Doing Speed…I Mean Speedwork

The McCurdy Track at Harvard

On Wednesday night, I did my first track workout of my life. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I changed into running gear at the office, took the T in the opposite direction that I normally do, switched to a bus, and got off in Allston (where Harvard’s athletic facilities are). I could see the track but wasn’t sure where there was an opening in the fence, so I walked for probably 7 minutes until I found my way in. I dropped my handbag and gym bag on the grass right next to the track, and started off with a 1-mile warmup jog – 4 laps around the track. Then, following advice I read somewhere online, I did 1 lap running all out, 1 lap walking, and repeated that 4 times. The walking laps felt very long and unnecessary, but I’m pretty sure those ~5 minutes of recovery allowed me to ZOOM on the running laps.

According to Garmin, my 1600m time was exactly 8:00, which means I ran a total of 1 mile in 8 minutes. Each 400 meters was roughly as follows:

  • Lap 1 – 2:07
  • Lap 2 – 2:18
  • Lap 3 – 2:12
  • Lap 4 – 1:57

Screenshot_20170504-214037On Thursday, we had our first DFMC run from Lir (I still call these Crossroads runs, even though the bar Crossroads closed down in March). We were relegated to the basement bar without a bartender because there was an event upstairs and the main floor was packed with pregraming Red Sox fans. I started out with my homegirl Meghan and Greg, but Greg was way too fast for us. Eventually we met up with Margot who is also fast, and let her and Greg take off. The plan was to cross the Charles to Cambridge over the Mass Ave Bridge, run along the river to the Museum of Science, then cross back into Boston and run along the river, eventually ending back at Lir (Hereford and Boylston). But by Mile 1.5, I was pooped from running the first mile way too fast and also dodging cars and pedestrians, so we decided to take a shortcut over the Longfellow Bridge. Except, with construction, it was almost a 0.5-mile detour just to get ONTO the bridge in a very roundabout way, so we ended up covering 4.25 miles versus the 4.75 we would’ve done had we followed the original route. So not much of a shortcut, and 4.25 was about 1.25 longer than I wanted to run this early on, but we survived and there was pizza and beer waiting for us back at the bar.

Friday was a rest day and a much-needed one at that. I don’t think I’ve ever run 3 days in a row in my life, let alone 2 weeks after a marathon and fresh off of bronchitis and bedrest. I was mildly sore – my right knee was bothering me. This is the knee that hurt during the marathon. It’s never hurt before and I have to think it had something to do with favoring my arch (of the same foot) and running with bad form. I worked from home on Friday and thus got barely any steps in, and had 2 beers, a personal pizza, and a bowl of ice cream for dinner so it was more of a sloth day than a rest day.

20170506_091906I fully expected to be running in a downpour on Saturday morning, and sure enough when I got up (late – thanks to the 2 beers), it was raining and so windy, but oddly warm. I put on my capris and a baseball cap and a tank top under my DFMC training jacket so I’d be waterproof, but by the time I got outside the ran had completely stopped and I was instantly hot and sweaty. It was HUMID. It was 55 degrees out plus 80%+ humidity, so it felt like 75. I removed the sleeves from my jacket (they are magnetic!) after the first mile, and then reattached them so I could wrap the jacket around my waist after the second mile and ran in just the tank top. I wanted to ditch the hat because running in a hat makes me so much hotter, but I hate carrying things more than I hate being hot. I had planned a 30-minute tempo run because even though my training plan called for a 4-mile run, I had done that Thursday instead of the tempo run. This was the first time-based run I’ve done in a long time, and I need to figure out how to get my watch to show me moving time instead of elapsed time (which includes stopping at red lights) and alert me after 10 minutes instead of 1 mile, even though those are usually pretty close for me. Anyway, my splits were:

  • Mile 1 – 10:07
  • Mile 2 – 9:25
  • Mile 3 – 9:54

I really had a hard time slowing myself down for the last 10 minutes. I was supposed to be cooling down but kept finding myself around 9:30 even when it felt like I was slowly jogging. That is usually not a problem for me but I think because I had run Mile 2 so fast, my legs wanted to keep it up.

That makes 5 runs in 7 days. I have NEVER run that much in my whole life but I feel really good! And, I am scheduled for an easy 30-minute run tomorrow so that’ll be 6 runs in 8 days. I have been terrible about cross-training and really should be doing some now that the rest of my day is wide open (my first softball game of the season was canceled due to on-and-off rain and also because the field is a complete mudslide right now). But, it’s gross out and I just want to lie in bed and watch reality TV or something equally as mind-numbing.


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