My First Track Workout – AKA Sometimes I Impress Myself

I’ve been doing 400s on the treadmill for quite a while, but yesterday was my first bonafide track workout on an actual oval-shaped asphalt path around a football field.  My training plans have called for 400s to be done alternating one at 5K pace with one recovery interval.  My last 5K in March was a 8:58 pace, so I bumped it down a little bit.  I’ve been doing my treadmill 400s at 8:49, and they felt hard!  The most I’ve ever been able to do was six.  But I’ve ALWAYS thought running on a treadmill at any pace felt much harder than outside.  I’ve just kind of been afraid to try intervals outside because I didn’t think I would be able to pace myself.  But yesterday I put my big girl panties on (Well, technically no I didn’t.  I’ve never made any secret about the fact that I run commando.) and headed to the high school track.  School is out for the summer here now, so I figured any potential embarassment could be kept to a minimum.  I started with the plans of doing at least four 400s, maybe more, depending on how it went.

Here’s how it went down:

1 mile WU @ 10:09

.25 @ 7:43 pace (1:54)  Thought to self, “Whoa there, girl!  You’ll never be able to do that four times.  Slow it down next time.”

.26 RI walk/jog (or “wog” as Kim calls it) @ 11:47 (3:07)

.25 @ 8:17 (2:03)   “Okay, that felt too easy.  Pick it back up some.”

.28 RI wog/water stop @ 12:26 (3:11)   “Dude, it’s hot out here.”

.25 @ 8:05 (2:01)   “Perfect.  Challenging but not stroke-inducing.”

.26 RI walk/water stop/argue with self @ 16:26 (4:36)   “Dude, it’s REALLY hot out here.  Am I getting sun burned?  My face is on FIRE.  This is fun.  Let’s try for six.  Oh, crap, I’m out of water.  Okay, four it is.  But pick it back up for the last one.”

.25 @ 1:57 (7:47)  “Ohhhhh yeah.”
 
What did I learn from this experience?  #1 – I should be running faster than I have been.  #2 – I can do intervals a full minute/mile faster outside than on a treadmill, at the same perceived exertion level, even when it’s 85 degrees outside.  #3 – That new skin gel the dermatologist gave me causes sun sensitivity.  #4 – Running fast is FUN!  😀
 
So I feel like I have a good starting point now.  I don’t really start training for anything again until late August.  I’m just kind of in maintenance mode now, but I plan to use this time to work on my shorter-distance speed.  I’d like to build up to 8-10 400s and then when I start training for my fall half-marathons, maybe change it up to doing 800s.
 
Now on to a totally different subject… we’re looking at extremely bad weather again tonight.  We have had more than our fair share of this already this spring, but the weather gurus are building this up to be the worst yet.  They have even opened up public buildings (schools, churches, etc.) as shelters this time.  I and lots of other businesses got an email from the guy over 911 and public safety for the county stating his concern.  He said in the email that in his career he has never seen the county at a risk this great for severe weather.  We are under a TOR-CON rating of 9, which he also says he has never seen for this area.  The sheriff came across the local radio station this afternoon stating that he had been contacted by the National Weather Service in Memphis informing him that he and his team and the area as a whole should be on full alert.  Considering that this spring’s weather has already been worse than it ever has in my 31 years (we’ve already been hunkered down with all the animals in the interior bathroom twice), it scares the crap out of me thinking that tonight is going to be worse.  A neighbor has told us we can come get in their basement with them if it gets bad, so I have the dogs’ leashes and the cat carrier out and ready to go if we have to grab tail and run.  We’ll take that Tahoe across the yards and be there in 30 seconds flat.  Seeing the devastation in Joplin, MO, coming on the heels of the recent storms of Tuscaloosa, AL, I’ve gained a whole new respect for storms this year.  Prayers go out for all of those people, and I ask for your prayers for my family’s and my community’s safety tonight.

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Three Things Thursday

1.   Reading Tonia’s race recap from a few days ago reminded me of something I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned here.  The day after Christmas last year, I got online and ordered a pair of Yurbuds with a Visa gift card I’d received.  A couple of weeks later, I grabbed my iPod and headed to the gym.  Only when I got to the gym I was short one Yurbud.  I retraced my steps to the truck looking all around the ground.  I turned my truck upside down looking for it.  I KNEW it was on the earphones when I picked the iPod up, so it HAD to be somewhere.  Back at home that night I looked all in the garage where I had walked and even had D check the truck again to make sure I hadn’t overlooked it.  We never found it.  Until a few days later.  When I was scooping up dog poop in the back yard.  Needless to say, I ordered another one.  Someday I’ll have to do a post about all the treasures I’ve found while on poop patrol…

2.   West Tennessee did yet another battle with Mother Nature during the night Monday.  A tornado warning was issued for our county right around midnight.  This really is nothing new for us.  We don’t get freaked out because tornado warnings in TN in the spring are kind of old hat.  Me and D just are not scared of storms.  We’re usually the people standing on the front porch watching the clouds.  Monday night was a different story.  This was the first time in my adult life that I have ever taken cover.  When the wind went from a breeze to 70+ MPH straightline winds within a matter of seconds, things got a little intense.  I’ve always heard that animals can sense severe weather danger, so when my fat, old, lazy cat came hauling ass into the living room and howling, I grabbed her and D grabbed the dogs and into our tiny little half-bath we went.  It’s the only completely interior room in the house, so it is definitely the safest place to be.  But it was more than a little cramped with two adults, two big dogs, and a cat.  We sat in there in the dark (The current was out, so the only light we had was from our cell phones.) and listened to the house snap, crackle, and pop for about 20 minutes.  We emerged to find a house that was (miraculously) still all in one piece.  Lots of other people were not so lucky.  Going a day without electricity is a minor inconvenience in comparison.

3.   D’s grandmother had double heart valve replacement a week ago tomorrow, and she’s not recovering at the rate expected.  They tried several times unsuccessfully to take the breathing tube out, but they were finally able to leave it out yesterday.  They put a feeding tube in because she hasn’t eaten anything since last Thursday, but in her sedated confusion, she pulled it out.  Now, mind you this isn’t some feeble little old lady we’re talking about here.  She might be 82 (which I was SHOCKED to find out when my mother-in-law told me her age), but she’s a firecracker and as mentally compentent as anyone reading this.  She didn’t even want to have the surgery because her recovery was going to interfere with her gardening and yard work this spring!  But they convinced her that without the surgery she wouldn’t be able to exert herself physically enough to have the garden this year anyway.  The surgery itself went fine.  We just weren’t prepared for the postsurgical complications.  And they said yesterday that she is arrhythmic and that they need to put a pacemaker in.  They plan to do that tomorrow or Monday.  So if anyone reading this can spare a few seconds to say a quick little prayer for Granny, it would be much appreciated.

This Could Get Interesting…

Today’s special weather statement for the Nashville area:

“… POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS INCREASINGLY LIKELY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY…

A STRONG UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE OUT OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS ON FRIDAY AND BRING A CHANCE FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO THE MID STATE AS EARLY AS FRIDAY NIGHT. BY EARLY SATURDAY… SOME STORMS COULD BECOME SEVERE… AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE… WITH THE THREAT FOR SEVERE WEATHER CONTINUING THROUGHOUT THE DAY SATURDAY. A FEW STORMS WILL HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO PRODUCE LARGE HAIL… DAMAGING WINDS AND POSSIBLY TORNADOES. THIS IS THE STRONGEST STORM SYSTEM TO AFFECT MIDDLE TENNESSEE SO FAR THIS SPRING… AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS TO BE INCREASINGLY LIKELY… INCLUDING TORNADIC SUPERCELLS.”

OH JOY!!!