Tag Archives: speed

Broad Street Run 10 Miler – Race Recap / Review

Totally tried to get this up yesterday but it just didn’t happen for me. Too much fun this weekend made for a SLEEPY Monday. Also, it’s raining and cold here which doesn’t facilitate getting pumped up for a Monday. This weekend Mike and I participated in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. I jump at the chance to run races in Philly because that is where my best-friend and lady-life partner Sarah lives. Over the past three years of her living in Philly and me in DC, we’ve gotten really good at making the trip and I feel like her friends in Philly are my friends now too! Friday night, we made the trip up I-95N. Saturday included breakfast at Schlesinger’s, a good stretch out at Philly Power Yoga (post coming later this week), a trip down to Lincoln Financial Field to get our race packets, watching the Derby on South Street, and dinner on Rittenhouse Square. Also, Juno was on TV. Whoot whoot! Sunday was, of course, RACE DAY. Here’s how it went.

The race didn’t start until 8:30 pm but you had to take the Broad Street Line subway to get to the start. Races that involve taking public transportation make me nervous (I had an almost calamity at the Baltimore Half Marathon) so we were up and on a train at 6:15 am. We arrived at about 6:40 and then just waited around for almost two hours, which was not my favorite part. Add to that… it was FREEZING and WINDY. Also, they claimed that bag check closed at 8:00 am so I had to part with my warm layers (I should have just done throwaway clothes) for a whole 30 minutes before race start.


The starting area was CROWDED. Huge lines everywhere, massive crowds trying to move around, and people were getting restless / feisty. It wasn’t my most pleasant pre-race experience. At one point, I was trying to get to my corral and I just stood, stuck in a massive, unmoving crowd for legitimately 15 minutes. I never actually made it to my corral. I saw a break in the fence and just hopped in. The corrals were not being strictly enforced at all anyways, and I was getting cranky so I needed to RUN.


Mercifully, I finally crossed the starting line and got going. However, at that exact moment the clouds broke and the sun starting beating down hard. By mile one, I was baking in my long sleeved jacket. I knew I was going to be miserable if I kept it on so I pulled over for a quick minute to remove my layer (I was wearing a tank top underneath), quickly re situate, and get back on the road. I ended up losing about a minute and a half of time, which is fine but kind of annoying. The race course and the crowd support was EXCELLENT. You start all the way up Broad street in North Philly and run a straight shot down Broad, around City Hall, through Center City, and down to the Navy Yard in South Philly.

You know how some days are just great running days? This was not one of those days. My legs just felt tired pretty much the whole race. I was holding a great pace but it felt tough. By mile 5, I was getting tired and I thought to myself “Uh oh, I still have 5 miles to go and I’m already tired.” When I start getting tired during a race, I try and use my ego to my own advantage. I stuck to the outside of the course, so I wouldn’t be tempted to walk in front of all the spectators. Hey, whatever you gotta do right? Coming around City Hall was awesome and I knew that my friends would be on Broad between City Hall and South Street. I saw Sarah (and gave her a high five) but missed Kristy (womp womp). Then it was another ~ 4 miles to go. I was on pace to meet my 10 mile PR from December and, even though I was tired and my knee was starting to hurt a little, I was not going to let up. I kicked it into high gear for the last half a mile and flew to the finish line.

Unfortunately, there was a HUGE backup of people at the finish line, so I was forced to stop completely 1 step across the finish line. Not ideal. I clicked off my watch and didn’t even look at it while I tried to navigate this massive clog of people. When I finally got funneled into the finish area and looked at my watch, I realized that I set a new PR by 4 seconds! 1:31:47 by my clock. However, this is an unofficial PR since my chip time was a 90 seconds longer thanks to my stop to change my shirt. Irritating, but that’s ok. I’ll keep my PR from December for now but I am gunning for a sub 1:30 10 miler this Fall.

I picked up my medal and my finisher food (which was BALLER by the way. Major points for this Broad Street Run. Soft pretzels and a bag of delicious goodies) and made my way into the finish area. If the start area was crowded, the finish area was worse. Mike and I had decided to meet up at the Dunkin Donuts tent. I realized immediately this was a huge mistake, because they were giving out free drink and donut samples. It was mobbed. It took us over 30 minutes to find each other because apparently our bag check bus was late and Mike had to wait for a while to get his cell phone back. After we met up, we took a couple pictures and high tailed it to the subway. Thankfully, that was not as bad as I thought it would be. We got on a train easily and were back in Center City by noon. [As a note, many runners at Broad Street wore Red Socks as a tribute to Boston. It was a really nice touch! And for interested parties, Mike ran approx 1:10. He’s really coming back from his injury and doing great!]





In summation: Broad Street was super fun and energetic! You really get a taste of Philly and that rocks. Logistically, this race is challenging because of the huge crowds and small start / finish areas. I’m so glad we did it and maybe we will in a few years, but not next year.

After bagels and showers back at Sarah’s, we cabbed up to the Northern Liberties for a post race celebration of beer, jenga, and ping pong at Frankford Hall. I wasn’t feeling 100% (I got an exercise induced headache after the race) so I stuck to soda and agreed to be our designated driver. I didn’t mind at all, we had so much fun! By 7 pm, Mike and I were on the road back to DC. We hated to leave Philly (and Sarah) but we’ll be back again VERY soon!

255784_10200212343974793_724534985_n 923424_10200212884108296_301001160_n

Questions for you guys:

  • Have you ever run Broad Street? What did you think?
  • Did you race this weekend?
  • Favorite beer?

Monument Avenue 10K – Race Recap / Review

I had this post scheduled for yesterday but elected to cancel it in light of the tragic events that occurred in Boston. I am a person first, runner second and I am, as we all are, heart broken over these events. Julie at PB Fingers wrote a post this morning about ways to help for those who are interested. Amid the confusion and sadness yesterday, I was so relieved to hear my friends at Lavender Parking and South Harlem Runner were uninjured (though certainly frightened and upset). My support and love are with the people of Boston, runners, spectators, first responders,  and volunteers. The strength and resiliency of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me, and I have already seen some truly amazing examples in the wake of this senseless tragedy. That is where I find solace today.

I declared this spring was… THE SPRING OF SPEED! I set a goal to get a new PR in the 5K and 10K distances and after this weekend… I’ve done it! I set my new 5K pr in Crystal City and now my new 10K Pr of 55:00 belongs to the Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond. I would link you to my official results but sadly I did not get chipped in at the starting line so my race time is 14-15 minutes off. I’m working with racing officials to get this corrected.

Friday afternoon, Mike and I took off for Richmond. Under normal circumstances, it should take 2 hours tops. But this is DC and the traffic is like the worst in the country so we sat in this for hours and it took us like 4 hours to get there.

photo 1

After finally arriving and picking up our packets, we headed to Carytown where were staying (courtesy of AirBnB… if you haven’t tried it but consider yourself a more “adventurous traveler” I’d seriously recommend it. Especially for runners traveling to major races. A hotel would’ve EASILY cost us $200 and be miles from the start line. This was $50 for a night and we were less than two miles from the start). And it came with some quality time spent with the family dog… Squeaker!

photo 3

The remainder of the evening consisted of pizza at Mary Angela’s, frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog, and being asleep by 11:15.

photo 2

Since the race didn’t start until 8:30 it made for a rather leisurely race morning. We left the house at 7 am and leisurely walked down to the start line. We arrived around 7:40, checked our bag, used the bathroom, posed for a quick pic by the fountain, and made our way to the corrals.

photo 4photo 5

Confession time… I snuck into a different corral than the one I was assigned! They were like actually checking too so this was more difficult than I was expecting. I do not advocate changing corrals BUT I was going for a PR and I knew I could hold the pace, so I jumped in a couple corrals ahead of my own. And before I knew it… we were off! Mike ran with me again and we were aiming for 8:45 – 8:50 min / mile.

photo 1 (1)photo 2 (1)photo 3 (1)

It was challenging but I held the pace. My legs felt kind of heavy at the beginning of the race but thankfully they loosened up after a couple of miles. The course was awesome… a straight out and back on Monument Avenue complete with beautiful houses, basically pancake flat road, tons of crowd support, and live music EVERY block. Right at mile 6, I realized that I might be able to break 55 minutes if I really hauled it in to the finish line. I managed a really decent kick (in fact, my pace for that .2 miles was 7:40 min/miles) but ended up finishing at exactly 55 minutes. KIND OF wish I had gotten 54:59 instead but that’s ok. I’m taking this 4 minutes PR and cherishing it!

photo 4 (1)photo 4

Mike is, as always, the best racing buddy. I’m really not looking forward to him recovering from this injury… who is going to pace me in for new PRs now???

photo 5

The post race festivities were really great! Very family friendly for my racing buddies with kiddos. There were inflatables and characters roaming around!

photo 1 photo 5 (1)

We went picked up our bags and let me just say… this is by far the best bag check solution I’ve EVER seen. It was so quick and easy for pick up and drop off. You dropped off in one big group, then the bags were placed around the perimeter of a large fenced area. You just went to the fence that corresponded with your number. No lines AT ALL.

photo 2
The post race food was kind of meh (soft rolls instead of bagels… no thank you) but the people from Martin’s were handing out fresh apples and they were DELICIOUS.

photo 3

Quick race review – for such a HUGE race, this was so amazingly well organized it’s ridiculous. The corrals were excellent, the course didn’t feel THAT crowded, aid stations were perfectly stocked, and it was AWESOME. I would HIGHLY recommend this race. It is very first-timer and walker friendly as well. You won’t feel alone no matter where you are in the race.

Questions for you guys:

  • Did you race this weekend? Where?
  • What is your favorite race you’ve ever run?

Crystal Run 5K Friday – Race Recap

In honor of the Spring of Speed… I ACTUALLY raced my very first 5K this weekend. I’ve done it a number of times in training (a 5K “time trial” of sorts), but I’ve never raced an actual 5K race. To be honest, last week kinda stunk just for a number of silly little reasons. It wasn’t “my” week and I was VERY grateful when it was after 5 on Friday. I didn’t have high hopes for this 5K even though I really wanted to do well. I was having a crappy week, I accidentally brought long pants thinking they were capris (it was kind of warm) and my hair tie broke as I was putting my hair in a race ponytail. I also neglected to charge or pack my Garmin. I didn’t really feel ready.

photo 2 (5)

But luckily, Mike agreed to run with me since he isn’t really in racing shape right now (Mike’s 5K PR is like 19 minutes and change, so we’re not really in the same league usually). I showed up, picked up my number, ditched my bag, and I even went for a warm up jog (which I don’t normally do… but now I’m thinking perhaps I should?).  We saw / chatted with a couple people, including my brother’s roommate (who is like super hardcore / in the military so we definitely weren’t running with him).

I decided to shoot for a pace of 8:45 min / mile, but had to rely on Mike b/c he was wearing the Garmin. I took off at what I thought / hoped was a hard but maintainable pace. I had to work hard to think about this race differently than I normally do my longer distance races. Even if I went out “too fast”, I wasn’t going to totally bonk / not finish a 5K. I ended up clocking 8:25 for the first mile and I felt good. My legs felt great and could definitely hold that pace. I figured I’d try and hold it for as long as I could and just see how things went!

Around mile 1.8 I started getting this weird burning sensation in my stomach. Normally, I would back off if I felt something like that, but I tried to remember that this was a 5K. According to Mike… the “hurt” of a 5K is different than the “hurt” of a half marathon. I pushed on despite the feeling in my stomach. We clocked mile 2 at 8:25 as well. The final mile was definitely the most challenging, but I did everything I could to dig deep and pull this out. I almost bulldozed a little kid on the course by accident… sorry kid!

Mile 3 clocked in slightly slower at about 8:30, but overall I was really pleased with my ability to hold a steady pace over the course of the race. Mike was, as always, an amazing racing partner because he pushed me when I needed it but also backed off and let me run my race (I can be kind of mean when I’m really focused but he knows it comes from a place of love haha). My legs felt perfect but I was definitely feeling that burning sensation in my stomach / chest. My breathing was hard but not strained or shallow, which was good! (Apparently, these are all feelings you should have while racing a 5K? I dunno I just repeat what people say to me). I was able to muster up a little surge to the finish line, which is always nice.

photo 3 (2)

As you can see, I raced with my hair down (thank god I had a headband at least!) and I rolled my ankle length tights up to my knees to create makeshift capris. These things were like a vice on my legs though. I’m shocked I didn’t have to amputate both of my legs below the knees to get them off.

photo 4 (3)

My official finish time was 26:45! Considering before this race the other 5Ks I’ve run were all over 30 minutes, I feel pretty good about that 🙂 New PR to start the weekend!! As always, thank you Pacers for putting on an AWESOME event.

After the race, I enjoyed some Corner Bakery cookies, Vita Coco water, and caught up with a few friends before heading home. It was a lovely night of homemade pizza, beer, and falling asleep by 10:15 pm 🙂

Questions for you guys:

– Do you prefer shorter or longer races? I think I still prefer longer races, but I’m enjoying the new challenge of short.

– Have you ever done a night / evening race before? Thoughts? 

– What is your favorite cookie?? I have a weakness for black and white cookies, but other than that I think my favorite is the snicker doodle!

The Spring of Speed

My identity as a runner is not rooted in speed. I have been perfectly happy as a solid middle of the pack runner and get my kicks from distance not time. However, last spring I noticed that I was getting a little bit speedier from not really trying at all. I think I was just getting better at running and training for the marathon, so I was naturally get a little faster. Mike is a speed lover. He loves to push himself to meet new time goals and do track workouts. He pointed out that if I was getting faster without trying, maybe I was more capable of speed if I actually did put some effort towards it. Since my distance game has been off recently (you can read mournful posts here and here), I have officially decided to deem this… THE SPRING OF SPEED!


Some commonly accepted ways to improve speed are:

  • Run consistently – this means both during the week (3 – 6 days of running) and throughout the year (don’t “stop running” or get completely out of shape)
  • Include speed and hill workouts – Speed workouts are typically slightly shorter and more intense effort than mid-distance or long runs. Some examples of good speed workouts here, here, and here. Hills can mean just including more hills in your running routes or doing specific hill workouts. Some examples of hill workouts here and here.
  • Strengthen your legs and core – I don’t think this requires a lot of explanation. Read more here and here.
  • Do more plyometrics / sprints – I love plyometrics (I’ve talked about this before) and “jump” training is definitely associated with improved speed. Same with sprints! Read more here and here.

 Here’s what I’m doing to get faster:

  • Four runs per week. Monday is short, hard speed work. Wednesday is slightly longer, moderately hard effort. Friday is easy. Saturday is long run. 
  • Lady Ripped. I’m hoping that in my quest to get lady ripped and heal my knee injury, I’ll also get faster! I’ve been doing 100 x more strength training in the last month than I have like… ever. Hopefully I’m on the right track.
  • Boot Camp style workouts. I’ve been attending a bunch of different classes and incorporating boot camp style circuits with plyo into my solo workouts.
  • Actually racing 10Ks and 5Ks. Right now I’m signed up for one 10K and a couple 5Ks this spring. I normally never sign up for these distances and focus more on distance. I really want to improve at these shorter distances so I’ve gotta race them!
  • Hills. I incorporate hills into pretty much all of my outdoor runs (I don’t live in a particularly flat area) but I’ve never done a proper hill workout. I want to give one a try sometime and see how I do.

Questions for you guys:

  • What kinds of fitness goals are you working towards this spring?
  • Have you ever worked on improving your speed? How did you do it?

Time to Shake Things Up

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my fitness routine and I think it’s time that I shake things up! I went through a phase where I really wanted to just do what I felt like doing without a schedule. But recently I’ve been feeling the pull back towards intense training, but I haven’t seemed to get myself back in gear. It’s time to get back in gear 🙂

I am running the Baltimore Half Marathon in seven weeks and I know it’s gonna be a tough one (there are a lot of great hills on the Baltimore course). I want to do well in this half and I think that I can! So I turned to my favorite favorite favorite running tool in the world… the training plan (one of my FIRST POTR entries… what what). I always start with Hal Higdon because he is awesome and provides training programs FO FREE (there’s an update coming soon about the POTR budget and it’s about to go from tight to soviet so I love things that are free!). I decided to bite the bullet and go for the Advanced Half Marathon training. I’ve shied away from it because of the number of days per week you have to run, but I’m ready for the challenge. Please keep in mind that this is an advanced program and only because I have been running for some time / have run many many many half marathons and one full marathon do I think this is healthy / safe for me. This is a twelve week program so clearly I’m a little late to the party. At this point, I feel confident in my fitness level / current running patterns to jump in 5 weeks into the program (this is like the #1 thing they tell you NOT to do when training for a race but again I’ve done this many times and know my body very well. This would NOT be advisable for everyone to do!). Here’s what it is going to look like:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 8 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest or easy run 90 min run (3/1) Rest or easy run
2 4 x 800 10-K pace 3 m run + strength 45 min tempo 3 m run + strength 4 m pace 1:45 run (3/1) Rest or easy run
3 3 x 1600 race pace 3 m run + strength 50 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m pace 1:45 run Rest or easy run
4 5 x 800 10-K pace 3 m run + strength 30 min tempo 3 m run + strength Rest or easy run 15K Race Rest or easy run
5 4 x 1600 race pace 3 m run + strength 55 min tempo 3 m run + strength 5 m Pace 2:00 run (3/1) Rest or easy run
6 6 x 800 10-K pace 3 m run + strength 60 min tempo 3 m run + strength 3 m pace 2:00 run Rest or easy run
7 6 x 400 5-K pace 3 m run + strength 30 min tempo 2 m run + strength Rest or easy run Baltimore Half Marathon Rest

I’m pretty excited to get back on a training program but I’ve played around with the workouts a little bit to work with my personal schedule. I really prefer to do my long runs on Saturday as opposed to Sunday, but it is really more ideal to do pace work the day before the long run as opposed to after. Therefore, I decided to do my pace runs on Fridays, Long Runs Saturday and do the Rest or Easy Run days on Sundays. I also switched the “easy days” to Tuesday and Thursday since he suggests strength training those days and I like to go to my cardio / strength intervals class on Tuesday and Thursday during lunch. As far as yoga goes, my plan is stick with around 3 classes per week and focus more on stretching and core / upper body strength and less on killing my legs.

Right now my half marathon PR is 2:08:01 (which is a 9:45 min / mile). I would LOVE to run a 9:30 min / mile average this fall (which would be 2:04:27). So that is what I’m going to use as my goal pace for my tempo / pace runs. I usually do 8:30 min / mile for my 5K pace and 9:00 min / mile for my 10K pace for speed work, but those are really just estimates (I rarely actually run 5K and 10K races).
My ultimate goal is run a sub-2 hour half marathon but you know baby steps. Also, I totally realize that many people run sub-2 hour halfs like it ain’t not thang, but I think at this point we’ve deduced I’m not most people and I’m kind of slow… SORRY I’M NOT SORRY! Whenever I get down on myself for being slow (like pretty much every time I get annihilated while running by some skin and bones chick with a six pack and no shirt) I try to remind myself that at least I’m not 200 lbs like I used to be (haha fun fact about me) and I’m a RUNNER, which is pretty fabulous 🙂

Beating a “Running Low”

You may have noticed (if you read “Week in Workouts” on Fridays) that my running has kind of dropped off in the last month or two. I have been trying not to admit it… but I think I’m in a running rut. This spring was literally the highlight of my entire running career (which admittedly isn’t all that long… I only started running in the Fall of 2010). I felt like I was just getting better and better and better. I overcame speed barriers, accomplished goals… I mean I ran a marathon! But ever since marathon? Very, very blah. I ran a half and a 10K after the marathon and I wasn’t really pleased with either one of them. I could’ve done better. And now? Now I’m out of the groove. My runs feel SO SLOW and mentally I’m totally out of the game. Running has always made me feel good about myself, but recently I’ve been finding myself beating myself up on every run. So what’s going on here? I’m in a rut. I want to break out of this rut. I want to fall back in love with running again because, despite the fact that I kind of hate it right now, I miss it. I miss loving it. Also fair warning: there are awesomely cheesy motivational pictures in this post… you know you love them 🙂


Here are a couple potential reasons for my running rut:

  1. It’s summer and it’s hotter than hell. Running in the summer is just HARDER. I know this intellectually but every time I go out and run I seem to forget this and just beat myself up mentally (I’m so kind to myself and say encouraging things like “look how out of shape you’ve gotten since the marathon” “you’re fat and slow” oh yes. I am a peach).
  2. The heat isn’t conducive to my running schedule right now. The way my life is working out right now, the best time of day for me to workout during the week is the middle of the workday (lunchtime). However, today the heat index at 12:30 pm was almost 108 degrees. I like to sweat but that’s just not safe. Recently I’ve been using early AM to attend to personal matters (intentionally vague) and afterwork is either yoga or social activities. This is what works for me but now I’m a slave to the treadmill most days and that’s just not as much fun.
  3. I’m running with the wrong crowd. I’m probably the only person on the planet whose running has been negatively impacted by joining up with a running club. I have been running with Mike’s running club and I HATE THEM. I really hate to be that negative about them but I find the group to be really snobby / not inclusive and I am BY FAR the slowest person in the group. Recently that’s really been getting me down. I start out a long run by getting annihilated by every member of the group (including the guy who starts the run late because he’s taking a pre-run extended visit to the port-o-potties). Also everyone in this group is like allergic to wearing shirts (guys AND girls). Put some damn clothes on, I’m dealing with body image issues here… RUDE.
  4. I’ve got competition in my workout schedule. I am totally in love with strength training / interval training right now, and yoga and I have totally gotten back together and we’re better than ever. This just doesn’t leave me as much time to dedicate solely to running. I feel like I lost a little bit of my fitness after the marathon (which is normal and to be expected) but it’s hard to get that back when I just don’t have the time to run as often.


Here is what I think I’m going to do to try and bust out of this rut:

  1. Ditch my Garmin. I can’t do anything about the heat, but I can try and reframe my focus. I’m going to stop obsessing over speed / time and focus on remembering why I fell in love with running in the first place.
  2. Try something new. I still really want to try trail running, but maybe I could also look for creative ways to break up my treadmill workouts. There’s plenty of inspiration out there… I just have to find it. I could also try listening to different things while on the treadmill. Some friends of mine listen to Podcasts, maybe I’d enjoy that!
  3. Create a schedule and stick to it. I love being in training because I have an external motivator. Without that, I’m kind of lost. With all the competition for my time / attention in my workout routine, I’m going to try and stick with three solid, challenging runs per week. I don’t have space for a lot of junk miles right now.
  4. Hang back with the group. I don’t want to stop going to the group because it’s something that I like doing with Mike. It’s also nice to have the external motivation to get up and get out for a run early on Saturday,  and it changes things up by varying routes. However, instead of starting out with the group I think I’m going to hang back a few minutes and let everyone go. Then I’ll start my run on my terms, totally solo. Mike says we can look into other groups too… but we’ll see.


That Time I Totally Chickened Out

So last night I was supposed to join Mike at his running club’s weekly track workout… but as the title of this post suggests I totally chickened out at the last minute. I sometimes feel like as a runner, I don’t quite fit in. I would consider myself a “serious runner”, but I am not fast. I kind of chuckle when I read blogs by other runners and they’re like “I ran SO SLOW it was like an 8:00 minute mile”. That would be REALLY fast for me. I thought it was a huge victory to run 9:30 minute miles. I know I’ll continue to improve as I continue running, but some of it is just how my body is made. I am not that fast. I feel really confident about myself as a runner approximately 99% of the time. Yesterday was that 1%.

Mike says that joining the running club increased his love of running (especially the marathon distance) exponentially. He typically meets up with the club on Saturday mornings for long runs, and, most recently, Wednesday evenings for track workouts. I joined him for the Saturday long runs several times over the winter / spring, while I was marathon training. Unfortunately, it’s typically only the “hardcore” runners that come out in the winter, and “hardcore” runners are fast… way faster than me (even though I still think I’m pretty hardcore). I was routinely the slowest person in the group. That didn’t bother me TOO much (ok it bothered me a LOT on my first run with the group but I had a good little pep talk with myself over my 12 mile run and it helped) because after a while I would just be on my own, running my pace, and enjoying my morning. The group gave me the external motivation to get up and get running by a certain time and variety in my routes, which is what I was looking for.

It seemed only natural that I would also join Mike for the Wednesday night track workouts. I have been trying to work more on speed, so I thought it would be good. But then I was thinking about it yesterday and I started FREAKING OUT. I was having flashbacks to pre-season training for field hockey in high school (as you’ll recall, I was very overweight and running was completely humiliating), imaging a coach yelling at me and fast people finishing first to watch and laugh. I also realized that if I was the slowest person in the group, there would never be a time when I would be alone. The fast people (including my boyfriend) would just be passing me again and again and again. Suddenly, I felt very tired and really wanted a nap. I didn’t end up going.

Yesterday was a good reminder to me that it doesn’t matter how many races I’ve run, how many medals I have, or how many new PRs I’ve set, confidence comes from within. Next week I’m going to that track workout, and I am going to face my demons. I have to remind myself that most of the time when you think people are laughing at you, that’s you projecting your insecurities (and the other times, those people suck! So forget them). I will also remember that there is value in continuing to struggle. We all have insecurities and denying that they exist isn’t any healthier than wallowing in them.

I’d love to hear from others… what’s your biggest insecurity, and how do you work to overcome it?


The Need for Speed

So as I mentioned last week I am trying to focus more of my running attention on speed and after my first two speed workouts I can say it’s going AWESOME 🙂 I thought I’d share with you the two workouts I have done and some information on speed training in case you too are hoping to set a new PR!

Speed Workout #1 – Track Workout (But OK, I actually did it on a treadmill because I was on my lunchbreak and the gym is more accessible than a track) “Faster, Faster” from RunningTimes.

400 M Easy Run Pace (I did 10:50 min / mile)
400 M  15K Pace (I did 9:10 min / mile)
400 M 3 – 5 K Pace (I did 8:40 min / mile)

The website says to repeat it 4 times but I did 5 times with a quarter mile cooldown after the last for an even 4 miles.

Speed Workout #2 – Tempo Run

1 M Easy Run Pace (I did 10:50 min / mile)
3 M 10K Race Pace (I did 9:00 min / mile)
1 M Easy Run Pace (I did 10:50 min / mile again)

It’s only my first week of these speed workouts so I think setting the right paces will be a learning process. I felt really good after these but I wasn’t as wiped out as I thought I would be. That probably means I can push the speed even faster. I would also like to get my tempo runs up to longer distances, but I was busy this week and 5 miles was all I could get (I try to remember… 5 miles is better than 0 miles!).

One thing I really loved was that it made these shorter workouts feel like they packed more of a punch. My four mile speed workout was MUCH harder than a normal 4 mile training run… but in a good way.

Next week I’m going to try out a different track workout and maybe a six mile tempo run? We’ll see what I have time for when I make my workout calendar! Anyways… MEEP MEEP! (hehe get it? The Roadrunner?)