My love/ hate relationship with speed work

Yesterday, I hit the track for 7 800 drills.  It was actually a balmy morning (mid 40’s- woot woot!), HOWEVER, 12 mph wind gusts accompanied that balmy weather.

I have been encouraged in the last month leading up to Tucson to ramp up my speed work and try to hit even faster targets than I was originally working towards.  Mind you, I JUST started hitting my track targets a few weeks before Chicago, so this is a little daunting of a task to take on.  AND I know the benefit and the reason behind doing it.  So, got up and I warmed up with the mile jog to Valley track.  I stepped onto the track, started the pace alert on my Garmin, which was set for a 6:55 pace and took off.  I turned the first corner of the track and WHAM!  There was that wind 🙂  I was on my first 800, so it didn’t faze me too much and my actual pace wasn’t too far off from the target and was better than what my old target had been.  I set out on #2, #3… by the end of #3, I was feeling it- the wind was pretty brutal and there was a stretch of 200 meters each lap that I was going into it head on.  I started thinking, well, with the wind, I’m getting more of a workout, so I could just stop after 6 and call it good.  Well, that’s what weenie’s say!  So, I told myself that was not an option.  By the end of #4 and thus the rest of the 800’s I consistently had to remind myself on the final 100 meters that there is a definite reason to do this workout and that I WILL not slow down.  I thought about how I will feel 800 meters from the finish line in Tucson- would I allow myself to slow down at that point?  NO!  I would know at that point every single SECOND counts and I would keep pumping my legs as fast as they can carry me to cross that finish line.

I admit, yesterday morning, I consistently slowed with each 800 I ran.  And I know, the purpose and the goal of this workout is to remain consistent- to have your 1st 800 the same pace as your last.  By the 7th 800, I was spent and I knew it, but I pumped those legs as fast as I could… the funny part of it all is that the last 3 that I did, I felt like I was going faster than the first 4!  I was actually amazed to see the average pace consistently going down!

Now, I’ve read that if you are not completely spent after a speed workout, you have not done it properly.  Well, let me tell you, yesterday, must have done something right.  I felt like I was flat-out drunk running the mile back home.  I had trouble running in a straight line and I started to experience vertigo- almost like the bed spins.  Although, I assure you, this workout was not as fun as drinking a bottle of wine- which has in the past produced similar results 🙂

Other noteworthy tales from yesterday’s run- I’m glad I practiced the art of blowing snot rockets during the summer.  With the colder weather, my nose runs!  Last year, I was just constantly sniffing and wiping my nose with my sleeve- not this year!  Not to say I’m gross about it and am over using the technique- just as needed, and most likely, only while running by myself 🙂


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