Sunday, July 12, 2015


Here is the deal:

I have 53 seconds to cut off my Akron Half Marathon PR, and it's time to do the hard stuff.

ARGH!! Those 53 seconds have to go!

You may or may not know that Akron is my big PR race of the year.  It was the reason why I started running in the first place.  I wrote all last summer about my desire to run a sub-2 hour half marathon, and I came SO CLOSE.  This year I will nail that sucker.

Time to get serious, Peeps.

On Wednesday I started up my track workouts.  I wasn't looking forward to this, but I know that a concerted effort at speed work really pays off during the race.  Unfortunately, my coach isn't offering a training program this year, so I have to figure out something that works.  Right now I'm just winging it.  I started with ladder drills: 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400.  I warmed up for about 1.5 miles, gossiping with my peeps, and then I got to work.  

One of my biggest problems is going out too fast in a race, and it shows in my speed work.  I was shooting for an 8:20 pace, but I started at 8:00 or less.  Not good.  I made sure to slow down, and that helped.  I am extremely proud that my last 400 was faster than my first 400, with a pace of 8:08.  

What makes me happiest, though, is that my daughter came with me to the track, and she did her own workout.  For a few years now I have been asking her to run with me, and she has turned me down almost every time.  At one point she told me, "You are going to have to deal with the fact that I will not be your runner.  Work on Ben."  

When I casually asked her if she wanted to come to the track with me, I expected a withering, "No, Mom," but she actually said, "Sure.  That sounds like fun."  And it was.

This is EXACTLY how we look when we are finished with speed work.

Then Friday was my first attempt at a tempo run.  First, I got all pinked up:

On Fridays we wear pink.

Then I set out for my run on Sand Run at 2:00 pm, which was stupid on so many levels.

Mile 1:  Warmup 10:11 Mile 2: 9:03 
Mile 3: 9:11 
Mile 4: 9:57--This is where I fell apart. It was all uphill, though.  
Mile 5: Cooldown 11:18

Lessons learned: 1. Tempo runs need to be on flat paths.  Sand Run is a a three mile path full of hills.  As you can see from my times, Miles 2 and 3 were downhill.  2. Miles 2 and 3 were too fast and they were not steady (Did I mention they were downhill?).  I tried to control my pace, but there were some points that I was running at 8:15 or less.  Not cool.   3. Tempo runs should never be at 2:00 in the afternoon in the summer.  I was so. freaking. hot.

Can I call this a win in speed work since it was extremely hilly?

I did call it a win, and I rewarded my daughter and myself with a trip to Stan Hywet Hall to see the Ohio Shakespeare Festival's production of Much Ado about Nothing.  

This is EXACTLY how I look when I am watching Shakespeare.  My friend Shelly is on the  left.

It was fabulous, Peeps; I highly recommend you see this comedy or Henry V, which starts July 30.

Today I ran three loops of the Boston Run Trail in Peninsula for a total of 9-something miles.  I thought I did pretty well.  I got through the third loop by telling myself I could walk any hill I liked, and I walked most of them.  Don't judge; I didn't walk any of them in the first two loops.

Anyway, this is my new committment to speed work.  I'm going to go to the track every Wednesday, and I'm going to fit in a tempo run each week.  

Akron won't know what hit it when I cross that finish line.

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