Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Speed Work

This post was supposed to be about Girls on the Run, an awesome running program for girls where I volunteered this fall. That post is coming. Eventually.

In the meantime, there is something much more pressing on my mind: Speed work! I just finished my first track workout in...I-don't-know-how-long. Years.

Oh. My. God. You know how I feel right now? Awesome!!!!

Here's how my morning began: I got up at 7:00, even though it's a holiday and I didn't have to work. (Yay!) I walked the dogs, ate breakfast, and drank an entire pot of coffee. It was cold and rainy out, and I thought, gosh, what a great day to take Cap (my dog) out for a run on the JP trail.

Since I hadn't met my mileage quota last week, largely due to the fact that I forgot to look at my schedule and just ran, I thought I should check to see what I was supposed to be running today. Here's what my workout said:

8 miles, speed work: 2X(12,8,6,4)

Fuck!! Who put that on the freaking schedule?? (Oh yeah, me.) And why on earth would I need to run a workout that included 400's when I was training for a marathon?? Then again, the workout could have read: 2X(4X12) which would have been infinitely worse. I refuse to run mile repeats on the track, relegating them to the road only, but 1200's on the track is painfully close to to mile repeats on the track.

Anyway, with a huge, pitying, self-absorbed sigh, I got dressed and headed down to the track. Getting in the 8 miles turned out to be no problem, since I had 1.5 miles each way to the track, plus I planned a 200 meter jog between reps, and a 400 meter jog between sets.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow account, but for a few details. First, I was slow. Slow as molasses. Slow as Sarah Palin searching for an intelligent answer to a question from Katie Couric. Slow as a decathelete in a 1500. This is what my wach told me, anyway. I wasn't too discouraged because it was to be expected, even though I was definitely pushing myself for these slow times.

Second, I didn't slow down much in my second set of reps. Okay, the 1200 was way off, but overall my times were basically the same. So I'm slow, but at least I still know how to pace myself somewhat. I was certainly laying it all out there by the last two reps, so I know I wasn't just slacking.

My slow jog home felt brilliant. I was exhausted. Maybe I was slow, but running on the track felt incredible. It still felt like home. And I felt so powerful that I am pretty sure my next order of business after this blog post is to go out and save the world.

A workout that had me trembling with fearful anticipation this morning, went beautifully. Somewhere, way down in the dark, scary places of my soul, that runner that loves to go fast just got a swift kick to jolt her from her long slumber. She's still held back by the allure of hibernation, but I have no doubt that in a few weeks time, she'll be out on the track in all her glory.