Last post I was lamenting my lack of speed. I've been in this place before. Last week I promised ex-Ohioan, Neese, that I would get back to the track this week after reading about her track session. I avoid speed work, especially at the track, even though most programs call for it and I realize the benefits of some form of speed or another.
I went back and checked my log and found out that I started track work last year at the end of January with 4 x 400's in 1:44, 1:48, 1:51, and 1:49. I committed to getting back to it. On Joe's advice I checked out the Macmillan Pace Calculator. I punched in my goal time to see my paces for different training runs. Macmillan suggested 1:34.6 to 1:40.0 for 400's. I wasn't sure I could meet that, but it gave me something to shoot for. The other good thing I found was suggested paces for long runs at 8:31 to 9:31. That made me feel better about Sunday's run.
So Tuesday, I got home from work, changed and walked out the front door intent on putting in a mile of speed at the track. After nearly a 2 mile warm up, I got to the track and started off my first 400. 1:42:01. That didn't seem so bad. A recovery lap then off for #2. 1:43:63. OK, I could still do this. Recovery lap, then #3. 1:45:13. Slowing down a bit, but I expected that. One more recovery one then the 4th and last 400. 1:42:70. Then I ran home feeling a whole lot better about my speed.
400's probably aren't a very reliable predictor of marathon speed, but now I know that I can do at least the minimum speed and do it at a pace slightly faster than last year. I will work some tempo pace runs into the mix and go from there.
On the 10:00 news they just said that it snowed today in Malibu. It hasn't snowed there in 24 years. Running in Malibu Creek State Park would have been an experience today.