My First Track Workout: That Time I Ran Really Fast

I’ve heard from numerous people that I should run with a training group.  I always resisted, I didn’t think I was fast enough to run with a group.  I didn’t want to hold the group back or be the slowest person.

Thankfully, Suze snapped me out of this mindset when she signed up to train with the Pacers Distance Training group to prepare for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  They were doing their workouts by the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington until the school year finished up and they could head back to the track.

Wednesday night, I finally got to try my first track out and all I have to say was “That was so fun!!” I was like a person possessed out there.  I actually ran really fast – not just fast for me but normal person fast.

Our workout for the day was 800 repeats. Depending on what you were training for you could do between 3 and 5 with 400 walks/jogs between.  After a warm up lap, we were supposed to do our first 800 at a pace we could improve upon with each repeat – in other words, we were not supposed to go out super fast and then fizzle out.  The goal was a nice negative split at the end.

Much like Monday’s (baller) hill workout, I got excited in the group setting and did my warm up lap in 2:02 (an 8:29 pace).  Whoops.  I was going to have to really slow it down on the first 800 so I could last though the whole workout.

I ran the first 800 without looking at my Garmin until the end.  I wanted to run comfortably and not get obsessed with the times – especially since I never ran on a track before.  I finished up and realized I ran it in 4:50 (an 8:51 pace  – I was running to the middle/outside of the track so each lap was coming in at about .55).  I told the coach I knew I was going out too fast and I’d try to reign it in on the second lap.

Then the second 800 wrapped up in 4:44 (8:41 pace). Hm… I felt fine. Maybe I should just keep trying to run a little faster each time.  My last two 800’s were 4:21 (7:56 pace) and 4:16 (7:50 pace).   I think the expression to best sum this up is WTF.   Who was this person running in my body.  I felt GREAT out there.  Totally winded and tired on the last 800 but still good enough to knock 5 seconds of the previous repeat.

My Garmin data from Wednesday. I think It's kind of hilarious.

Edit: There was some more posting going on here about how the last two really exciting and really good, quality, healthy workout would impact that training plan that I was planning to follow but WordPress ate it.  For once, I actually have work to do so I’ll make that a separate post next week.

Have you ever accomplished something during a workout that surprised you? 

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “My First Track Workout: That Time I Ran Really Fast

  1. you are AWESOME! Congrats!!! 🙂

  2. Woohoo! Sounds like you had an awesome speed training session this week! I can’t fathom the strength it would take to do 800m sprints. I hope you realize, you’re a total bad ass.

    So what workout are you going to conquer next?

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

      Thanks Michelle! It was so weird, I had no idea that I had that in me. It’s really nice to have a coach there to push because I don’t think I’d have ever in a million years dreamed of TRYING to run as fast as I did on the first lap – let alone beat it a bunch of times.
      I have no idea what’s next – thankfully we only get our workout schedules for the week a little bit in advance so I have less time to worry about it haha. My “long” run for Sunday is only 5 miles again. What about you?

  3. Training with a group and with interval/tempo workouts is going to make you improve SO fast.

    • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

      Thanks Beth. I’m in running heaven right now. I think I was the most enthusiastic participant in a track workout in recorded history. I scared the coach haha.

  4. track workouts make a HUGE difference. I don’t do them 1/100th as much as I should…

  5. Hi, Carly! So excited to meet another DC-area runner! That’s so great that you joined a running group. I was just getting ready to go to some track workouts with an Alexandria club when I sprained my foot (sad face). I was hesitant too but I do really like running with people. And I LOOOOVE track workouts. I used to hate them in HS because it was always our coach just yelling at us and us running until we felt like throwing up. But now I love them because I can push myself hard, but not quite to the point of puking, and really feel accomplished afterward and like I really put in a good workout. I did some speed work (a lot of 800 repeats) for a 10 miler this winter and I loved it, and I really felt like it helped improve my running times!

    Thanks for stopping my blog and entering my giveaway. Good luck!

  6. Pingback: Rock & Roll VA Beach Training: Week 2 Recap | CarlyBananas

  7. I’m always surprised when I manage to go a little farther or a little faster than I have in the past… it’s a great feeling. Great workout girl!!! 🙂

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