It’s speedWORK, not speedFUN

Lately, I just can’t get excited about a workout that isn’t running. Last week I didn’t spend any time with my former BFF, the elliptical, so last night we reunited with a boring 50 minute session followed by some planking, push ups and squats. Someday I’ll be able to do a 5 minute plank like Ali, but right now I’m up 1:30.

I’m using the Smart Coach App from Runner’s World to train for my upcoming Half Marathon. Today’s run was speedwork. In the past, my speedwork usually consists of intervals. I like 400s and 800s, especially on a track, but I’ve had great luck on the treadmill too. I prefer the track and treadmill because the conditions are the same throughout the entire workout.

The prescribed 5 mile workout looked pretty daunting. 1 mile warmup; 2 x 1600 in 8:45 with 800 meter jogs; 1 mile cooldown.

Umm, excuse me, 8:45/mi? I just impressed myself a couple of weeks ago by running 2 miles just under 9:00/mi, but 8:45/mi…twice?

I stuck to the road for this since I didn’t want to mess with the school parking lot near school hours. Plus, races aren’t held on a track OR a treadmill, so gaining more road experience can only help me at this point.

The warmup went fine, I felt like molasses, but figured it was serving its purpose and…warming…me up. I suppose I should stop skimping on warmups, they actually seem to work. Surprise! They help your body “warm up” and help performance. I’m sure I have read that somewhere before…

After the warmup, I ramped it up. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. In the back of my mind, I knew that it would be over in less than 9 minutes, so I just tried to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and trying to estimate where I would be when the mile ended. I’m terrible at guessing, so it was a pretty entertaining game.

The first minute or two of each 800 meter jog was kind of rough, but then my breathing calmed down and I felt like myself again. I actually had an easier time picking up my pace the second time. Maybe I wasn’t pushing hard enough the first time? It sure as heck felt hard.

My splits weren’t too shabby, although I’m not sure what the difference in pace should be for 800 meter jog versus a cooldown.

  • Warmup – 10:01
  • 1600M – 8:49
  • 800M – 9:58/mi
  • 1600M – 8:40
  • 800M – 9:57/mi
  • Cooldown – 9:36 (+ .06 @ 11:13…forgot to stop the timer)

5.06 mi /47:47

I got it together and I surprised myself. I am a heck of a lot stronger than I think I am. Sometimes, I just need to push it a little harder.

The thing about speedwork is that it is WORK. It isn’t fun. It isn’t easy. It requires focus, and it requires that you step outside of your comfort zone – it gets a little uncomfortable. But, like anything hard, if you get through it you feel amazing, like you could do anything.

Probably because you can.

Running is kind of funny, in that it keeps teaching me things about myself that have nothing to do with running – yet somehow they have everything to do with running.



Posted in Lessons from the road | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fun Facts Friday

I’m stealing Fun Facts Friday from Chelsey. I love these posts and can always relate. Also, I tend to think in list form. Lists are great!

1. I’ve been following a gluten-free lifestyle (it’s not a diet) since March 11th. I feel amazing and knock-on-wood I’m headache, migraine and joint pain free. I’ll elaborate on this at some point, but for me this is a VERY fun fact.

2. The hubs’ and I have our own cashier at Target now. Clearly that means we go there too much. Target is just too convenient though, they have just about everything (and their prices are usually great…and it’s 5 minutes away from my doorstep.

3. I signed up for another Half Marathon. It’s 4 weeks from Sunday. I just downloaded the Smartcoach App from Runner’s World on my phone and tweaked the plan a little. The longest run I’m going to do this time is 10 miles, which scares the heck out of me. For long runs, I’ve got two 8 milers and two 10 milers, I did my first 8 miler yesterday and I did it slowly*. I know I can do the distance and my weekly mileage is higher than it has been in the past. High for me means any week over 20 miles, and I know it is high (for me) because it is enough to mess with my cycle. Sorry, I had to go there.

4. *RE: Slowly. I felt slow, which is understandable since I squeezed my runs into consecutive days. But, also I don’t understand pacing. I can read about it and still not get it. To me, if I’m plodding along slowly how will I be able to go faster on race day? In the past, my training runs are often faster than my race pace. I realize that doesn’t make sense to a lot of seasoned runners, but I’m not seasoned, I’m just Faking it here. Smartcoach recommended I run my long run at a 10:50 something pace, I ran it around 10:10. In my recent training cycle many of my long runs were around a pace of 9:50ish and I finished the race with a pace of 9:56**, granted that was a crowded race. Feel free to advise me, I’m lauledu on dailymile.

5. I’m cancelling my gym membership. I’d rather be outside right now than in the gym. We tried looking for a new gym, since ours caters to the senior crowd (RI is #2 for senior population/area), but there isn’t anything close enough and I don’t want to go enough to make a “fancy” place “worth” it. I have a groupon for a new Yoga studio that I plan on checking out this summer too, that will be fun.I need to figure out strength training at home though, since it’s important and stuff.

6. I’m thinking about reading 50 Shades of Gray because I heard that it is kind of explicit. I kind of want to see what they mean by that.

7. I still haven’t seen The Hunger Games! But I have seen American Reunion and I thought it was funny.

8. Although I haven’t seen it, I’m kind of upset that Catching Fire is going to have a different director. Lionsgate released a statement from Gary Ross:

“As a writer and director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule…”

I guess I should give Ross credit from knowing when to say no, but who creates these timelines and how is another director who hasn’t been immersed in the project going to do better? I hope they can pull it off though.

9. I’ve eaten quite a few delicious things this week. (Excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back…) I even have iPhone photos for to prove it! I just realized most of my instagram photos are of beverages. Does that mean anything? I think it means I really like glassware.

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter with Flax

Homemade Raw Peanut Butter

Spinach, Egg & Cheese on an Udi's Bagel

Mango (my current obsession!) & Kiwi

Mahi Burger

Homemade Flourless Chocolate Cake

Chicken Lettuce Wrap Filling

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Cheesecake Factory Skinnylicious Shrimp Tacos

Skinnylicious Mojito

Merluzzo Mediterraneo (Mediterraneo Caffe) - Scrod topped with a Mediterranean salsa, broccoli rabe & mashed potatoes

10. **My half marathon post is still unfinished. I have excuses, like I lost all my pictures when I tried to split the post and I got a new laptop and the post is trapped in Windows Live Writer on my old, slow one. I think I should finish it before my next one. I just need to wrap it up. I’ve put off posting anything new because I’ve had that “hanging over my head”. Like it’s a real issue. Why, oh why, do we construct stupid rules like that for ourselves? Why.

11. My cat woke me up at 5am. He was standing on my alarm clock looking at his shadow on the wall. He kept turning the alarm off by stepping on the button, I kept (gingerly) tossing him on the floor…we played this game for a good 45 minutes while I drifted in and out of sleeplessness.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is ready for the weekend. TGIF! Anyone have big plans?

Posted in Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment