Sunday, April 29, 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Breaking up my runs into speed work, that is!

I have started training for my half marathon in June, and it calls for speed work.


However, I do not run at the speeds it suggests  since I took on a plan that may be just a smidgen above my level  (but I wanted to "challenge" myself).

Last week I had mile repeats.  This means running a warm-up mile, then running 1 mile at warp speed, cooling down half a mile, running another mile to escape (chase?) Kahn, then doing a mile cool down.

I knew there was no way I could do that, so I decided on two miles of fartleks.  Oh, yes.

I ran my warm-up mile at a dismal decent 11:10 pace, then got into gear for my next mile...the "fast" mile.  I picked a landmark and sprinted my little legs off.  I felt strong!  I felt determined!  I felt "fast"!  I felt like I was floating above the ground!

I did this twice.  And then...I felt tired! tired.

Things were starting to go downhill as my route turned uphill.

You see, my neighbourhood is not flat.  Which keeps things from getting, you know, boring.

So, my fartleks occurred on the flattest or slightly downhill portions of the run, and my recoveries were saved for the uphills.  It was, of course,

EDIT: It turns out you can't really see what I put in those drops and it is important!  So here are a couple of close-ups.

My speed work miles averaged at 11:20.

I then did my cool down mile on my way home.  I finished it up in 10:45.

Some of you may have been keeping track, but if you are unwilling or unable to calculate the breakdown, please allow me to assist you.

I was going for 70s flight attendant, but, uh...we'll just move on.

Warm-up mile: 11 minutes, 10 seconds

"Fast" mile 1:  11 minutes, 20 seconds

"Fast" mile 2:  11 minutes, 20 seconds

Cool down:  10 minutes, 45 seconds

What.  The.

My "fast" miles were my slowest miles!!  I think it's safe to say:

I've also noticed lately that I'm the only idiot person running in my neighbourhood.  Perhaps it has to do with the time of day on the weekends,

or the weather during the week,

or possibly the pollen.

In order to fight said pollen I've tried wearing my sunglasses, but my eyes still wind up feeling like I washed them in the Dead Sea.

I'm now considering a more aggressive approach to protect my peepers.

NEXT POST:  YOGA...I PROMISE. I even went to class today so I have more to say.

Also, on Monday I'm going to be featured on the Bee Well for Life blog, courtesy of fellow FitFluential ambassador Jennifer Edwards.  Thanks Jennifer!

Plus, I will be guest posting this week, and will leave you guys a little blurb over here when it's up, letting you know where to go!

And, I'm linking up once again with Yeah Write.  Go check out some great blogs over there by clicking on the button on the sidebar ------->


Who has nice weather??

If you're training right now, how's it going?  

Who likes speed work?


  1. Hahahahha the illustrations on this post are phenom. The slutty stewardess (uh, helpful flight attentant) is bestest.

  2. hey, i give you so much credit for doing the speedwork with all of those conditions - hills, crappy weather, and pollen. Those are all awful things. I'm not expert on speedwork (clearly), but I think that it counts for extra if you're doing it on the monster hill, right? Surely, it has to. I'm digging the 70s flight attendant get up :)

  3. Hahahhaa!!!!!! I love the mirror and the calculator pics the best. You are SO good at this! Maybe your watch was wrong????

  4. hahaha oh boy, I love that your fast miles were slower!! Good job getting out there and attempting fartlek craziness!

  5. Gia: Aw thanks! Gotta love drawing, eh? And "helpful flight attendant" is what I had planned! I couldn't fix the bedroom eyes and didn't want to start over :)

    Meg O: Yes, I agree it should count for extra! But, it's not proper speed work and I want to be "speedy"!

    Ricole: Thank you for saying that :) I do believe the watch is working properly!

    Adrian: Ridiculous, right??

  6. And as usual, your drawings make me laugh even though I feel badly that I am laughing :) as we chatted about it last night, speed work is best on flat surfaces even if it means the dread mill :) you are awesome!!

  7. Great pics and so awesome that your warmup and cool down were faster than your speed work. You and I could run together :).

  8. Love it! I'm going to have to conquer speedwork one of these days. Want some lab goggles for the pollen? I can get you a pair. Promised to make you completely unattractive. :)

  9. Erika: I was eyeballing the track as I ran past it today. My disasters are for your amusement, so laugh's why I blog :D

    Carrie: Yeah, I know. Amazing, right?

    Lindsay: I'm afraid the lab goggles won't cut it--I need my air tight swim goggles!

  10. I usually like speedwork, just because it breaks it up. I'm making myself only do easy runs for the next few weeks though, then I'm going to do speedwork... and I'll find out what has happened to my "speed" during my roughly 6 month running hiatus!! eek!

  11. I love the 70s flight attendant :)

    Dang girl!! I can't wait to hear about yoga actually because I need to get back into that. I went to a class once where they were all hippy dippy stretching and quiet music and hard poses, and I liked that. I went to another class and she had a microphone and was speaking loudly and bright lights and it sucked.

    Also, can you please be my personal trainer? Everyone and their mother runs. Skinny people, thick people, short people, tall people, young people, old people. I CAN'T do it. I run for 30 seconds and die. I DIE. I don't want to use up more of my lives.

    How do I become awesome like you? I have chub and flub and flab and blab in places where I shouldn't. And just so you understand, I'm not a big person. I'm little and no one would call me fat. Just a little muffin-y. But I have no strength or conditioning. Help?

  12. I love your blog! I started a "back to fitness" this year, and would love to have enough "legs" to even attempt speed work. So, for now, I walk a lot, bike ride (a little), and blog weekly, to keep myself honest. A second 5k is in my near future. Hoping to run for more than 30 seconds at a time. Cuz I'm goal-oriented like that... Thanks for the motivation!

  13. I shouldn't laugh, but I can't help it - I so understand, and this post is so funny :) I love the pictures, they manage to capture so much of the pain of speed sessions (I can't do them either)!

  14. Thank you for doing the math for us. I had my abacus out and was trying to remember my long division, then cursing my useless English degree, then sacrificing a goat to the God of Pi, then I almost, ALMOST consulted with Yahoo Answers. Thankfully it didn't have to come to that.
    How frustrating that your fast miles were not such.
    And even though this is the second time I've seen it through your blog, "fartleks" still makes me giggle like 3rd grader.

  15. MrsQ: Like I said the other day, I'm so happy for you to have found running again! So, you like speed work. Hmm, you're one of the first people I've heard say that :D

    Pish Posh: Well I will tell you, I tried to run (unsuccessfully) for years. I'd get tired, I couldn't breathe, and it sucked. Then I made up my mind I would start on the treadmill and work my way up to running 1 mile without stopping. There was a lot of walking mixed in with running at the beginning. Once I could do that, I just tried to go a bit further each time. Then one day I ran 30 minutes straight, then 60 minutes straight. There are running plans that have you walk/run all the time and that works for a lot of people. Honestly, it takes me about 3 miles into my runs to work out the little aches and kinks, and I used to always stop before I could get that far, which means running always sucked. I am more than happy to email you and see what we can come up with if you want!

    Adele: Thanks! I think it's so important to keep those goals in mind, and know that progress doesn't happen overnight, or without hard work. Good job keeping yourself accountable--we all need that!

    Kari: I'm so glad I'm not the only one who struggles with speed sessions! (If you didn't laugh then this would not have been a successful post :D)

    Pickleope: Can I tell you how much I enjoyed that comment? Yes? Great. Does your abacus colour-match your fez, or do you have several that you can mix and match? Inquiring minds want to know. I think some people say "strides" rather than "fartleks", but where's the fun in that?

  16. I LOVE the illustrations. Don't get discouraged, I am totally intimidated by speed work too. Just knowing that I should be running faster makes it feel harder!

  17. Way to work the hills! I keep saying I am going to do speedwork, but I never seem to get around to it. Not enough days in the week. I need more days in the week, preferably on the weekend:)

  18. Speedwork is TOUGH to master - just remember, it's about HR, so you're trying to get your HR in the zone where you can only stay for a short time! It sounds like you might be doing that, even if your speed isn't reflecting it! I think you're doing QUITE amazing to attempt it!

    I usually do speedwork on a treadmill, since it's easier for me to monitor my speed - and I watch a television show or listen to an audiobook to pass the time!

  19. Kiersten: Thank you :) It's true; knowing you need to run faster makes it even harder!

    hiker mom: I just don't have a choice if I want to run in my neighbourhood. I would like to have more days on the weekend too--can you get that going? ;)

    Laura: I did not really remember that speedwork was about HR...I really should just hit the mill and watch a show, but I'm honestly worried about transitioning to and from super-fast without falling off the back!

  20. Thank you for your comment! Actually it helps to know that you were once winded too. I kind of thought I was a freak. I wonder how I can run on the treadmill without looking pathetic or caring. All these trim toned runner butts are running for 45-60 minutes on the treadmill and I'm next to them walking and I try to run for 30 seconds and can't and I can tell they're judging me ;)

    You think if I keep at it I can run for a minute, and then more and so on? That I'm not a total freak?

  21. Pish Posh: That's how I started. And at some point, those tight butts had to start somewhere too. For those of us who weren't runners in school, we had to start at the, well, at the start :)

  22. I love the sarcasm picture and the mirror picture. I love sprinting, it is such an amazing feeling. But, I can only do it for like a minute and certainly not for a whole mile!

  23. LOVE those drawings. This is the first time I'm checking out your blog and I'm definitely coming back!

  24. Even in your slow-fast mile you were really running though! Wow! And I love your illustrations! :-)

  25. Michelle: Thanks! The mirror picture worked out as well as I had hoped! I agree; sprinting feels amazing for very short bursts! I can see why people race the 50 metre!

    Kerstin: Welcome and thanks! Glad you're here!

    Emily: Thank you :) I can keep running, but I can't seem to run any *faster* which is what I really want to do :D

  26. Excuse me but did you just say you did two miles of farting? That, my friend, is some serious talent. Bravo. Also, I heart your drawings. I want to BE one of your drawings.

  27. I love your drawings! Also, GO YOU! You may have been "doing it wrong" but you're doing it.

  28. love the illustrations and thanks for a timely reminder of why I am NOT a runner or even a wanna be runner....

  29. SARCASM GODDESS: Ha :) Yes, thank you, I'm very impressive. And, excuse *me*, but you ARE a totally awesome drawing!!

    Mondays with Mac: Thanks! It's true, I am at least getting the running in, which I really enjoy!

    Robbie K: Thank you-I'm trying to get all fancy with my running, so that makes it harder than usual :)

  30. 10 minutes, 11 or 12, that's a lot of miles you'll be running. Good for you. I ran for years and enjoyed it but never that distance. Now I hike and do a lot of yoga - another of your favorite funny topics. Your drawings are awesome. I love the sarcasm droplets, and the mirror image.

  31. Those drawings are awesome! :) Love it!

  32. hills are speed work - FACT! so that could be why your "faster" miles were the slowest. My favourite is doing interval training or 400's (you can run fast for short times) lol

    I love the sweat and the flight attendant lol

    I think I'll put your post up tomorrow!!!!!!

  33. haha your pics describe my experiences perfectly! i definitely need some work on my speedwork (ugh)

  34. I think the goggles are a great idea. And can I just say how impressed I am with you? Even if your speed laps happened to be your slowest. My hubby and I have just started to exercise and eat healthier. We've been WALKING our neighborhood in the evening, and right now that's kicking our butt. Can you say "out of shape?" Whew!

  35. So hard to run. I like to cycle, but once I reach the point where I have to play in traffic, I'm decidedly less motivated.

    Yoga...downward facing dog and all that? Guess I should start using the Tai Chi book soon...


  36. Good for you! No matter how fast or slow your pace, at least you're out there doing it and not sitting on your butt eating french fries and staring at the television, which puts you ahead of sooooo many. Give yourself a pat on the back and pop some champagne, or whatever floats your boat!

  37. Stephanie B: Thank you. I do love running, no matter what; I just would have liked to actually have my fast miles actually be fast :D I'm always impressed with hikers...just thinking about it makes me tired and out of breath.

    Life After Swimming: Thanks so much!

    Ali Mc: They are? Hmmm. I am considering doing 400s this week! I'm excited about the post going up! I'm going to send people over :D

    Katie: It makes me feel good when I know that others struggle like I do. Is that bad?

    Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy: I could have used the goggles tonight too, but because of the rain! This is going to sound weird, but I hate walking! It makes me so tired!

    Wily Guy: I hate cycling in traffic too so I stick to bike paths and almost traffic-less neighbourhoods. I hear Tai Chi is great!

    Louise: Thanks for that, and yum! I loooove champagne! Excellent idea :D

  38. Hahahaha! This is hysterical. I love the illustrations. I almost snorted my wine, which is not the ideal way to enjoy one's wine. You're doing so much better than I would. I'm pretty firm in my mandate that if you see me running, it's because something bad is chasing me. And even then, I might just take my chances and fight. Haha!

  39. Love your dedication and commitment in this! Keep it up!

  40. Love your dedication and commitment in this! Keep it up!

  41. Delilah Love: Sorry to ruin a perfectly good glass of wine! (Though thank you for reminding me to have some wine with dinner tonight!)

    jamiey writes: Thanks for the encouragement!

  42. I still can't get past FARTLEKS. Still giggling. And the pollen. Ick. It feels so gross.

    I just noticed that you hide your sig in the pics sometimes. Love that!

  43. This post is hilarious. I am a little bit (a lot!!) proud to know you in real life :)

  44. Ha! That's too funny. When I read that about your cool down mile being only 10 minutes, I was like "Oh that's just a typo" and then you explained! Ha! I guess that means if you just relax a little then you can run faster??? Good luck though. I am "trying" to start running again. But I'm letting all of those things you mentioned above actually stop me from it. ;)

  45. I am trying to run a half marathon too, but not until October, so this made me laugh and then giggle nervously. Good luck!! I can't wait to hear how it goes! Erin

  46. Kristin: Yup, good word, isn't it? I actually just started adding my signature and I got bored with it really quickly, so I have fun putting it in fun places when I can!

    AM: Thanks for your constant support in getting me back on my running feet!!

    sugarnspicemakeseverythingnice: Yeah, it was lame. But you may be on to something about being more relaxed! That and the fact that the 2 middle miles were the steepest.

    Erin: Hehe :) I will definitely recap the race, no matter what the outcome is.

  47. You go girl. I love how you are always pushing yourself! Of course I love your drawings as well!!

  48. Love the illustrations. They made me "FEEL" for you even more. Plus I'm totally ROFL over here.

    Kudos for tackling your un-flat neighborhood though. Really. MUCHO kudos!

  49. I applaud your motivation and commitment - and am in awe of it a bit too. Because to my mind? "speed work" sounds like something they do in the meth labs on "Breaking Bad." But I'll bet in the meth labs no one is drawing such great pictures.

  50. Bernie: Thanks! I do try to push myself but have to remember I'm coming off an injury and have never done this kind of training before.

    mannahattamamma: Haha! Well, I've never been on meth, but I definitely feel like I must be on something sometimes to do some of the things I do! And you never know, I hear Bryan Cranston is a mean Draw Something player! (I'm just kidding about that last part...I think he actually cheats at it.)

  51. Janice: Somehow your comment went to spam--sorry about that! I don't know why it would since it was a great comment!! I'm so glad you can empathize!

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