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September 04, 2007

MY "REAL" FIRST SPEED WORKOUT...EVER


First things, first. I've got a few things I want to get out and then I'll move on to the fabulous world that is speedwork.


Let's start with a recap of August:


August sucked.


The heat was horrible.


My training was almost nonexistent.


I ran the worst race ever.


And I never finished the thing I copied from Laurie about running 3 times for every day of the month (who knew I'd be so ambitious....), although I did come awfully close.

After reading many other blogs I know that August was a tough month for most of us.

I'm not sure why it was a particularly tough month for me. Maybe it was the hell of the 2 months prior with school that finally got to me. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was work (more than likely, not). Or maybe it was just a crap-filled month. Who knows? And who cares? It's finally over.

Now, we've got September (cue Kool & the Gang).

This is going to be a FABULOUS month. I just know it. Not only does Desperate Housewives makes it's season premier, but the Office is back for another season. YAHOO!. And starting the month off with plus-one race in the books hasn't hurt a bit. Now, starting the month off with a PR is enough to make me remember why I do this thing called running. Which is something that I forgot in August.

Miss Petite America posted that running is a little selfish and well, after thinking about it for a while, I just don't think that's so. I think we all run for different reasons but it's that moment when you figure out why you run, and who you running for...well, it's in that moment when you (or me in this case) finally feel like running is good and not very selfish at all. September, the race yesterday, the first speedwork out (ever)...these are the things that have helped me feel like running is good. And why I run in the first place. I always say I run to constantly remind myself that just because I wasn't born to do something doesn't mean that I can't. And I do think that's true. But I also run to inspire my nephew, to see the smile on Troy's face when I PR, to see the look on my dad's face as he watches me cross one more finish line. I run because I never did before and if just one other person looks at what I've done and does it too...well, then it was all worth it for me. I run because this body was given to me and I was entrusted with taking care of it and running is part of the way I take care of it. I run because I can, but most of all because I want to.

That brings me to another point. Troy and I were going over the race last night and I was telling him what I was thinking about at this point in the race, and at that point in the race I was thinking this so I started to think about that because this was making me run slow. And he stopped me and said "you think while you run?" I had to sit there for a second. Doesn't everyone think about stuff while they run? How can you spend that much time with yourself and not have any thoughts? I just don't see how I can stop my brain from going...going...going.

During yesterday's run I thought about Sunday School, about the lady in front of me who was running back to back races: would she pay 2 entry fees, would she get 2 t-shirts, would she still be looking this good at the end of the 2nd race?. I thought alot about my blog. And what I had posted last week. And how I got a lot of emails saying I was "so-type-A", or how my blog was all about being on a plan or a schedule. I wondered how these people felt they knew me so well. And I thought what if everything on my blog was made-up...would they still say those things? I thought about PR'ing, or the fact that I thought I wouldn't. I thought about my runs with Downtown D since we run on that same turf and I wondered if she was enjoying the lake. I thought about that girl that I just passed, or was it a guy? I just couldn't figure it out. I thought about how the camera guy caught me with my mouth wide open. I thought about where I was going to take my afternoon nap. I wondered where Troy was and if he was finished. I thought about all of those things and probably more. Do others think so much while they run?

I'm excited about September. I'm leaving August in the dust. I've got big plans for September, and I'm not ashamed to admit it because I am that girl who plans everything! Some of my plans include finally taking that leap and joining the local track club for their speed workouts (which I did TONIGHT!!!). It includes another race. It includes logging over 80 miles. It includes a much needed vacation at the beach. And it includes me continuing to be who I am, regardless of who I drive crazy!

And now.

(cue the drum roll)

I introduce my little exercise tonight in speedwork (with not alot of emphasis on the speed). I'm not gonna lie. I was totally terrified to go out there tonight. The main reason because I know I'm not as fast as these people. And the secondary reason being that I have been totally stopped up all freakin' day long. I'm certain it's allergies because other than the fact that I can't breath, I'm okay. But, I figured I would at least give myself an A for effort since I was headed out there plus cold...I mean allergies. The local track club organizes this so I knew who I was meeting. They told me that they run a few slow laps around the track to warm up. I was sweating by my 2nd slow lap. Nice. They also said since we all ran yesterday that they would be taking it easy. I was certain that easy in my book is not the same easy in their book. But, off I went. For 2 laps around the track (an 800...I'm even getting the lingo down) followed by an easy (there's that word again) lap and then repeat 2 more times (I think.) And off we went. Me in the back (of course) but trying my darndest to keep up. And then it dawned on me that there was no way I was keeping up so I might as well just get into a rhythm and push on. Sam told me to run to exhaustion (I think that is the word he used). It also dawned on me that I have no idea what that is for me. So, after lap 1 I stopped to walk for about 30 seconds. There was this whole issue with not being able to breath. My legs were fine. My lungs hated me. I picked it back up after the brief walk and ran it in...dead last. Who cares? I had 7 or 8 of my new friends cheering me in like I was really doing something! Dave (Track Club President) walked with me a bit on the recovery (or was that on the 2nd recovery?) and that helped. I completed another 800 dead last again. Who care? Again, all the cheering, the arm waving, the...okay, so it wasn't all fanfare. I decided 2 was enough for me and my not-being-able-to-breath issue. I watched as they completed the last 800, as they all made it look so darn easy (there is THAT word again!) All in all, I really enjoyed it. I messed my watch up for my splits but they hovered between 1:54 and 2:12 (for the 400...remember I'm not even close to fast). I enjoyed it because I just got out there and did it. And it brought me back to those first runs with Troy. The first hills. The first 8 miles. The first 16 miles. All of the firsts. And how exciting they were in the beginning but eventually lost their luster. I was glad to have another first. And I'm excited about going back next week. And one of these days I won't be in dead last, but I will certainly have forgotten how exciting it was the very first time, ever.
Have a great Wednesday!

[By the way, photo courtesy (if I steal it, is it still courtesy?) of thefinalsprint.com]

3 comments:

Jim said...

I cannot believe that I get to go first . . .woo hoo!

Wonderfully written. If it weren't almost 10:00 pm, I'd lace 'em back up and go again. You got me fired up.

Thinking while running. Interesting. There's an article in this months Runner's World about that. Association and Dissociation (though I think it should be disassociation). Personally, I can turn it off and on depending on the effort. If I'm doing LSD (long slow distance, not the drug)I tend to let my mind wander. I think about the past, the future. Sometimes my best prayers are said on long runs. Other times, if I'm doing hills or fartleks, I do not think. Way too distracting. When I'm pushing hard, I do the weirdest thing. I count my steps. I listen to my feet. Strange, huh?

Speed work-YUCK. I hate the track. Nothing but speed demons and pretty people there. I guess I'm too embarrassed to be seen there. I prefer farleks and hillwork. Another thing that I did while preparing for my PR marathon (3:48, thank you)was to do Yasso 800s. Sounds sort of like what you were doing on the track. However, I know my course well enough that I can do the yasso's without the track. Regardless, the only way to get faster is to do some kind of anaerobic workout for extended periods. Congrats on your speed work. I'm sure you'll be in fine shape when you come to B'ham for Mercedes!

Anne said...

I know everyone tends to look at Jan. 1 or the first day of spring as a time of renewal, but I've always been a fall girl and am just as delighted as you to be done with August. Good times ahead, Amy!

Judi said...

I just want to chime in that I'm thrilled to find that someone else thinks non-stop while running. You know, thinking beyond, "gee, I hope I don't trip on my laces and make a fool of myself." LOL Enjoy September!