Monday, February 7, 2011

Speed Work Postponed

While fast asleep this evening, our latest round of unpleasant winter weather will likely strike. Giving us 3-8 inches of the white stuff and cold temperatures. As a result, the first session of speed work with my running group has been postponed until next week. I will be on the treadmill in the morning - I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.

Am I sad that speed work will be delayed by a week? Nope. I'm not quite ready for it. Physically, I am ready to go. Mentally, I'm not quite there. The mental aspect is huge. For the most part, I will be surrounded by a group of 30 or so accomplished and very speedy runners. This provides for a weekly mind drain. I have to contend that even on my best day and on the others' worst day, we will never be equally matched - or even close to it. Looking forward to a weekly dose of this is not my idea of good times.

This feeling of not ever being able to measure up is compounded with my fear of speed. I'm afraid that my body will not do what I want it to do. There is some solace that I am not the only one out there who thinks this way...I read a lot of blogs.  Probably too many.  Some are instructive (don't do what I do).  Some are hysterical or inspirational.  And on occasion, a blog post speaks to me.

Now I have very little in common with this blogger.  First, he's a dude.  He's much funnier than I.  He's much faster than I.  But we both enjoy beer.  And he made a confession a few weeks back that still resonates with me.

"I am afraid of speed because
I feel my body will fail me."

So speed work for me is akin to facing my running fears head on in front of a small crowd on a regular basis.  Even though this small crowd is an encouraging bunch who are more focused on their own performance than mine, it takes me a great deal of mental strength to show up, let alone attempt the work.  But do so I will.  Speed work helps me test out different ways to stop the negative thinking and practicing using positive mental strength tricks for some of those particularly difficult times I'm bound to run into while racing (no pun intended of course).  Failing to participate in speed work would mean that I let my fears defeat some of my dreams.  And that would be unacceptable. 

Plus, I'm sure you all want to read about my speed work pursuits.  There are bound to be some funny stories!

Here's what my training looked like the past two weeks - time to kick up the mileage I think - if only mother nature would help the cause -  pics in this post were from Sunday:

Week of January 24 - January 30
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 6.08 miles
Wednesday: strength training
Thursday: 6.05 miles
Friday: strength training
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 3.0 miles
Total weekly mileage: 25.13 miles

Week of January 31-February 6
Monday:  2.19 miles (aborted run due to freezing rain!)
Tuesday: 5 miles (treadmill)
Wednesday: strength training
Thursday: 5 miles (treadmill)
Friday: strength training
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 3.06 miles
Total weekly mileage: 27.25 miles

Have a great week!



  1. beautiful pictures.
    remember your resolution to make every run count? maybe that can help with the tuesday speed w/outs? or as Tony says "do your best and forget the rest" (rest = the fast kids, who have their own challenges to tackle, not yours). :) xoxo

  2. Have you seen this coming weekend's forecast???!!! Yahoooo! In the 50's - perfect temperature for speed work! :-) I, like you, am not fond of speed work. Part of it, for me, is I'm a bit lazy. Speed work is hard and it hurts some but you know what? It makes you better, so we better just suck it up and DO it!
    Stay warm!

  3. Laura, I agree with you on speedwork. When I do it, it's on a track and not with a group of people. However, that track is at a Middle School, and I suffer from juvenile taunts as the kiddos are leaving school. I'm also afraid of speed. Sure, a burst of speed is fine, but can I really keep up that speed for miles on end? I continually doubt myself.

    I think my best parallel is when RER gets out for a trail run. I'm a slow runner, and I'm usually one of the last (if not THE last) runner on the trail workouts. The other runners are always very encouraging, but it takes a lot for me mentally and physically to not get discouraged. During our last trail run (actually run out at Waterton Canyon the last day it was open this year), I pulled something in my foot trying to maintain speed and keep up with some of the boys.