Forgot the Speedwork

I forgot speedwork in yesterday’s list of things I don’t really love about marathon training.

But I’ve also sort of completely forgotten about speedwork in this training cycle.

I didn’t really do any when training for The Marathon in Richmond. Mostly because my only goal was to just finish, so I figured as long as I followed Hal’s recommends for daily runs and built up my mileage, I’d be good to go.

But then I shocked myself in Richmond. By running fast. A full 30 minutes faster than my “pipe dream” goal time (again, that was ALL thanks to my race-day BFF’s Larry and Tracy, and my dear, dear friend who jumped in to pull me through the last 10k).

When I got home from a December vacay (and overall “break” from heavy running) with a foot “injury,” I found myself in the gym more often than Central Park (which let’s be honest, during a NY winter is NOT a bad place to find yourself). I was aiming to do things that didn’t aggravate my foot further, like ellipticalling and spinning, but would still always find myself itching to get some running done. And because I was already in the gym, I soon found myself on the dreadmill, “just for a few slow miles.”

Turns out you can’t easily read a book or watch TV while on the treadmill–unless you have a stomach of steel and all the bouncing around while trying to keep your eyes focused does not make you queasy. And unless you’re rich and have your own personal Bob or Dolvett (any Biggest Loser fans out there?) chasing you around NYSC, you also don’t have mantra’s and instructions to “push harder” and “GO FASTER!” ringing in your ears (which, depending on your instructor, you CAN find in the cycle room). So I confirmed something I already knew this winter….that the treadmill is BORING.

How do you fight the yawns of no scenery and nothing to do but stare at your sneakers covering the same strip of black over and over and over again? You speed up. Not only, does watching the pace numbers grow smaller and smaller make things a little more tolerable, but speed helps the workout go by SO much faster.

So I was supposed to do light-on-my-sore-foot jogging on the treadmill this past winter. But instead, I discovered speedwork. And tried 400s for the first time in my life.

Somehow, I loved them. And I found myself not only doing them in visits after work, but BEFORE–we’re talking 7-minute miles at 7am…something I never in a million years thought I was capable of.

Only now those 400 sprints feel like a million years ago.

Somehow getting back outside got me back to long, slow miles (and NOTHING about the gorgeous weather of late makes me want to go back indoors).

oh look! i finally am including something pretty to look at/better entertain you with. this photo was snapped by my stupid phone last night when i was locked out of the apartment and walked around for 1.5 hours waiting for the JD to get out of work (note to self: always keep gym bag at office, then you can go work on speedwork when these situations arise).

And even though I signed up for Buffalo as a buffer between my speedy Richmond race and what I know will be a MUCH slower NY race, I know I’ll secretly want to PR in Buffalo.

Only not so secretly.

But that’s very unlikely to happen with the way I’ve been running these days. My mantra’s have been all “it’s not about your pace it’s about your distance.”

Dear marathonwiner, stop lying to yourself.

Without my fast friends on the racecourse to pull me along through the early miles, and without my good friend to pick me up at mile 20, and without (at least I assume) the large and cheer-crazy crowds from the streets of Richmond, Buffalo may be a challenge. And to be up for it, I need to start upping my pace. Stat.

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3 Responses to “Forgot the Speedwork”


  1. 1 Kathryn April 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Haha I love this entry. I’m pretty slow but my mantra has always been “the faster you run, the faster you’re done,” mainly because of the boredom factor.

    I’m sure you’re going to do great at Buffalo and pull out another speedy race. You’ve done it before and now that your legs have had that experience, they will remember. =)

    • 2 marathon winer April 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      i NEEED to be following the faster you run the faster you’re done right now. i’ve been SO bad about pushing myself for speed!!


  1. 1 The [Cat's] Sixth Sense « Marathon Winer Trackback on April 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

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