May 8, 2014

Thoughts During Speed Work

This morning’s alarm went off like any other.. way too early. The thought crossed my mind as I saw that 4:30 flashing on my phone screen, to just turn it off and pull the covers up over my head. But I thought about how hot it’s been lately and the thought of a cool morning speed work session got me out of bed.

I got up to the track and it was still completely dark. As I ran my warm up mile around the campus, I could smell the honeysuckle blooming (does honeysuckle bloom? I am not sure, actually) and I thought to myself, “Man, this is going to be a gorgeous day!” My speed work session was 800 meters at 10K race pace, 400 meters at 5K pace, 4 times in a row. Sounds easy, right? Well, I can’t tell you how happy I was that my speedwork had 8’s in front of the numbers and not 7’s like my last two weeks have had. Brutal.

Anyway, my thoughts fell to yesterday and turning in my PR’s to Coach Alex and Ann at Resolute Running… and mainly how far I have come. Both my 10K PR and Half Marathon PR have been set within the past 9 months under their guidance. I’m racing a 5K this weekend with the mindset to actually race it, for the first time in almost 2 years. I couldn’t believe I haven’t actually raced a 5K in that long. Sure, I’ve ran them on the fly, but generally as part of a long run.

As I started my second set of my 800’s, I noticed the sky was getting lighter and I was going to get to actually watch the sunrise. It’s such a glorious thing, to get to watch the sunrise while having a great run. It makes me think anything is possible, because today is a new day after all. (Just like Scarlett O’Hara said!)

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So much has happened over the past year.. things to celebrate, mourn, conquer, and over come. It’s been the year of “get knocked down 7 times, get back up 8″ for me. I think resilience is something that most runners possess. The ability to brush things off and keep going, even when it hurts… and I think it’s one of my favorite qualities in life. Not letting life make you hard. I refuse to let that happen. Yes, I am naive about a lot of things in life, but I am grateful that I don’t always question others motives and always want to see the good in people. I don’t think anyone would blame me, if I were angry at the world for the hand that life has dealt me. But I can’t let anger take over my life.

I finished my speed work, just like I was supposed to. And it felt good and like I could have kept going (I probably shouldn’t admit that.. Alex and Ann will make me pay for that next week).  I am thankful for the ability to run and be able to come away from runs, changed and challenged. I’m not the fastest, but I am a lot faster than I used to be. When my life turns upside down, I am thankful for the consistency and the controllability of running.

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It was a perfect solo morning speed work session. Cool morning air, the smell of honeysuckle, watermelon Nuun, and a changed outlook on my week. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to a Thursday.

Leave a comment to Thoughts During Speed Work

  1. Rachel, I need your help learning to do speed work properly and incorporate it. Email me if you can help. thanks

  2. I love this post:) I am just starting to work with a coach and incorporate speed work, and it is NO joke!

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