Daily Run: New Beginnings

January 6, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 14 Comments

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: 40* with a steady rain. The opposite of warm and cozy.

Interval Workout: Warm up, 2 x (3 x 800m) with 90 seconds rest between intervals and 5 minutes rest between sets, Cooldown

Total Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes

Total Distance: 8.68 miles

Notes: Before I talk about my first speed workout in…forever…let’s flash back to Saturday for a second. Ah, Saturday, so full of lovely sunshine and unseasonably warm weather! You held promises of post-run pancakes and a nap and a lovely day of relaxation. Running in the daylight without a care in the world, except for worrying that I may not be tanning evenly!

Screw you, Tuesday! With your darkness and cold and rain and work requirements! With your distance from the weekend! Don’t even try to redeem yourself by bringing out the sunshine this afternoon–you’re only annoying me with your bad timing!

I almost made today an elliptical day, but my new training plan mandates that Tuesdays are for intervals. And yes, training plans can be rearranged–I plan to rearrange so that my long run falls on Saturdays–but moving my intervals to Wednesday would mess up the tempo run on Thursday.

So I sucked it up and ran in cold rain. I got soaked, but it wasn’t that bad. But I mean the weather wasn’t that bad; the intervals felt awful. I’m praying for fast improvement to my lung capacity. To determine interval times for my training plan, I input my half marathon PR into the McMillan Running Calculator, which gives me a freakishly fast marathon time and a very ambitious 10K pace. And it’s that 10K pace that I used for my interval workout, or 3 minutes 7 seconds for each 800 meter.

Unfortunately I only hit that pace once. I’m not sure if it was the weather or because my body isn’t used to running that fast right now, but this was a toughie:

Warm up: 2 miles

1st interval: 3:13

2nd interval: 3:01

3rd interval: 3:10

4th interval: 3:09

5th interval: 3:10

6th interval: 3:13

Cooldown: 2.38 miles

Actually, when I type it out it doesn’t seem as bad! The first interval was slow because I wasn’t sure how fast I should be going and was conserving energy. The middle intervals were actually pretty darn close to pace, and I actually achieved my goal in the last interval because I changed it from 3:07 to Finish Upright. So all in all, not too shabby! Also, I did this on a straight road and had to keep checking the distance on my Garmin, which may have slowed me down a bit. Probably easier on a track, but more annoying.

If you clicked on the training plan link, you probably saw that it is from the Boston Athletic Association. But no, I’m not going to Boston this year. I added up the costs and it would be at least $700, which is just too much to spend on a marathon right now when I’m hoping to go to Europe this summer. So, I’m 85% committed (have yet to register) to The Big D Texas Marathon on April 5th instead because it’s the only marathon within driving distance around that time of year. My plan is to get one or two more marathons under my belt and go to Boston in 2010. I think this will allow me to run a better race and have greater appreciation for the greatness that is the Boston Marathon.

Big D is only 13 weeks away, so I’ve taken out a few weeks from the training plan. I’m also modifying it to account for a half marathon that I may do on February 15th. I chose this training plan because the speed work doesn’t look too intimidating and because the weekly mileage allows flexibility. For example, the highest mileage weeks are 50-65 miles. A 15 mile difference is pretty big, so I can do whatever my body feels is necessary. Like I said above, I’ll also rearrange so that my long run falls on Saturday.

Has anyone out there done the Big D Marathon?



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  1. A whole new seejessrun: not only is she doing the dreaded speedwork, she is evidently doing intervals AND a tempo run in the same week. I am awed. And somewhat disappointed. I always thought that, should one day I give up and forgo all speedwork, I could at the very least blame– er, point to you– as my Very Good Example that you don’t need speedwork to be a superior runner.

    Now I will just point to you as the reason I need to continue eating feta cheese, and lots of it. 😉

  2. AWESOME! what a great workout AND an incredible training plan, whew. set you up for great success for sure! i would love to use something like this after i’ve got a marathon under my belt and feel like i’m more of a consistent runner. i can’t get that calculator link to work… and also that’s really tough doing intervals on the road… hopefully after a couple you knew the markers?

  3. Lacey and others looking for McMillan Calculator: The link in my post goes to my data. Here’s the link to the calculator itself: http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm

  4. guess who’s doing big d in april? ME!

    what is your goal time for the race? i think i am going to shoot for a 3:10-3:20 since it’s my first one. i’m pretty excited!

    i heard big d was kind of a crappy marathon, and the only reason i am doing it is because it’s near my house, so the only traveling involved in me flying home. i’ll have my own bed to sleep in, a home cooked meal, and my parents at the finish line. i understand what you mean about the money for boston and marathon travel. it’s expensive!

    oh, awesome workout today. you need to teach me some of that speed!

  5. ohhhh this is going to be fun!! speedwork and a training program 🙂 yay!! way to rock those intervals! i use the mcmillan calculator for my paces too. dont know anything about that marathon but i cant wait to see what you do there! do you have a goal in mind yet or are you going to wait to see as it gets closer?

    boston 2010 will be a good year… i hope i hope i can be there too!

  6. i agree- screw you Tuesday. the weather is so dreary in seattle- no wonder our suicide rate skyrockets in winter

    Kelly Turner

  7. Great job on the intervals! I never do any tempo runs, intervals, etc…I just run. However, I also am not too ambitious with my running times, I just enjoy the running, so I guess that’s okay 🙂

  8. whoa, thats some terrific speed there. whats your 5k pr? Im thinking about Big D marathon, but dont wanna wait so long to get that bad White Rock marathon taste out of my system, so i may do cowtown.

  9. i was totally happy with my 3x/wk training schedule (long run, tempo OR intervals, and easy run… due to my knee/feet issues). but then i come hear and i’m jealous 🙂 i’ll just have to use you for inspiration!

  10. Awesome. I find your training posts insanely motivating… as opposed to my husband sitting next to me on the couch saying “Run? Don’t bother. It’s cold outside.” Oh, and your previous post’s soup looks very comforting… because it really is very cold outside.

  11. great workout 🙂
    i’ll…get around to doing some speed work on the track (need some leg speed for the next season). your 800’s look strong!

    and no i have not done the big d marathon-or any marathon for that matter. heh.

  12. wow…thanks so much for the mcmillan link… so much great stuff on there… and that pace calculator is super helpful for interval pacing.

    boston ’09 will be my 5th marathon, but i never thought much about different types of long runs (fast finish vs. slow/steady) as he describes here. sounds intense, but his plan definitely makes a lot of sense. I had always just gone with the 30-50 seconds slower than marathon pace for the whole thing.

    so much info on his site… i’ll be dorking out over this for hours… thanks, jess!!

  13. solid first speed workout! (especially in the cold, dark, rainy morning blah-ness.) you may not have hit your target pace right on, but you are right there at it, *and* it was your first official speed day. (and the whole road vs track thing too of course). basically, you kicked ass. 3:07 is not going to survive. 🙂

    i feel you about boston. i’m holding off til ’10 too.

  14. […] Chinese food make good fuel? I certainly performed better during this week’s intervals than last week’s 800 meter repeats. However, there was an emergency bathroom trip. I’m undecided, but I do know that 10.77 miles […]

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