A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Like a Cougar


Photo from wsumgdriver

The track where I do my speed workouts is at a university whose mascot is the cougar. They have a statue similar to the one pictured above that keeps watch over the track. Doing my workout last night I felt more like a meek little kitten than I did a mighty cougar.

I got home late due to offering to be interviewed for a story that should run sometime in the next few weeks in a local paper and needing to meet the reporter after work. My lunch (what there was of it) was eaten over 7 hours earlier by the time I got to the track. I almost left the house without my Garmin and I forgot both a bandanna and my iPod. I only remembered at the last minute to turn off the auto-lap function on the Garmin. Overall, it didn't seem like this workout was going to go well.

Then I forgot to hit the lap button after my mile warm-up so my first 400 meter speed blast got lumped into that first mile. Next I got confused about whether to hit the timer stop button or the lap button (you'd think I'd never done this before!) and lumped part of my first 400 meter recovery lap into my second 400 meter speed lap. Ugh. I FINALLY remembered how this was supposed to go on my third (and final) 400 meter speed lap.

Here's what the workout looked like as laid out by Holly and her speedy running club:

3 sets of 400 meters at 8:00 minute per mile pace (meaning each 400 meter lap should take 2 minutes)
3 sets of 300 meters at 7:30 minute per mile pace (each 300 meters should take about 1:25 minutes)
3 sets of 200 meters at 7:00 minute per mile pace (each 200 meters should at least be under 1:00 minute)

And, of course, you jog the same distance you just ran in between each set.

Even though I felt like a dying kitten instead of a roaring cougar (aside: do cougars roar??) throughout the entire workout, I did get some inspiration from a woman at the track who had a fabulous body and excellent running form. Someone yelled across the track that she was training for the Olympics but who knows if that's true. Regardless, when I felt myself lagging I tried to emulate her form. Alas, I had to walk at least 100 meters of each recovery lap lest I actually become a dying kitten.

For the parts where I didn't screw up by forgetting to press the lap button on the Garmin, I have to say I did really well. Hit all my goals and then some. Check it out:


The pink arrows indicate the portions where I was running and trying to get at or under the specified time for the distance.

I think the most amazing thing about this whole workout was that I didn't look at my Garmin once to see what pace I was running. I did the entire thing by feel alone. I may have felt like a dying kitten while I was out there, but at home, looking at these stats, I think I mauled this workout with raging cougar claws.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that this time, they did the recovery parts completely randomly and differently. There was always walking at first and then a little jogging, and we only did 1/2 lap between the 400's, and the other 100 in between the 300's, and 1/2 lap again in between the 200's. Heh. Which made for a shorter overall run for us. Also, I don't turn off my auto-lap feature, because when you're hitting the lap button it "overrides" it, sorta. It doesn't click in, at least not on my model.

You did totally rock it! Your 300's were faster than pace!

kristen said...

Wth? As I was reading your post I though your splits were going to be way different. You rocked it!! Nothing to feel bad about there.

These kinds of running days happen to me sometimes too. When it does, I just try to get through them. It was cool you had some inspiration at the track. I love watching powerfull women runners.

LA said...

what are you being interviewed for? nice photo of cougar.

kilax said...

Holy crap, you did awesome! You must be really in tune with your body to be able to stick to the timing like that. Great job!

I feel inspired when I see other runners like that too :) Maybe she will be there next time!

Bayjb said...

Dude that is awesome! I love this photo, if you put in video of "eye of the tiger" I would have lost it laughing.

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