OK, I've done a few 300m sessions over the past several weeks, but nothing like this - this was hard, really really hard. After emailing the results to JT her response was, "welcome to 800m training" as if everything I had been doing up until now was just a warm up. If this is indeed the case, I'm going to be in a little bit of trouble.
Yesterday's session was a two set affair, where the 6 x 300m for set-1 was meant to generate a high amount of fatigue for set-2, which was the real meat of the workout. However, instead of running the reps in set-1 at 50 or so, which is what most of my 300s have been to date, I was to be shooting for 48.5 . . . . and this was the easy set.
Complicating matters, I haven't found a way for my Garmin to display tenths and hundredths of a second when using "lap mode" until you go back and check it out AFTER the workout is over. (if there is a way to do this, please let me know) So I would have no way of knowing whether seeing a 48 on the display was a 48.03 or a 48.97, making it impossible for me to make slight adjustments rep to rep to really dial in the pace.
The first rep of set one showed a 47. What did that mean, I didn't know - was that a 47.9 in which case I was just a little bit fast, or was it a 47.1 meaning I was WAY too fast. Had I known, I could have made the proper adjustment. Number-2 came in at 48, great - but now I can't slow up anymore on #3 because the 48 might be a 48.9. So I try to run the same pace again . . . and it displays a 47. Damn, I guess that means the first 47 was a low 47 and the 48 was a low 48 - now I had run half of this set way too fast. (This was confirmed later when I saw that the times for the first 3-reps were: 47.1, 48.1, 47.9)
By being able to "triangulate" the first 3-reps into knowing what the proper pace should be I ran the next two properly in 48.7 and 48.9, but on the 6th one I was flat out gassed and could only manage a 49.2 w/o taking too much out of me for the tough second set.
Set-1 totals (47.1, 48.1, 47.9, 48.7, 48.9, 49.2) for an average of 48.3 - this wound up being only slightly faster than target, but that's only because the last two weren't so good due to running the first three too fast. (average of the first 4 was 47.9) Not really the way I wanted this set to go, and I knew I was certainly heavily fatigued heading into the second set - maybe too fatigued.
I then took my 5-minute break and got ready for set-2 by changing into my brand new spikes - Saucony, Endorphin-MD. (I needed spikes for the season, and I want to start breaking them in little by little)
Set-2 was only going to be 3-reps, but these were to require much more effort as they were meant to simulate running the 2nd lap of a tough 800m race (i.e. going close to all out w/ a lot of lactic acid already in the legs) Target pace was going to be quite variable as the fatigue would continue to build (46-flat to 47.8)
The first one felt absolutely great for the first 200m. The spikes felt nice and light and I cruised through 100m in 13.x, and 200m in 28.x. Fatigue started to set in after that and I slowed up some, but still came across the line in 44.9 (again, all I saw was 44 on the damn watch, I only figured out later what the actual time was)
On the second one, the high level of fatigue started to hit after just 100m. With 80m to go it felt as though someone had poured cement into my thighs. I struggled mightily to finish, but I guess the first 100m was fast enough for me to finish w/ a time of 46.6 - about on target.
At this point I felt worse than I have ever felt during any previous workout, including the toughest hill sessions. I was very light headed, my legs felt wobbly - I caught my spikes on the track a couple of times just heading back to the start line as I was having a tough time just picking up my feet. I had to do another one and I wasn't so sure it was going to be possible.
On #3, I stumbled during the first 10 meters - spike caught the track again. I upped my focus - on picking up my damn feet - and headed down the straightaway. By 70-80m I was already toast. Well, here was my 800m race simulation! I did my best around the curve and checked the watch to see a 200m split of about 31 seconds. Damn this was too slow - I didn't want to run a 48. I gave it everything I had and picked up the pace somehow. The last 80m felt like they were in slow motion, and it seemed like the finish line wasn't getting any closer. Eventually I crossed the line in a time of 47.4 in what was clearly the most difficult rep I had run, maybe ever.
Set-2 (44.9, 46.6, 47.4) for an average of 46.3
I will certainly need a couple of days to recover from this one - but as tough as it was and as bad as I felt, trying to get that one done was actually enjoyable on some demented level. JT told me to back off on Saturday and run an easy threshold workout (5 x 1000m) instead of that tough long interval session - we're going to push that one out to next week.
Also, my first race is now tentatively scheduled for Jan 24th - not much time to prepare now.
Wed, 12/31: 4-miles, including two sets of 300m repeats. Set-1: 6 x 300m - avg: 48.3 Set-2: 3 x 300m - avg: 46.3