03 April 2012

Learning to speed

On my last post I alluded to something different in my training.  There are actually a couple of things--for the first time ever I have the freedom to be able to run whenever and where ever I want.  I've let it be known locally that I'm almost always up for a last minute run.......note the almost, there have been a few times that Ginny has texted and I've had to say no because I'd already trashed my legs on the trainer.  Got to be somewhat ok to run with her because we get to chatting and we end up speeding up, lol.  Her slow is my fast but I do absolutely love running with her when I get the chance.

The second thing that is different is that I'm participating in the Women Run Arkansas clinic this year.  While I have no other set mileages or distances to do the rest of the week, I'm now getting some organized speed work with coaching on Monday and Thursday nights.  When I first began running I didn't know anyone else who ran so I used the Couch to 5k program to get started and devoured the interwebs for information every chance I got.  This eventually led me to creating an awesome network of friends online for support and information.  I still talk to the majority of these people every day.  It also helped lead me to my current running club--that and meeting Ms. Vic at my first ever 5k--but I've never had any formal coaching.  Brenda talked me into joining the WRA clinic, especially handy since it meets within walking distance of where I live.

I'm now into my 4th (I think) week of it and I'm absolutely seeing some major improvements.  The only "problem" is that Brenda and Vicki are the leaders of the intermediate/advanced groups and they know what I can run already so I don't get to slack off during the "work" part.  Not even a "But I ran with Ginny this morning!" was enough of an excuse for me to do anything less than my best during a session of diabolical 30/30s (run fast for 30 seconds, then slow jog for 30 seconds recovery, 20 minutes total).  That "excuse" elicited an "I don't care!" from Ms Vic, lol.

Tonight was 800s and each woman's time was determined by what she did on the timed mile.  My first and second timed miles were 7:11 and 7:08 respectively thus I was to do the 3x800s in 3:25.  First one was 3:20, 2nd was 3:15 (oops), and my final was darn near spot on at 3:24 (I forced myself to slow down just a bit).  I can't say the actual hard bit was fun but it was good to get out and feel the muscles working and lungs not quite to bursting in a non-race situation.  Getting to work with the other girls and women is also amazing and yes, very inspiring.  Love seeing how everyone reacts to doing something so difficult and succeeding when they didn't think they could push that hard.  I can see why so many who participate in the Cabot clinic continue on with running even after the graduation 5k.

As far as the rest of my training, I'm managing to rack up some respectable miles for someone who isn't "training" for anything specific.  The last 3 weeks I've ran 46, 48, and 50 miles--that doesn't include my walking or trainer mileages either.  Running total for March was 168 miles and I think I'm up to 419 for the year already.  This is what happens when it becomes fun again and I'm loving it.

On a slightly different tangent, I received a package today from @CleoPompom containing Malteasters!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you again Nadya, I'm loving the candy AND the beautiful postcard.  Such a thoughtful thing to include, it's currently on my refrigerator with my other souvenirs from the UK and my recent road trips.