Speed work always makes me a little bit nervous. Despite the fact that I’ve been facing tempo runs and track workouts since the age of 14 (our junior high workouts were probably laughable…)…and the fact that I make up all my own workouts, I still get a little scared about a workout and if I can hit the pace. You know, the pace that I fully decide for myself.
So basically, all the pressure I have on me is solely coming from me. While I love sharing my running successes and failures with all of you, at the end of the day I’m the only one who might be disappointed in the end results. So basically, I really have nothing to worry about…but as runners (which I’m assuming most of you are), you understand.
So I sat on my couch on Thursday trying to figure out what to do. My legs didn’t feel super peppy, but I felt the need for some speed in the form of mile repeats. I haven’t done mile repeats in over a year, so I was trying to remember exactly what to do. I consulted my favorite coach of all time…twitter:
As I headed over to the west side highway on my warm-up, I still wasn’t sure what the plan was. Five? Six? I was thinking six around 6:25 pace. Not fully sold on that idea, but give it a whirl. Since I was in jury duty limbo last week (as in…I had to call at 5:30pm to see if I needed to go in the next day, and if I didn’t have to, then I had work at 7:30pm that night….I ended up having to go to work, and FYI, it’s hard to prepare for two opposite schedules. Anyway.), I had my phone with me since it would be 5:30 when I was on my run.
Now, I never take my phone with me when I run since running is me time. (So selfish, I know.) But needless to say, just as I was about ready to start my repeats, I got this tweet from Mason:
This made sense to me…if you’re going to do a workout, you need to go hard. My progression run last week left me wanting to run faster, feeling like I didn’t make the most of the speedwork. So, thanks, Coach Mason, I went with your plan.
Let’s rewind for a second. I never run with my phone, and I never ever run with music…but since I was running with my phone anyway, I figured I might as well give it a try. That being said, I had no idea what kind of music to listen to…so I went with the music that makes me want to get up and dance. Like, jump around the room like crazy music. If you’ve never heard of David Crowder Band, you should. (Band ended their run together about a year and a half ago.) It’s a Christian band, but I’m not exactly religious…but their song is super upbeat and…happy. Which I like. Therefore, my go to songs for this workout were:
So with those songs under my belt (or…shoved up my sleeve since that’s where my phone was), I took off with the plan of four mile repeats with four minute rest between the repeats, then seeing how I feel about doing a fifth.
Not sure exactly what pace to go, I just ran and let me legs guide me to a comfortably hard pace…harder than a tempo pace, but not a dying pace. The first mile came and went at 6:19 pace. Not too shabby. I felt good, but then again…the first repeat should feel good. So four minutes of rest, back at it. 6:13. Feeling good. And I do think the music helped pass the time although I was thinking, “This song HAS to be longer than three minutes!!”
Very quickly it was time to turn back around, and so I did. It actually broke up the workout quite nicely to be only thinking that I had to do four, and it forced me to help keep the pace up. When I got through the fourth, I still felt strong enough to do another repeat…but not being having to call about jury duty, so I took a mini break to call the juror line and then call work to tell them that I would be coming into work that night. DUTY CALLS. And so does the end of my workout.
So I shook it out for a couple minutes then took off on my last repeat. I could definitely tell that my legs were getting tired, but form was still holding and I pushed through. I felt strong through the entire workout, but pleased with a solid effort.
I LIKE IT. Pretty sure the last time I did mile repeats, I ended up with three and thought that 6:25 pace was hard…..so this is a good thing. It makes me confident that I can in fact run fast and that my speed is back post-injury. Still not sure what Boston has in store for me, but I’m looking forward to going hard. And hopefully that feeling that I can fly like I did on Thursday will grace me on Marathon Monday.
I really like mile repeats because it’s a long-ish effort, but you can still go hard. I will admit that the music did help…although I need to stop attempting to dance to the music while dropping 6:15 pace…forward motion, everyone.