Posts Tagged :

    speed work

    Slowing Down to Speed Up

    800 533 Terri Rylander

    Shhhhh….don’t tell anyone. After running 180 miles around Lake Tahoe, doing in 50K in California, DNF’ing at mile 30 in the Tahoe 50 Mile race, running 120 miles across the Rockies at altitude, and doing numerous half marathons, I finally ran my first 5K race–over a year and a half after I started running.

    Honestly, I’ve been afraid to face the elephant in the room–my lack of speed. As with any activity, we tend to spend more time on things we think we’re good at and less on those we think we aren’t. I’ve always given the excuse that because I’m not fast, I might as well go long. But, the opportunity came up to run a local 5K charity race and for once, I didn’t have to help put it on. The race organizer asked me how fast I thought I would run it and I offered up that I’d be lucky to break 30 minutes. Surprise surprise! I ran it in 28:33. That’s just under a 9 minute mile pace!

    As it happens, in October I was extremely busy putting on the Huntsman World Senior Games Track and Field Meet, hosting over 400 athletes from all around the world for three days. Following on the heels of that was the Gold Butte Days 5K and Half Marathon races, along with the Gold Butte Days Festival, that I helped put on. So, not much time for running and certainly not any long runs. And, probably for the first time, I was forced into recovery – resting this body that has seen so many miles in such a short time.

    Without a particular goal, I decided to start all over with a 50K training plan. Of course the first several weeks call for short runs of 2, 4, and 6 miles. At the same time, my training partner Gary decided he wants to build speed again (and thinks I should too), so we’ve started weekly track workouts as well. It all seems to be coming together nicely.

    My road runs have gotten much faster. Instead of 10:30 to 11:00 pace, I’m at or under 10:00 pace. I even hit a 9:22 pace on a 2.2 mile run from my house, with a big hill. At the track, I’ve been running 200’s at around 50 seconds, which is pretty fast for me. And, this has all translated to a great trail run a few weeks ago to the Bunkerville Train. It’s about a 13 mile round trip with about 1800ft gain. I went up at about a 15 min pace and down at 11 min pace.

    But, the speed work is sneaky tiring. You get home and feel fine. In fact, you can do several runs and feel fine. However, it soon catches up to you. After about three hard weeks of this, I’m feeling a bit beat up and tired. For once, my legs want to quit before my lungs.

    I’ll press on, adding a few miles a week, looking for that next big goal.

    Slug Goes to the Track

    638 310 Terri Rylander

    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.