Death By Speedwork

This morning, I did a workout that I thought would be the end of me: 6 x 1-mile with 800 m recovery jogs. The repeats were supposed to be at about 10k pace. That didn’t happen. It was unusually humid this morning (75%, according to I realize that 70 degrees and humid is considerably more comfortable than the hot temps and 90+ percent humidity that many of you southern and eastern folks are dealing with. But Colorado is so rarely humid that when it is, it really kicks my tush.

  –> me.

I ran a little over a mile to warm up (in retrospect, I should have done a longer warm-up…my legs were not ready for speed), and then did the first repeat. I ran it 20 seconds slower than I “should” have and was already dripping sweat (thanks, humidity).

And then, I nearly gave up. I told myself to just do an easy run, to try the speedwork again tomorrow, when the humidity would likely be lower.

And then, I said, “Suck it up, Petunia. You might not run as fast as you think you should today, but if you don’t push through it, you’ll never get faster.” (Petunia is Porky Pig’s girlfriend. Just wanted to make sure you got the reference.)

 –> not me today!


So I pushed through all six repeats. They ended up being closer to half-marathon pace than 10k pace, but I’m okay with it. I’m not in peak shape yet. I don’t need to be until October, and by pushing myself through these unpleasant workouts (unpleasant = near-death), I’ll get there.

Also, humidity and I are not friends. Not only did it reduce my pace, but it made me sweat even more than usual. By the time I started my cool-down, I was regularly pulling up my shorts because they were so sweat-logged that they were falling down. Gross. I thought about taking a picture of my sweaty self when I got home but decided to spare you. You’re welcome.

I came home, chugged a glass of chocolate milk (sticking to my goal of proper recovery nutrition), peeled off my nasty, sweaty clothes and took a looong shower. The shower was the best part of the workout, no joke.

And now, I’m off to read some of your blogs and eventually go get my driver’s license renewed. I’m not going in to school today because I’m guessing the DMV will take up a pretty solid chunk of the day.

Do you do speedwork on a track? I didn’t this morning, because: A. The track near where I live is locked up like Alcatraz and I’m too lazy to drive out to use the one at work, and B. This workout was nine miles without the warm-up and cool-down. Nine miles = 36 laps. Too many circles.

How do you pep-talk yourself into completing a workout that you just want to quit?

What’s the longest wait you’ve ever had at the DMV?

P.S. I know I said I’d post a review of Matt Fitzgerald’s new book today, but I’m a narcissist and wanted to talk about my workout instead. Plus the review I’ve written is much too long right now. I’ll edit it down and post it tomorrow. I promise.

13 thoughts on “Death By Speedwork”

  1. It’s always nice to run in the fresh air but when the weather’s bad, it can really ruin your whole workout! (btw, love the picture of the fluffy…rabbit?)
    I have to do speed work today and I like it. I’ve always been more of an interval running gal.
    I hate the DMV and can never get out of there in less than two hours. Good luck today!

  2. Hahaha that humidity picture makes me laugh. The first hot day of summer I always think I won’t be able to run and then I slowly get used to it and end up liking it! Sweating is awesome :). 9 miles of speedwork is pretty freaking awesome even if it wasn’t at your goal pace. Hope the DMV didn’t take too long!

  3. When it is really hot or humid, I don’t beat myself up about pace. As long as you know you were giving “10k effort” I think that is more important. I did a fartlek, (3 min hard, 2 mineasy), the other day and I could hardly turn it over past my regular run was so horrible/embarrassing/but really humid.

    but then 2 days later I did a tempo (2×10 min) and did it at 30 sec faster mile pace on a 10 min interval then when I only needed to push for 3 min. so DO NOT FRET about this workout, Petunia! 😉

  4. Maybe the numbers were not what you wanted them to be, but you did put the effort in – mentally and physically – so I’d call it a solid workout!

    We’ve seriously lucked out at the DMV here. When we moved we did all the license plate changing two days before Xmas, no one was there! When I got plates switched to my new car I was there the moment they opened – was in and out in 5 minutes. When we switched over our actual driver’s license it was a different story…that took a few hours. Ew. Good luck with your DMV trip!

  5. Longest wait at the DMV was probably twenty minutes. I usually walk in and out. Yea Delta Country. Now that I have bragged, karma will probably bit me in the tookus when I have to renew this fall.

    P.S Went to a movie at Red Rocks and I thought I was going to die! We need to go hiking again!

  6. I’ve never done speedwork. I have no idea where to even start. I’m still working on just running 30 minutes without stopping. I’m sloooooow so I might just be hopeless!

  7. Ha I would NEVER do that many laps at a track. THAT would be the death of me ;). Way to stick to all your repeats! I have done speed workouts like that where just like 1/4 of the way in I am already spent.

    And…as a fellow Coloradoan, now east-coaster, humidity is THE WORST THING EVER. I feel ya.

    I always head to the DMV with a good book, ha.

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