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1st Speed Workout of the Year - Geek Turned Athlete

1st Speed Workout of the Year

I have often stated on the blog that I loathe speedwork. Speedwork is also more painful when you haven’t done it in several months. I know it is necessary to get better, but that does not change the fact that I don’t like it. I know I need to except the pain and learn to like it, but I’m just not there yet mentally this season.

The last two Tuesdays (before this week), I’ve been wanting to go to a Swifts track workout but something always kept coming up (migraine, dog puking-very sick, etc. Which brings me to this past Tuesday. Nothing “came up,” and I was able to go. I had never been to a group speedwork session before so this was my first ever. Did I mention that it has also been a while since I have done any speedwork?

It is different doing speedwork with a group v.s. by yourself. You can’t get away with slacking.

Since there are no lights for the track this time of year, we all (about 15?) dawned our headlamps and headed out on the damp roads. Our workout was:

  • Warm-up: 2 miles
  • 10-12 sets of 2 min- 10K pace, 2 min jogging
  • Cooldown: 2 miles

When I think of a warm-up, I think of a 9-10 minute mile pace. Maybe that is also why I’m so slow compared to these girls. I think in slow numbers.

Anyway, as we chatted away during the warm-up, my breathing became more and more labored. I could feel my pre-workout snack of a pb and jelly brown rice tortilla wrap start to slowly come up my throat. I had eaten it hours before we started to avoid that very thing from happening.

Apparently, a warm-up to these fast girls was an 8:37 min/mile pace for the first 2 miles. Hmmmm. No wonder my tortilla wanted to make a second appearance in my life.

After I survived the warm-up, the “real” workout began. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think the “real” workout began when we started running, but let’s move on.

As the coach warned, the first two sets would be slightly easy. Then after a doing a few sets, they were torturous. It was probably also painful because I just started really running again about a month and a half ago.

There were three groups of girls in the run: the fast ones, middle, and the “faster than the average population, but slower than the rest.” After a few sets, I could no longer see anyone behind me, and I had lost the “fast” girls. I ended up meeting up with another girl who had fallen behind the “fast” group. We made up the “middle” group. Did I also mention we were lost? At least we were lost together. And we ran at about the same pace. That was good.

That was the only thing that was good though. My legs were so heavy. They hurt. I was in a horrible mood. I was frustrated that I could barely keep up. I was mad at myself for letting myself get this out of shape. Of course, our paces are all relative, but I was running this pace with absolutely no problem last September.

Together we wound our way through the dark hilly residential streets completing our sets until we decided it was a good time to head back and complete our cooldown. I was so happy for the cooldown, you have no idea!! I was SO thirsty!! I thought we were only going to be out there for 45-60 minutes so I didn’t bother with bringing anything, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe I just need to get faster so I can complete my workout faster and not need as much water? haha.

We finally made it back to the meeting parking lot, and chatted with the “faster than the average population, but slower than the rest” group.

We must have covered 8 or 9 miles. My garmin stopped working in the middle of the workout, then started up again towards the end so I have no clue how far we went. The “fast” group came back about 5 minutes after we got there saying that they had run 10 miles. I don’t think that I have ever had a speed workout last more than 7 miles including the warm-up and cooldown.

I went home defeated and frustrated with myself. I want to be fast RIGHT NOW without putting the work in first!!! I sound like a five year old, don’t I???

I told my husband about my run, and he told me, “Good!! That is what you need!!”. And the funny thing is, I agreed with him. I have to accept the state I’m in now, and work hard to get faster. These ladies have challenged me for the first time in years, and like a 5 year old, I don’t like it, but I know that it is good for me.

After being sore for the last two days, I was not really excited about my run for today, but it actually to turned out to be a good one. Here are some pics…

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Hey. I don’t look like Barbie when I run, okay?
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I love those trees. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you ever have 5 year old moments? Please say yes, so I don’t feel like I’m the only one!!

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Erica February 17, 2011, 10:50 pm

    Definitely sounds llike a butt kicker-but totally worth it! I think its awesome that you made your way into the middle group! Keep on rocking it over there ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Erica recently posted..M- Teriyaki Chicken with Stir Fry Vegetables &amp Some Other IK Happenings!

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  • Sue @ Sue In Training February 18, 2011, 1:16 am

    5 year old moments? Oh boy, I’ve had lots of them! Especially related to running, or fitness in general. I’ve started running about 4 months ago, at first without any plan, but that didn’t lead me anywhere, so I decided to follow a real Couch To 5k program. But I’m still not making much progress.
    My point is, everything is relative. I (desperately) wish I could run as fast as you! And I want it now!
    I know, I need to be patient, but I’m starting to wonder if I will ever be able to run faster than 11:00 min/mile.
    See, you’re surely not alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Sue @ Sue In Training recently posted..When A Workout Doesnโ€™t Work

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    • Nicole February 18, 2011, 1:44 pm

      You will, I promise!!

      Reply
  • Mari February 18, 2011, 2:05 am

    5 year old moments… Oh yes! I do try to be reasonable most of the time, but there are definitely times when that fails. Normally I will find these things funny afterwards though.

    I am rather jealous of your running group, I haven’t managed to find one here, and there are times when I definitely need a push. Speed workout being one, good luck with getting yours up. I am sure you’ll be there in no time!
    Mari recently posted..Easy peasy bean and chickpea mash

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  • lindsay February 18, 2011, 3:54 am

    speed work takes time. I love to hate it! I am about your same pace I’d say. But you know what? I used to be a 7:30 min mile. I’ve lost my speed, but like you said, a group can get you there faster and challenge you. Patience, it will all come around and you’ll be a speed demon! Now I really wish we could train together!
    lindsay recently posted..Challenge Complete

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  • Heather (Where's the Beach) February 18, 2011, 5:37 am

    I’m with Lindsay – love/hate speed work and intervals. But I’ve been doing a lot of it lately in prep for my first half. The one thing I love is that the workouts seem to fly by. Glad you’re enjoying the benefits of this group!
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Vegan Valentines Dinner Recap &amp Roasted Tomato &amp Garlic Soup

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  • Jess February 18, 2011, 6:43 am

    I have to say, I’ve had a million 5-year old moments! Far too many to list here (*blush* with embarrassment haha). I also have to say I’m darn impressed that you kept up with those girls – and I think you are selling yourself short. You are doing GREAT at keeping yourself ridiculously challenged with these girls. 8+ miles of speed work?? I think I’d cry!! I’ve only done at most 5 or so miles of speed work and not nearly as fast as even what you think of as your “slow” pace. As you said, pace is relative, you are doing a great job!!
    Jess recently posted..On โ€œgetting something back we didnโ€™t know we lostโ€

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  • Sarah for Real February 18, 2011, 10:37 am

    You are really kicking arse and taking names! Yeah for being in the middle of the group!

    I had a major 5 year-old moment when I was skiing last weekend. Conditions were an aweful white-out and so I’d taken a super duper easy (almost flat) green run that I’d done at least a dozen times. Somewhere I accidentally caught air off a hill and didn’t realize it until I’d fallen on my face… hard. I wasn’t hurt, just majorly pissed off. I struggled not to cry and I wanted to quit completely for the day. Stupid snow.

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  • Toronto Girl West February 18, 2011, 1:41 pm

    You’re totally hanging in there, which believe me is more than most would have been! And for that you deserve major kudos! ๐Ÿ™‚

    As far as five year old moments . . . yeah . . . although I try to make sure they happen less frequently nowadays!
    Toronto Girl West recently posted..Presenting our Wedding Trailer!!!!

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  • Sara Stainbrook February 19, 2011, 9:11 pm

    I just have to say I’m totally a lurker, finally coming out and leaving a comment!! But your post totally made me laugh! I’m ALWAYS a 5 year old when it comes to running. I typically mope around the house whining about when I have to run… knowing I have too. Then I finally get out and end up loving it! If only I could remember that fantastic feeling during my whining! (I’m sure my husband would appreciate it as well)

    And as for your speed workout… dang girl you are fast! Despite my best efforts over the past 2 years or so I just don’t feel like I’m getting any speedier… but one day I hope too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sara Stainbrook recently posted..Dinna Time

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    • Nicole February 20, 2011, 11:12 am

      Well, thanks for delurking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You will get faster, I promise! I have been running for almost 10 years. It has taken a long time for me get to where I’m at. If you are smarter than me regarding your speedwork, you should get there way faster than I did!

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  • Jena February 20, 2011, 8:00 pm

    I totally had a 5yr old moment(s) yesterday during my 10miler. I’ve been having a lot of metatarsal joint pain and I’m totally pissed off about it. I whine for the last 5 miles of my run yesterday.

    8 miles of speed work sounds like pure hell.

    I avoid speed work like the plague. I’ve been told my times would benefit if I threw in some speed work… Hopefully I can fit some of that in after my toes stop hurting.
    Jena recently posted..Iโ€™ve been converted

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  • steena February 20, 2011, 8:05 pm

    Wow, 8:32 was a warm up? I’d be dead. Right now. I wouldn’t be able to leave you a comment. WOW. Impressive speed work you did! Be proud! Keep at it! You’re going to be a rocket soon1
    steena recently posted..The Swim Cap is the Devil

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  • Karen February 21, 2011, 6:42 am

    if only there were a magic pill to build speed ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like quite the workout you had!

    Reply
  • Andy February 21, 2011, 9:21 am

    Yes I think we all have these moments! I am having some of them right now! I think, especially living in the society that we live in today, most things that we want and desire (usually little things) we can get instantly or very quickly. We then try to adapt this mentatlity to things that are harder, more diffucult, and/or require acutal work to maintain. Never quiet works out, does it? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am going to forward this post to my gf because she goes through this kind of mentality when she tries to start working out again, whether it be running, cross-fit, etc. I think like her, myself, and many others we see those “A” level athletes at our workouts or in passing, and we get frustrated because we are not as fast, not as strong, don’t look as good, etc, and it makes us want to quit. In order to get over it, we must have that moment like you had with your husband to bring us back to reality and realize our life, dreams, hopes and asiprations cannot be completed in 30 minutes or less like a TV drama show gives us nowadays.

    Thanks for the post!
    Andy recently posted..The Friday Review February 18th- 2011

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    • Nicole February 21, 2011, 5:16 pm

      so right!! There are so many times where I have been discouraged, but what I have to remember is how far I have come AND how long/what it took for me to get there. Hard work!! Things worth having aren’t very easy to achieve. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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