ 18:48

  8. boo to mental meltdowns and physics in general (((hugs))) Remember, you are an awesome runner…and thanks to DVR, Hulu and Netflix, you never really ‘miss’ tv anymore 🙂

    Comment by runningfiance — February 9, 2010 @ 18:50

  9. SWEET workout! You are going to be so ready for Boston- I’m so pumped for you! Thanks for your comment(s) on my blog too, we totally need to meet up because I feel like I ‘know’ you through your blog. Wish you were in Michigan so we could train! I’m not so sure about your logic though- I have a feeling with workouts like that it will be YOU waiting for me in Boston, when I’m still back in Newton Hills! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — February 9, 2010 @ 19:09

  10. Down with Physics….up with running 🙂 You rock girl – and don’t fret school…this too shall pass…one day…love “living” with your through your Boston experience. And LOVE that you still get “pleasure” reading in!! So important – whatcha reading anyways?

    Comment by eatmovelove — February 9, 2010 @ 20:53

    • I’m *attempting* to read Les Miz. I absolutely love it but I just can’t seem to string together enough time to sit down and enjoy it (because the moment I’m referring to in the post is 3am because I was still so worked up over physics). Boo haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 10, 2010 @ 21:15

  11. ugh I hear you on the stress! I don’t know why I am reading blogs right now, but your attitude about not being able to change the stress has helped so I’m going to try that. Embrace the stress. Here I go.
    Good luck with physics and everything!

    Comment by BostonRunner — February 9, 2010 @ 21:11

  12. Great workout! I am skeptical of the Yasso 800s comparing to actual marathon pace. I asked my track coach about it last year and he said it depends on the person because sprinters usually can run really fast 800s but they can’t sustain that pace. So it really depends on what your training for and your personal running ability i think. Just from reading your posts you seem like a very talented runner so I am sure that your determination and great training ethic will help you to capture your goal for the marathon!

    And I understand your stress. I played college basketball and ran track and studied to be an electrical engineer. Its tough but worth it in the end!

    Comment by J — February 9, 2010 @ 21:37

  13. I will probably only ever study Yassos. I love the concept. Seems to work — I believe in you!

    I also strongly believe in FAILblog, but not to be read during class. It cracked me up once during contracts, which was just bad.

    Comment by EE — February 9, 2010 @ 21:51

  14. Great interval workout! Only thing I would recommend is not throwing too many elements into a workout at the same time. Try to focus either on intervals, or hill work or GMP miles. Part of the training is to be focused so you can do more and more sets of the same thing and facilitate muscle memory, which helps specific muscles to be built on the next recovery phase. Just my 2 cents from a medical & physiologic standpoint.

    Comment by The Laminator — February 10, 2010 @ 00:04

    • I completely agree. In hindsight of course. In the moment I wanted to create the most bamf workout I could haha. Just another way my inexperience is showing! I just want to cram everything in every week that I forget the whole physiological stuff. But definitely thanks for the reminder 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 10, 2010 @ 21:17

  15. Wow! What a workout!! That would have completely kicked my ass I’m sure! We get hail quite a lot over here in winter, typically it’s lovely sunshine today when I don’t have a run planned haha!

    Comment by Laura — February 10, 2010 @ 05:55

  16. well i’m excited for school again but you’ve just reminded me how time consuming it can be… acckkk. i only ever had 1 lab class in college thank goodness. i never saw my bio friends…

    WAY TO GO- you seriously “Show Up” for your speed work. that’s the best way i can describe how dedicated you are!!!!! you really give it your all and this is why you are going to succeed (“Damn!!!!”) in your goals.

    thanks for the link to that incredibly AWESOME and WHOA-moment photo. lol.

    Comment by Lacey — February 10, 2010 @ 11:59

  17. That picture made me SNORT. Hello! It’s all about perspective. Isn’t it peculiar how no matter how hard we train, our efforts to fit our bodies into our pre planned routines and routes that we still can’t control SHIT in our faces. Sometimes, I think…all these plans are fruitless and we should go out and enjoy the road!

    Comment by specialkphd — February 10, 2010 @ 12:34

  18. I’m not sure about Yasso as a predictor either. I find my actual marathon pace is a lot better than the Yasso predictor, but I use it for intervals anyway because it’s easy.

    Comment by runjess — February 10, 2010 @ 13:52

  19. wow…kudos to that! haha…. way to rock it!! you are right…havent talked much about running— we have been getting hit hard with snow- so i have been keeping things indoors… trying out lots of interval training on the treadmill as well as some steady state. I have been teaching spinning too and doing yoga..and some group exercise classes at the gym… really just trying to change things up- dont wanna get burnt out of anything, you know? didnt end up getting into boston through the charities (apparently they dont want me haha) but its okay…it will give me a chance to relax a little this semester (last semester was a semester from hell for me) and a chance to see what boston is all about (my sister is running in it so ill go up to watch). then ill train for philly marathon startin gin august and then boston next year. I am running in a 10k next weekend (weather permitting) but dont plan on PRing at all (not in the running shape I was in this summer! haha) and planning on running the philadelphia broad street 10 miler this may. whats the next race coming up for you??

    Comment by Christina — February 10, 2010 @ 14:11

    • Bummer about Boston not working out. That’s the next big race for me although I do have a few training-races that could happen. And if you do go watch your sister we should all totally meet up!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 10, 2010 @ 21:19

  20. Don’t say that school is more important than Lost! You know that’s not true!

    Comment by David Dierking — February 10, 2010 @ 15:19

    • I know! I caved and stopped doing work because I needed my fix 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 10, 2010 @ 21:19

  21. I hate geese. They are totally evil. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been struggling with a really messy data set, and I cried- literally cried- this morning when no one knew if the blood measure at one of our exams was HBA our HBA1c. Seems silly now, but soooo frustrating.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — February 10, 2010 @ 15:32

  22. […] lucky enough to get a good recovery run in.  Good in the sense that it was a true recovery run.  Yesterday’s intensity really wiped out my legs and it felt good to not be able to move any faster.  Ego bruising? Yes.  […]

    Pingback by Snow? Really? Where? « MarathonMaiden's Blog — February 10, 2010 @ 15:45

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