Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ideal speed work conditions

Thursday morning is going down as one of the hardest runs that I can remember, which isn't saying much, because just a few weeks ago after a run which began in the 4am hour, I found myself standing in the shower, with no idea if I'd washed my body, even though it either did or did not happen literally seconds ago. (Obviously I doubled down, just to be safe). The point is, my memory sucks, but I swear this run was hard.

I got home from a meeting for my running store job around 9:30pm Wednesday night, so clearly I was already off to a great start for this week's speedwork, scheduled at 5:30am Thursday morning. I'm not sure that speedwork early in the morning on insufficient sleep (at least for me, a self-diagnosed sleep addict) would have been enough of a challenge. Luckily, the weather once again hooked me up with pouring rain and a wind advisory.
I'm not here to be a Debbie Downer though, there were some positives. Everyone I talked to at work said they couldn't sleep all night due to the storm, but I slept like a baby. Second, I left the meeting hooked up with this sweet new Brooks jacket. 

I'm getting too good at selfies, which means I need something else in
 my life to take pictures of.

It's one of those super thin ones that's waterproof and windproof, but not hot, so you can wear it in warmer weather. Plus, it's super reflective, as you can see.

I've never owned anything with those little thumbhole thingies, and when I tried on the jacket before I went to bed I discovered them and freaked out and demanded Eric stop what he was doing to admire them. It's the little things in life.

This jacket could not have been a more perfect addition to my running wardrobe because Thursday morning was in the 50s, so too warm for my normal jacket, but insanely windy. I'm not exactly sure how this post turned into a product review because I'm sure as hell not getting paid.

Anyway, Thursday's run was 10 miles with 6 X 800s. I ran 3 miles to "warm up" and then hit the track, running a hard 800 (half mile) followed by an easy 800 to recover. Running into the wind felt like I was trying to push my way through a brick wall. My times were pathetic. Too pathetic to post. Out of the six, only one was faster than my average pace from Sunday's half marathon (and that was only by 3 seconds!). For non runners, who probably aren't even still reading, that means that I was running half mile intervals slower than the speed I ran for an entire 13.1 mile race. But, whatever, I PR'd in the half 4 days before, so that counts as speed work too, right? And the effort was there, even if the times didn't reflect it.

Not every run is a winner but I honestly considered just calling it quits and going home at least a dozen times on the track. When it was finally time to go home, I had to hold my hands over my face during gusts because random debris was blowing into it and I wasn't taking a chance with all the broken glass on the ground.

This is one of the two toughest training weeks on the schedule, and now 2 out of 3 of the killer runs are done! Next up: 18 miles with 10 at race pace Saturday. Yikes. 

What's your idea of the worst possible running (if applicable, if not, in general) weather? I'm probably incredibly jaded after this morning so I'll say wind, but really it's probably humidity.


  1. thumbhole thingies are the best invention ever. all of my winter running clothes have them.

    wind and humidity - got to agree with you. both can break a PR or cause you to cut a run short.

  2. I love thumb holes but they rarely work for me-- I must have monkey arms because they are always cut too short and I lose circulation in my thumbs. I have two shirts that work though, and I do love them!

  3. Your marathon training plan is like having a's painful, makes you live on less sleep, and you can't remember simple things like if you've already washed yourself in the shower. Actually, you will probably think a baby is easy after this. You have a PhD in suffering.

    I think cold windy rain is the worst running condition but that may be because I have already forgotten how summer running feels.

  4. Reading this gave me flashbacks of 800s. Those were freaking miserable. My plan for Saturday is to make the first 10 miles downhill so race pace will be easy...if only I could find 10 miles of straight down hill.

    That jacket is awesome.

  5. I doubt I've ever even come close to the difficulty of some of your runs, but I always remember that run we did together in Williamsport along that canal/river/creek whatever it was. OR the run we did like Christmas Eve morning (I think) in Rochester in a blizzard. Never again.

  6. That sounds miserable but the new jacket is nice! I have a similar one but no thumbholes, boo! Strong winds and cold winter rain would probably be the most miserable combination for me.


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