How I Built Up Enough Running Confidence to Tackle the Track

This marathon training cycle is the first one where I've actually tackled speed workouts on my own. For Goofy training I did some interval work on the treadmill through the CoreRunning class offered at Steamboat Pilates & Fitness, but this was honestly the first time I had ANY interval work at all. Well, I guess I did some mile repeats last year for the Revel Rockies Marathon, but I never seriously committed myself to them and never had any concept of time for them. I also had never heard of the concept of "easy" run days prior to this training cycle. My, how far I've come! 

For this training cycle, I've either resorted to doing my speed interval workouts in my 'safety net' AKA the treadmill, through a CoreRunning class, or I've taken the last few outside on the road, but never on a track. The track always intimated me (although no one else was there at 6am)-

I have always associated tracks with fast runners and I have never even been close to being fast. I was always that girl in gym class that would get picked last and would struggle through running a mile. 

Even now as an adult, I still thought of myself as a 'kind-of runner' and absolutely never FAST! But you know what I've always thought of recently, I am a 3-time marathoner and have finished a half-marathon under 2 hours. Maybe I'm not 'fast' in some peoples eyes, but my accomplishments are something that I once thought was impossible! 

So, I put on my 'big girl pants' armed with my running accomplishments and decided to tackle my last double-digit Yasso 800 workout not on the treadmill, in class, or on a road, but ON THE TRACK. 

Yasso 800s (which were once a completely foreign workout to me) are an extremely important workout in any training cycle and also helps for you to predict your race-readiness. So, before setting out on my workout this morning I decided to do a bit more research behind Yasso 800s. According to Runners World, the overall times are accurate depictions to what you can expect as a finish time for a marathon (Bart Yasso found that the 800s he did for several years leading up to marathons were a very close prediction to what his race time was). 

My training plan called for 8 x Yasso 800s in 4:00 minutes (with 400 recovery jog in-between), along with a 2 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool-down (800 is two-laps around a standard track; 10 miles total) . While the traditional predictor is for 10 x Yasso 800s, I'm confident that my overall fitness could easily have taken me over the last two 800s (I honestly didn't even feel THAT exhausted after the workout). 

My splits were:

3:57, 4:06, 3:56, 3:54, 3:51, 4:00, 3:53, 3:52 - averaged race time predictor: 3:55:30

SO, was the track as 'scary' as I made it out to be? Absolutely not. Did I have any reason to be 'ashamed' of my pace? Nope. I rocked it and feel awesome. I got in 10 miles total and have never felt stronger. 

It was actually kind of fun. 

Like I've said in past posts, maybe we just need to embrace the scary to build our confidence. Maybe we should start building ourselves up rather than breaking ourselves down. Acknowledge what your body has accomplished and don't let anyone (including yourself) make them smaller than what they are. 

Be proud of how far you've come and go rock that track. xo