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December 22, 2011 / fionarwbl

I Ran Fast and It Wasn’t Fun

The training plan yesteday morning called for speedwork – 3x 1600 in 7:49 with 800 recovery jogs, to be exact. I haven’t done speedwork since a week or two before the marathon, or two and a half months ago. I sort of prefer speedwork to tempo runs, because it doesn’t last as long and I get recovery jogs. But it’s a close call which one I dread more.

For the first time since moving to the UWS I did my speedwork on the reservoir, which was fun in that it was flat and consistent. And I could visually keep the end in sight at all times – that was pretty sweet. My iPhone was throwing all this Paul Simon and other chilled out music which didn’t exactly encourage me to pump my arms and move my legs faster, but whatever. My legs felt so slow today. Nothing would get them moving faster. I don’t wear a watch while I run (it’s all on my phone so I do get my stats afterward), so I felt like I was running a lot slower than I was. I also had a hard time figuring out what my “fast” pace was, having not run single miles in so long. The first one definitely started too fast and then I flagged 3/4 into it. I was surprised when my 7:33 time came up at the end. I really thought it was closer to 8 or 8:30. The second mile split felt a lot easier and more controlled, and clocked in at 7:35. So far, so consistent. All the way through the second mile split I was telling myself that I wouldn’t really have to do a 3rd mile. Of course, when it came to it, I did run the third mile, although by that stage, my calves were miserable and my legs were barely turning over, and it was reflected in my rather poor time: 7:56. Strangely, I kind of liked the feeling of tiredness and pain in my calves; it made me think that this run was making me stronger and tougher. If it I was tired today, I was making myself stronger for tomorrow. Is that true? Does that make any sense?

I did a quick scroll through my speedwork log and was pleasantly surprised that my times are slightly faster than the end of marathon training, although not as fast as my weird late summer peak when I was throwing down 7:05s for speedwork. I have no idea what was going on then, apart from I think I was pretty relaxed at work and really good at having an early morning running routine that was making all of my training feel really sweet. Let’s blame the dark mornings for holding me back and trust that when spring comes around I’ll be back out at 5.30am and running really fast.  

I came home pretty sweaty and lazed around for a while. Seriously, what is up with the weather? I know it’s weird, but I just want it to get cold. I’m ready for some chill in the air. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without it. Instead, I was wearing a single long sleeve and crops yesterday, and could have been wearing less. Finally I showered and hauled my ass over to yoga where there were just 4 people in the class. It turns out I’m a poor breather. Why am I not surprised that I am not even getting the fundamentals of simple life right?

How did your last speed session go? Do you like it when your calves are burning? Are you ready for some cold weather like me? Or are you loving not needing a goosedown jacket and 8 layers to go to the drugstore?

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