“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faster than Sasquatch?

So, last night, despite soreness from my strength training on Tuesday, despite the torrential downpour, I headed out for the MIT speed work session.

Like most people there, I sat in my car until the start, avoiding the torrential downpour as long as possible.  Then, like magic, the rain paused.  Everyone got out of their vehicles and we gathered up for the talk.  One group split off to run some miles without speed work.  The rest of us, started a 1.35 mile warm-up by running from the high school meeting place to Antrim lake.  I actually went slower than LSD day, just hanging out with the rest of the group heading out.
Photo courtesy of Fleet Feet Sports Columbus Facebook page.
Once at Antrim Lake, our fearless leader gave us the speech about what we were doing for speed work.  Fartleks.  Sort of.  The plan was to run loops around Antrim Lake (about a 1.2 mile trail) as a continuous run.  We were supposed to start the first minute slow, the second minute as fast as we could sustain, then repeat for as many laps as was on your schedule mileage wise (some people are training for a half, some are training for a full marathon).

At the start of the first lap, Lynne and I split up, she realized early on that she just didn't like the hellbent pace of the fast minute.  During the first lap, I actually had some issues.  A minute really isn't that long of a period of time.  We were on a trail.  Granted one with minimal roots and rocks.  In the dark.  I was really nervous about falling flat on my face every time I looked at my watch to see if a minute had passed, particularly during the fast minute.

So, I stopped at the starting point (where hydration was also provided), and spent some quality time with my Garmin, trying to figure out how to get IT to measure out the intervals for me.  I knew it could be done because I know enough people that use it for run/walk intervals following the Galloway method.   Embarrassingly  it took me a few minutes to figure it out.  Then, I couldn't figure out how to display my distance during the intervals.  So, I paused again after the second lap around the lake to see if distance was actually being measured while during the interval workout.  Since I wasn't watching speed or anything (I'm not sure if you can during the interval workout on the watch?), I wanted to make sure the watch was still recording it for me to look at later.  It was.
Wow Mommy.  This is getting really boring.  Get to the Sasquatch bit.
Anyway, my Garmin cluelessness is not the point of this post.  During the second lap, an amazing thing happened.  Our fearless leader is about 7 feet tall.  We lovingly refer to him as Sasquatch because he has been known to dress up in a Sasquatch costume and ride his bike along the sidelines during races to cheer us all on.  In the local races he runs in, he often wins or finishes in the top 10.

In other words, he's a really FAST and tall Sasquatch.  Well, for about 2 seconds, I was faster than Sasquatch during my second lap.  That's right, this gal PASSED Sasquatch during one of my intervals in the second lap.  I know, you are all floored by how fast I am.  Ok, maybe not.

So, to be fair to Sasquatch.  I was on my hard minute interval.  He was on his slow interval.  (And, for the workout, our slow intervals were supposed to be slower than LSD pace).  In addition, a few seconds later, he blew by me like the wind and I never got close enough to even SEE him again until we were standing around the water cooler and chatting after the speed portion of the workout.  Regardless, I had my two seconds of glory and can now say that I have passed Sasquatch.  Once.  And, it was awesome.
I completed two more laps around the lake, definitely getting slower on my slow interval as I progressed.  I actually used my heart rate monitor!  I then chatted with Sasquatch and his fast minion at the water cooler while I waited for my running wife to complete her last lap.  To finish off the workout, we ran a cool down of 1.35 miles back to where our cars were parked.  That cool down was almost harder than the workout.  My legs had time to get cold, and the soreness from my strength training workout came back.  By the time we got back to our cars though, they were loose again.  Nice.  I rewarded myself for speed work with a $1 vanilla cone on my way home.  My first and only sweet for the day!  Go me!

I was in Mandy-heaven when I got home.  When set to an interval workout, my watch records each interval as a lap.  I had all this really cool data in one minute intervals on how well or not I'd done.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of my hard intervals were within the 8-9 minute range, and a couple were faster than an 8 minute mile!  (I know, I know, anyone can do fast for 1 minute, but I still passed Sasquatch dang it!)

I think my first speed session was a success, and I also now know how to do an interval workout with my Garmin.  Winning. Oh, and the torrential rain returned right AFTER we finished.  More awesome.

Have you ever done speed work?

Do you still head out to workouts if there is a torrential downpour?
If it's a group workout, I always go, unless there is lightening.

Have you ever had a silly proud two-seconds of glory moment?


  1. ooh man, I woulda ran home if i seen that type of rain. haha GREAT job!!
    I honestly haven't done much speed work yet..ahhh, need to get on it!!

  2. I love speedwork - and try to mix up what I do. I do it alone, but used to do it with a group and LOVED it!!

    Running in the rain is the best - as long as it is a warm rain! :)

  3. I have done speedwork, and I've sometimes even liked it. Not all the time though.....My proudest moment was hangin' with the Boulder Striders during their last Saturday track workout. I was worried I'd be last, but I was sort of in the middle (not once was I up with the fast people, though--kudos to you!). Speedwork WORKS. You are going to be amazed at what those 1-min fartleks do for you. I think you are going to be seriously fast. Just wait and see!

    1. I think the only reason I as "up there" was because we were doing continuous laps and he'd lapped me. LOL! I hope you're right on the seriously fast though!

  4. Yay for speedwork! And for passing Sasquatch!! :)

  5. HA! One of the main reasons I am glad Marathon Training is over is because I was so atrocious at speedwork... Probably a good sign I need to do it more hey?
    I will run in light rain but a downpour will have me cowering inside on my treadmill.

  6. I enjoyed the fartleks - am I supposed to say that? I think Amy & i were doing it wrong though but it still counts! Nice job!

  7. Woohoo speedy!!! And yes, I celebrate all victories, no matter how big or small! :)


Comments pretty much make my day - so thank you for yours!