Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have this problem that my running partner is now completely leaving me in the dust. Part of my problem is consistancy, which I'm working on. But Running Partner E. also likes to sprint the last several blocks (or miles) of our run. She also does things like run faster up hills. She seems to enjoy running into the wind. I do not like to do these things. We are obviously very different types of runners.

But I do like running with E. We get each other out the door. And so I feel that I must get faster. Which means, speedwork.

I don't really know that much about speedwork. From what I've read on blogs here and there, quite a few folks run speedwork intervals at tracks for 400 or 800 meters. And they are supposed to help you get faster. And then there are these things called fartleks. There, I've exhausted my knowledge.

Well, there aren't any tracks near me, at least that I know about. I also have absolutely no idea how fast I should try to run a given interval. I'm quite the slow poke, generally running 12:30-13:00 minute miles still. So I should be shooting for what? In the past I've tried the sprinting from light pole to light pole a few times. That was ok, but it seemed kind of random.

So, what to do?

The past couple weeks, I've been playing a bit with and the Cool Running pace calculator, looking at different road distances near me and trying to figure out how long it would take me to run a given distance, assuming a 11:30 minute mile. In doing this, I discovered that some of the paths at a nearby park give some nice, even, short distances.

And so Theresa's speedwork plan was born!

In The Meadows, there are these three paths that make a triangle loop and together add up to 0.5 miles (Jawbone Walk, Middle Meadow Walk, and the path along the road between them). Jawbone Walk is 0.2 miles, which makes the other two sides together 0.3 miles! (Yay, for basic math skills! Although I still measured all the sides on, because I am a dork.)

So my plan is this: To run speedwork intervals first using the 0.2 mile Jawbone Walk segment as the bit that I sprint, with the remaining 0.3 for recovery. Then move up to using the 0.3 segment for sprints, and eventually moving up to using the whole 0.5 miles for sprint intervals. Simple, right?

Tonight was my trial run. I figured, given the slow poke that I am, shooting to run Jawbone Walk (the 0.2 mile segment) at an 11:30 min/mile pace was reasonable, which meant I would need to run it in 2:18 minutes.

I ran the loop twice, sprinting as fast as I thought I could along Jawbone Walk. Which was not pleasant. My stomach started hurting very quickly, and by the end, I had a stitch in my side. My times for the 0.2 mile sprints: 1:54 and 1:49 minutes which work out to around a 9:30 min/mile or faster. What?!?! Ok, I know it's only 0.2 miles, but that's way crazy faster than I thought I could run!

Assuming tonight wasn't a complete fluke, and I didn't miscalculate, I now have a baseline. Still, a 9:30 min/mile pace? Next week, I'm going to try to run the loop four times, with a 10 min/mile pace for the Jawbone Walk sprint segments. That still seems wildly fast for me, but I guess it's possible if it's only 0.2 miles.

Enough about speedwork. Tomorrow, pictures of someplace new that I went today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


What was it with the wee bugs that kept making suicide runs toward my face this evening?! At least one met his end in my eye and another in my mouth. Yuck.

So it was the Horrible Hill Route tonight. And between the divebombing bugs and the GI issues (again), it was definitely on the horrible side. With much walking on the hills. But, slightly faster than last week, so I suppose that's something.

No more broccoli for me for lunch on days that I run in the evening I think.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Once more, with feeling

So yeah, goals. My running goal for May was to run three times per week. How did I do? Well, meh.

Week 1: 3 runs
Week 2: 3 runs
Week 3: 1 run, but with lots and lots and lots of walking that weekend
Week 4: 2 runs

And the first week of June: big fat zero!

The Horrible Hill route tonight was PAINFUL, and I now have my worst time ever for that route. (The GI issues didn't help. I made it home in time. Barely.)

Back to goals and such. I said that if I managed to stick to my 3x per week goal, I would sign up for the Erie half-marathon. Unlike a 5k or 10k, I can't be totally slacking off my training plan if I want to try to run this race. But the more I think about it, the more I really want to give it a go. Yet this inability to get myself out the door to train thing is definitely a problem.

So let's try this again. For the next 5 weeks (including this week), my goal is to run 3x per week. Plus, I'm going to up the ante a bit by also committing to either a 4th run or a long walk each week.

This week's runs will be on Tuesday (done!), Thursday, and Friday.

It's a bit late, but not too late to start training for the Erie half-marathon. I've found a training plan that builds up from a 10k to a half-marathon, which is just what I need. If I can stick to this plan and meet my goals over the next five weeks, I'm signing up!