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March 4, 2012 / fionarwbl

Nothing Says Weekend Like Friday Night Speedwork

This week has been pretty awesome to me, and I have a feeling that next weekend is going to be even more so.

First up, I finished on this project, and we got amazing feedback. Second, I managed to get out of a project that was going to have me commuting for 3 hours a day for the next 6mths. Not fun. Would have put a dampener on summer marathon training, for sure. Third, I managed to score a week “on the beach”, which means I don’t have a client to work for next week. This has never happened to me before, and I’m planning on enjoying it. Knowing my luck, I’ll have something by about 10:20am on Monday morning, and my hopes of having an easy week of catching up on running, bills, and yoga will be out the window. But in the meantime, I am loving being responsibility free. Oh, and fourth, which isn’t really so good, but should be mentioned, is that I went out with my project team on Thursday and ended up hella drunk. 5 or 6 Hendricks and tonic with only half a samosa for dinner drunk. Friday was NOT pretty.

Run-wise, I ran an easy 4 on Tuesday. I don’t remember much about this run at all. I did a couple of loops of the reservoir because I was avoiding hills. It should be known that I am terrible at pushing myself to do something difficult if I feel like I don’t have to. Case in point: run on the flattest part of Central Park. This was the first run that I’ve done since the marathon in shorts. I know people are doing to disagree, but for me, it was too cold. I had goosebumps. Which may or may not have made me run faster. Another couple of weeks before I’m back in shorts.

For Friday night’s speedwork, I was definitely back in crops. This year I’ve been converted to crops with hip sleeves. They are awesome for putting your iPod in and not having to deal with wires and all that annoyance. I’m not looking forward to going back to an armband. Do people like Spibelts?

I do not know what possessed me to think that hangover speedwork was going to be a good idea. Especially since I have not done any speedwork since December. I guess the thought of another tempo run was even worse. And I could avoid hills. Anyway, I programmed the following workout into my phone and headed to the Park.

  • 1 mile warmup
  • 3 x 1m @ 7:50 with 0.5m recovery jog
  • 1 mile cooldown

This was the same workout at my last speedwork in December. I had no idea whether my legs would even be able to handle this, or I would die / throw up / tear a hamstring in the middle. Won’t know until I start, right?

Does anyone have a hard time with the warmup mile before speedwork / tempo? It’s like the mile of dread before an exam. You are trying to relax and feel good and enjoy the easy pace, but really you are tense and hoping that the voice in your ear (I have an iPod app that tells me to start running faster) will be another few minutes away. Just me? Okay then.

Anyway, the mean lady voice came over to start running faster, and being an obedient runner, I did as I was told. And it totally sucked. Half a mile in I sounded like I was a cow giving birth I was breathing so hard. Three quarters of a mile in, and I was close to puking. During the last quarter I was literally begging the lady voice to give me reprieve. Urgh. I hate speedwork.

Unless I run an unnaturally fast first mile split. Hi, 7:25 mile. I don’t think we’ve met before. And we probably won’t again for a while.

All too soon my happy half mile recover was done, and I was back to crying, pleading, bargaining, cow in labor breathing my way around the reservoir. During this lap my hangover headache came back with a vengeance, and my calves began to burn. Why the hell do we do this to ourselves?

My second split was 7:39, and I was frustrated. Every time I try and set the goal of negative splitting my tempos and speedwork, and every time I fail. This was no exception. I felt frustrated, tired, and even more hungover. Oh, and it started to rain. I kept jogging. I promised myself I could quit. I got to the exit from the reservoir back to my street. I kept running. I was doing that damn third split.

And of course it was miserable from the start. Not even some inspiring Muse at the end could push me to a final negative split. Mile number three was done in 7:38.

At least the last two are consistent.

And then I was ecstatic. I had finished a miserably tough workout at 8 o’clock on a Friday night when people with real lives do cool stuff. I was worked hard, busted out a sweat, made my legs hurt, and run fast. I felt frickin AWESOME. I came home a sweaty happy mess and played on the carpet with my dog. What an end to the week.

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