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.



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