Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Return of the Yassos

One month before the Berlin Marathon I did a full set of Yasso 800s. For Eugene, my plan was to do the Yassos on at least two occasions. Today, with just over nine weeks until the race, it was time to get one in the books.

There was some chintzy Portland-style rain most of the morning and into the early afternoon, while I worked. Around 3:30 I was ready to head out. It was raining, but I noticed on the radar that we were just a half-hour or so from lightening skies. So I waited a bit and then jogged the two miles over to the Grant Park track. I was surprised to find a gaggle of high schoolers doing repeats, and decided to jog around the outside lanes while they finished up. That gave me two more miles, adding up to an extravagant four-mile warm-up.

By then, there was a bit of sun, low on the horizon, sneaking around the clouds and through the trees onto the track. The air was perfect, a cool 50 and calm, just a soft breath of a breeze from the south.

So here's the data, comparing my pre-Berlin workout with today's:

Aug 09 / Feb 10
3:00 / 2:58 -2
2:50 / 2:59 +9
2:56 / 2:53 -3
2:57 / 2:53 -4
2:56 / 2:52 -4
2:57 / 2:54 -3
2:55 / 2:52 -3
2:55 / 2:54 -1
2:56 / 2:54 -2
2:57 / 2:53 -4

That workout last August was a killer, especially the sixth through tenth reps. Today's workout, while far from easy, felt considerably less challenging. Part of it was that I was a bit cautious; I'm sure I could have gone a couple of seconds faster all the way through without dying. Yet I was still consistently faster today than last summer. That's a confidence booster. The data—and this is just an educated guess—tells me my marathon fitness is around 3:03. That's cool. I've got five or six weeks of hard work to get faster.

INJURY REPORT: Earlier posts talked about a wonky ankle/heel/Achilles. This Tuesday I hit Glendoveer for 15, going eight easy, four hard (tempo) and three easy. Felt pretty darn strong and better yet, as the run went on—and particularly during the hard four miles—there was zero pain. Zero! Then yesterday I did 30 miles on the bike trainer and again felt good. Heading out for today's track workout, I was a bit worried about running on harder surfaces (particularly to and from the track). Mostly it turned out fine. The injury tightened up a bit around the ninth rep. I iced it afterward and am going to be sure to do some Trigger Point massage before hitting the sack in a few minutes. Interestingly, these last two workouts have helped me to better define the injury: it's definitely not the Achilles. It's more the heel. The tightness is centered in the heel. The worse it gets, the more it spreads toward the outside the ankle and up the Achilles, but the problem is in the heel. This is good to know—helps guide my massage a little more precisely.

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