Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Don't Need to Walk Around in Circles, Walk Around in Circles....

...walk around in circles...[Remember that song from the 90s???]
My handy route map from the Garmin - in case I wasn't sure where I went....
Ah...anyway...it turns out I DON'T need to walk around in Circles, because I did quite alright running them instead :)  After a moving-centric, Beatles-sound tracked weekend (shout-out to James for helping me paint
my apartment back to white ALL weekend long, and for putting up with more than one whiney "I'm never going to get this all packed" phone call), I decided to get back up and running with a little help from my friends.  I headed out for a "Speed Play" workout organized through Run Like a Philly Girl, a group that my cousin Kate created in Philadelphia [obviously], where I am traveling for work.  

I must admit that I was intimidated by the idea of speed work, but Kate's description for the meetup sold me:
Famous Marathoner Hal Higdon quotes "you probably need to do speedwork only if you want to improve your performance." Well, I think thats a pretty darn good reason to do so.  Join us as we strive to reach our PRs on race day by doing speedplay. Level of difficulty: moderate...to as hard as your little feet desire!
If it was going to be up to my little feet, I guessed it couldn't be too bad.  After a bit of a detour based on some faulty directions ("they must mean Franklin Field"...um....no...it turns out they meant Penn Park, like I said) I showed up a bit late, and caught Kate on one of her 'slow laps'.  Her plan was to basically run alternating fast and slow laps on the paved track-like area around the sports fields.... 
Hearing the clink of the bats ALMOST made me want to sign up for a summer softball league...then I remembered how INSANELY GOOD the people were on the last team I played with, and the ensuing humiliation in Central Park...
 ...and since she was on a 'slow lap' at the time, I decided to jump right in with her.  And when she picked it up for the fast lap, I decided, no time like the present to try pushing myself a little harder!  And what do you know?  It was really tough, but I was able to make it through several laps with or fairly close behind her!  (That said, she may have been holding back for me, but still - how exciting is that?!)  I broke off from Kate towards the end and jogged another 2-3 laps to finish, but all in I think it was an excellent first set of speed play laps.  Or at the very least, an excellent experience!
Pointing out the fastest spots on the intervals - even if they were only for a fleeting moment
It was also a great reminder for me that running with someone who's faster than you doesn't have to be a terrifying experience.  And where I worried that it would make the workout infinitely harder to try to keep up at a pace that wasn't too far behind hers, having the company and extra push of motivation to keep the pace up made the workout fly by.  At one point I looked down at my Garmin and was shocked to see that I was coming up on 3 miles - had we really covered that much distance already?

Not too shabby for this tortoise!
Overall I ran for 3.33 miles at an average pace of 9:20, which with or without intervals would be a great workout for me!  I think in retrospect it would have been good if I had hit the "lap" button to break out the intervals for each actual fast/slow lap - to see the average time per loop.  I guess I'll know for next time!


  1. Speed work is my nemesis as well even though I know it is so good for my running. Doing it with other people always helps me, people that I am not in competition with but rather friends who just want to motivate each other.

  2. Speed work is super hard for me as well. I know I need it, but it intimidates me. Nice work getting out there!