Friday, November 18, 2011

All in a Week's Speedwork

After last week, with a successful start to my first official speed workouts, and with my first ever 10k next week, I was anxious to get back to the track and to the tempo. But, of course, I needed company.

So on Wednesday, I recruited Josh to meet me at Wilson high school after work. It was raining but that didn't stop us. Josh isn't a runner so I knew he'd do his own thing, and wasn't sure exactly what that thing was, but was glad to have him there for moral support.

I ran 17 laps total: 3 warm-up, 6 fast with a rest interval lap between each, and 3 cool-down. All the while, Josh ran sprints, the grapevine, and did other things that reminded me of my 45 minute soccer warm-ups in high school. I timed his 40 yard sprint and he did it in 4.59 seconds. Gamin connect didn't understand the results of such a short run and couldn't give me any statistics on it. But I'm pretty sure the time and distance are all that matters.

My stats, though, read loud and clear. I'm still unsure whether the watch can't handle my running in circles or whether each lap is actually less than .25 miles. Either way, I'm happy to report that my fast laps are coming in around a 7:00 pace, and under 7 if each was actually a quarter of a mile..

Unfortunately that sub-seven minutes is nowhere near sustainable for a complete mile on my tempo runs. Last Thursday, I struggled to make sub-eight possible and, today, on my first morning run since the glorious Baltimore Half Marathon, I couldn't even do that much. But I still did a lot and I feel accomplished.

I woke up at 6:25 and it was nearly freezing. My garmin located satellite faster than ever so there was very little standing around in the cold. I set off at 6:40 to meet Nikki in Woodley Park.

We did pretty much the same thing we did last week, running small laps around Kalorama to keep our course fairly free of hills. After completing a warm-up lap, we picked up the pace and stayed under 9:00. During mile 3, while aiming to run a mile in less than 8 minutes, I really struggled. I watched our average pace slowly rise and watched the distance between Nikki and me grow. I had little bursts to catch up with her but I felt really nauseous, probably from the Pumpkin Gingersnap Milkshake I made myself at 10 PM. I said discouraging things about vomiting and slowing down and I offered to give her my watch so that she could run ahead and accurately track her mileage. But she offered responses alternating between "SHUT UP YOU CAN DO IT!!" and "are you ok? we can stop and walk if you want". I decided to take the "shut up, you can do it!" more to heart and pushed on. We finished the mile in 8:10 and stopped to walk for five minutes before completing our next two miles.

This was my first daylight run since the time changed and I was very much a fan. Despite the fact that my skin felt like ice by the time I got home, and that I felt weak and tired, I may have to get up early and pick up morning running again. There is nothing like watching the sunrise and jumping for joy before 8 AM. It definitely beats running in dark rain.

My goal for next week's race is to run an average 8:30 minute mile so it is a little discouraging that I ran fewer than 10 kilometers this morning at an 8:53 pace. Tuesdays results are a little more promising, though, and I learned three things from my tempo run:

1. Don't eat a rich milkshake 7 hours before the start of a run.
2. The most important thing is to jump for joy no matter what happens.
3. I should convince Nikki that she needs to skip Thanksgiving in Vermont to run the Montgomery County Turkey Chase so that I have someone to tell me to shut up and push myself when my positive attitude starts to slip away.

Since I am not actually a selfish person who puts my needs above those of my friends' and their families, I will pass on lesson number three. I'll stick with eating healthy and having fun no matter what. Hopefully I can be my own motivator when things get tough.

Happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend, that involve sweating or not?

1 comment:

  1. I really love doing speed work. I'm probably alone on it but I really like seeing how fast I can go, even if it is only for a few minutes