Well, Hello There Speedy, How I’ve Missed You

28 Jul

I went into last night’s workout with mixed emotions. I hadn’t done any sort of speed workout since June 22nd and I was slated to run 8 x 400 (that’s 1/4 of a mile for those that aren’t down with the running lingo – and yeah, I forget sometimes too and have to ask Coachy, “How far is that again?”) at some sort of fast pace.  Basically, Coachy said, blast out your first interval and adjust accordingly to a pace you think you can maintain for 8 intervals. And he figured I could do them all in the 7’s. I don’t know why but any kind of real endurance test turns me into a giant ball of nerves.

Run 20 miles? Even if I’ve done it before? Ball of nerves.
Speedwork makes me nervous.
Why? I think I’m afraid of failing. I think I’m afraid of not finishing or not going as fast as Coachy thinks I can. Self confidence issue perhaps? Any tips on overcoming this would be greatly appreciated.

So I drive to the high school track and it’s full of what looks like track practice.  STRIKE 1.

Then I drive to the bike path. The parking lot is FULL. STRIKE 2.

I’m getting frustrated and annoyed at this point. I think maybe I’m not meant to run tonight.  That’s got to be it, right? Nervous about speed, can’t find a parking spot, it all adds up.
WRONGO BUDDY!

I can’t seriously let two silly things like that stop me from running! Excuses are for quitters – NOT ME!
So, I did the next best thing and parked at the bank a couple blocks from the bike path parking lot. Turns out, there’s a little opening in the fence on the path so you can get right on, no prob.  The bank was closed so I didn’t think I’d be inconveniencing anyone anyway.
I love the bike path not only for it’s flatness, but for the fact that at 6:30 at night it’s completely shaded.  Ahhh beautiful – I don’t have to spend extra time putting on sunscreen, I don’t have to wear a hat, and I won’t swelter! 
So away I went.  My legs felt great right away and it was then the nerves dissipated and I knew it was going to be a great run. I actually had to force myself to slow down to an actual warm up pace because I didn’t want to waste my energy, I had 8 speed intervals I still had to accomplish!
And I more than accomplished those intervals, I slayed them!
I blasted the first one as hard as I could to get a gauge for what my “all out” speed is. Then I adjusted for the rest because I knew I had to get all 8 intervals in.  Not only was this my first post-marathon speed work, but it’s my only pre-Rock N Roll half speed work as well, since that’s only 10 days away!
I walked in between each interval, to regain my normal heart and breathing rate, and to keep the bugs off of me! Boy was it buggy out last night! I walked until I felt recovered on each one, rather than using some scientific method of distance.  
Each interval felt great. I know I had good form, I could feel it.  That’s not to say these weren’t hard for me, they were.  By the end of each one my heart rate was up and I was gasping for breath! 
There are a couple of things that amazed me during this run:
  1. My lungs have suddenly recovered.  My legs fatigued before my lungs for probably the first time ever. I could feel my legs getting tired and sore, but I was still breathing like anyone running at a 7something pace should be brathing, rather than someone who sounds like a running asthma attack.
  2. My last interval was my 2nd fastest interval, right next to my first interval.  I had to REALLY push to get that, but I love a strong finish!
  3. I had the energy to run a full mile cool down.  I have never been able to run a full mile cool down after intervals like that.  I am loving the strength and endurance that I have gained through marathon training!
So my friends, have you had any amazing workouts like this lately? Maybe you even surprised yourself? I know I did!
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