Thursday, September 17, 2009

And It Doesn't Even Taste Like Turd

Bleh. That's what I have to say about yesterday's speed work.

We were supposed to run our 10K pace for the first six 800s, then get faster. But no one does that. Everyone runs way faster because this group is hardcore and speedy and competitive. That's why I keep going back. No pain, no gain. I just made that up.

So what do I do? Instead of running what is best for me, I get all crazy and I found myself doing 3:30 800's. Actually my first 800 was 3:17. I am not superwoman. I do not run a 6:30-7:00 minute mile for a 10K. Or for any "K".

So by #7 of these dreaded and endless 800's I was tired and my foot was killing me and I stopped. I NEVER stop. I never quit. But with my half coming up on Sunday I didn't want to overdo it. Or so I told myself. I just wanted out of there. A big cup of coffee and a trip to Outdoor Divas to look for my running dress helped my mood a bit. I found the cutest dress, but not in my size. Fortunately I have a friend who works for, makers of the famed running dress. She is going to get me one before my race. Thanks, Maggi!

I am putting that ick day of speed behind me. My foot still hurts today (right foot, on the top right, when I put weight on it). I had a ten miler on the agenda, but need to heal before the race. I got a flu shot and cleaned the toilets instead. Do you find that track running is harder on your feet?

I did learn a lot about speed work, though. Like how to set my Garmin for laps. And how to keep an even pace. And how to breathe when you feel you might die. And how much mental energy it takes to keep pushing when you have nothing left.

These are the attributes that I believe make us faster and more mentally strong. We need to be willing to be really uncomfortable sometimes in our runs. It is that ability to push to our edge and stay in that place for a few minutes, seconds even, that makes us able to push even further next time. Existing with the pain and discomfort and misery, even welcoming it, is key. I actually get nervous before speed work, tempos and races because I am afraid of the discomfort. Knowing that it is temporary and doesn't define us is important. It just makes us better.

I'm not sure about a PR on Sunday. Beating my 1:47 time from my last half will be hard and it's only been a month. The only dependable thing about a race is that something unexpected will happen. Sand storm. Diarrhea. Aid station is out of water. Cramp in your pinkie. Who knows, but it always makes for a great story.

On a new subject, I was excited yesterday to get these from Lara Bar:

They sent me some new flavors (well, new to me) to try: Peanut Butter & Jelly (dates, peanuts, cherries, salt); Cashew Cookie (cashews, dates); Tropical Fruit Tart (dates, pineapple, coconut, almonds, coconut oil, orange juice concentrate, orange peel); and Apple Pie (dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon).

Lara Bars are genius. I'm not just saying that cause they're based in Denver. Anyone who can make a yummy and healthful product with minimal, basic ingredients and no preservatives and not have it taste like turd is on the right track. The PB&J sounds really good.

So tell me - provided you never got injured, do you find you keep getting faster if you train consistently? Do you usually get PRs on the races you run? What's your race secret? How do you keep going and pushing when every cell in your body is telling you to stop?


  1. no advice on your last question since I am injured BUT I love that running dress!

  2. Lara bars rock!! I love the cherry pie flavor! I totally agree on getting nervous for speedwork. If I know it's going to be a ball buster, err vagina buster, then I get all knoted up just knowing what I'm about to put my body through. I love it! I'm a freak like that.

    For me I have reached major strides in my running speed over the last three months. I totally think consistency of speedwork is the reason behind it all. Well, that and because I was so slow - I had nowhere to go but up.

    Good luck this weekend. I smell a PR. or maybe that was just a fart.

  3. A running DRESS? I've never heard of such a thing! I need to get my hands on one! Your running group is insane, and I'm jealous that I can't run with them :)

  4. Wow- a running dress. I just recently got up the guts to wear a skirt!

  5. I've been curious about running let us know what you think! Good luck with your race!

  6. Oh man I'm so jealous you're getting one of those skirtsports dresses! I've been drooling over them forever!

  7. Dammit I want Larabar to send ME free bars! I'm always eating them and I can't find that dang PB&J bar anywhere! It's time to get on the pipe with Larabar.

    My pace definitely continues to improve, even if it's minimally. First I started running, got faster with time. Then I lost a bunch of weight and got a lot faster. Now I'm squeezing in speed work when I can and continue to increase. I'd honestly love to be a contender for the top 3 in my age group for my relatively small marathon in my city. I've got a ways to go but I'd believe it's possible.

    I find the track much easier on my feet than the road - it's so much softer and forgiving.

    Good luck on Sunday! Can't wait for the race report!

    Good luck with your half on Sunday.

  8. OK how messed up was that freaking comment? Good lord I should not be allowed to type so early in the morning. That's what I get for trying to do 100 things at once.

    I wished you luck TWICE! Hopefully that means you'll be twice as fast on Sunday.

  9. I love Lara Bars. Apple Pie and Peanut Butter Cookie are my all time favorites.
    That dress rocks; I keep meaning to go out and buy a running skirt. I may not be fast, but at least I'm cute.
    Yes, speed work is ten times harder on my feet then just my easy runs. I did a fartlek run last night and my foot is killing me. Good luck this weekend!

  10. Sad to say, LaraBars are not my fav - I just can't get past the texture on many of them!
    I used to dread speedwork, too. I hate heading to the track (it's the only place I can do it, I can't run and count meters, too!) but it really has paid off. I have for the first time this summer really committed to doing the planned work and it payed off in July with a 1:36 half. It was in me, and the speedwork helped. (BTW, I totally puked after that race but it was sooooo worth it!) :)
    Good luck on Sunday, you're gonna rock it in that dress Venus! :)

  11. I'm running a half on Sunday, too and hoping to PR. We can do it!!

    I haven't seen a running dress before. Cute.

  12. Good luck on Sunday! Be sure to share pictures of the dress in action. And this was exactly what I needed to read today. I will be thinking about it when things get tough tomorrow.

  13. I love larabars but I don't eat them anymore because there is so much fat in them. Does anyone think that the fat is all natural so I shouldn't worry? (I am training for two fall marathons: Hartford, CT and Philadelphia so I do eat a certain amount of fat daily but still)

  14. I don't worry too much about the fat content. Figure it is all good stuff. But I am also not trying to lose weight.

  15. Cute dress! Good luck on Saturday!

  16. Love that dress! Good luck at the race... I'll be looking forward to the stories.

    You're SO right about speed work.

    But a 3:17 800?! Are you trying to kill yourself?! (or are your running buddies?)

  17. that dress is probably the coolest thing ive ever seen. if not the coolest,pretty dang close! good luck sunday & HAVE FUN!!!