Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why have I been avoiding speed workouts??

For some reason, they intimidate me, especially by myself. I am not sure if it is going to the track where real runners run or if it is the workout itself. My friend Laura has been out of commission so I resigned myself that I need to get on the track to do some speed workouts by myself (I have only done one so far!) I have done "strides" workouts when I add speed to my regular run, but not organized workouts with specified interval distances.

Today was different. I had a great time. I actually was starting to feel almost like a real runner. I was bummed that I was limited on time and couldn't complete the entire workout.

I tried a new track. I drove to Cuyamaca College, another Junior College around here. I liked it better than Grossmont for a couple of reasons: 1) it is much closer to my house 2) the campus feels more like a college to me 3) there were other runners and walkers there and didn't feel so isolated 4) they had a drinking fountain and 5) firefighters! There was a small group of firefighters who were working out there. There is nothing bad about firefighters :-) I have a special place in my heart for firefighters ever since the scary fire storm** last October when the fire came so close to our house.

I had a decent workout.
1X 1 mile-- 8:17
4X 200-- :43, :47, :53, :57 (200 meter walk/jog recovery between each interval)

The workout called for two one-mile intervals at a 8:32 pace (working toward a 9-minute-mile half marathon). I only did one of them and I obviously ran it too fast. I really need to work on my pacing. This was supposed to be run at a 10K pace (although I am not sure if I could average 8:32 for a 10K).

It also called for six 200m intervals at 1:01 with 200m recovery between each. I did four of them (it may have been five, but I can only remember four times *blush*) I obviously need to work on pacing for these intervals, as well. I felt good because I ran those splits faster than my last track workout, but I don't think it is as much about the speed as it is about the pace awareness. Does anyone have thoughts on this? After I saw how fast I did each one, I tried to run the next one at 1:01... I didn't have much luck, although I got pretty close.

Today was a nice change of pace. I needed it. My mid-week runs have been hard to get done. I need more variety and motivation to get them in. I will definitely head back to Cuyamaca for the track and the great trails I saw there. They run a Mud Run in the hills above the college that looks like a ton of fun.

The moral of the story is don't be afraid of speed workouts; they can be fun! I just needed to find the right environment.

**Here is a slide show that shows some pictures of the Harris Fire that threatened our house last fall: Most of the pictures are taken from our backyard (the helicopters etc.) and across our street.


Kristin said...

I need to do some structured speedwork - there's even a track just a couple of blocks from my house. I know why I avoid it - I don't want to give up the miles from my regular runs but am reluctant to squeeze another run into the week. I'm thinking that after the Anacortes Half-marathon, but before Maine in September, I will do it (along with trying to increase my long runs to 15 miles) (a lot on the plate for August!). Amazing pictures from the fire, by the way - I watched the whole slideshow - all that is missing is a closeup of the firefighters! :)

Lisa said...

You know, even with skipping one of the mile intervals and a 200, I ended up with over 3 miles logged on my Nike+. If I would have done the entire workout, I would have ran nearly five it doesn't really take away from miles during the week much. Since you are only a couple of weeks from your race, it makes sense to wait until after.

RunnerMom said...

I love track workouts (when I'm in the right mood). Speed workouts are intimidating. It helps to have a buddy there to sort of compete with, but I usually wind up going alone.

About your comment on my blog--- AdvantEdge also comes in vanilla and strawberry! I do like Luna bars--Nutz over chocolate is a good flavor. I find them dangerous---I crave them when I have a box in the house.

The Country Music Marathon in Nashville is big and fun. I don't know if you can get a cheap flight into Nashville. The first 1/2 of it are scenic, but I can't speak for the last part. There is great crowd support though.

Anonymous said...

I get scared by tempo runs more than speedwork, but yes, speedwork scares me sometimes too, so you are not alone.

Wow, girl, you are running fast!

Anonymous said...

wow those pictures are amazing. the ones with the fire behind your house are scary. I can't believe it got that close!


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