Slug Goes to the Track

Or, that’s how it feels, anyway.

Speed is a relative thing. I play softball with guys old enough to be my father. When I run the bases, they think I’m fast. I run with people who’ve been running for years. I marvel at how they can run 8 minute miles and still hold a conversation. The only way I could run an 8 minute mile is downhill, and I still wouldn’t be able to talk.

But, since running is what I’m into, I look at it from the glass half empty–I’m slow. Slow as a slug in my mind. It’s sometimes frustrating that after all this training for the past year, I still can’t keep up with people who don’t train much at all. My middle daughter is one of them. Routinely hits an 8 minute mile pace when she runs, which isn’t regularly. Granted she has youth on her side, but still…

So, I’m back to work on speed. I had done speedwork for a couple months last fall. I think it helped but didn’t run many races to be sure. I was able to run most of my Ragnar legs in under a 10 minute mile pace, which is fast for me. But nothing since. Doesn’t help that I’ve been so focused on long runs (20 milers +) and races (50K and the 12 Hour races) that I’ve lost touch with the thought of having any speed.

Today begins my effort to get some speed back. I’d love to routinely be able to run under a 10 minute mile pace, without the benefit of hills. That’s my first goal.

This morning, alarm set for 5:30am, I got out of bed, got dressed, tossed down a little cereal, and drove over to the high school track. The morning was still dark, damp, and cold from the storm that had moved through the past couple days. The car said 41 degrees. I did 4 laps of light jogging, then 6 laps of fast (for me) running with a jog lap in between each one. Then finished with two cool down laps. Times for each lap were:

2:15, 2:09, 2:11, 2:13, 2:08, 2:07

That’s about a 2:11 average which “could” be an 8:44 mile pace if you could paste them all together. Unfortunately, that’s now how it works. Anyway, point is, I did it. I made the effort and hope to continue this plan every Wednesday.

IMG_1065Oh, I and got these spiffy new running/racing shoes too. Stay tuned to see if it all works.

Terri Rylander

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