Thursday, August 27, 2009

Speed Work - 8/27/09

I've signed up to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Cookeville, TN on October 17, 2009. Yesterday, when I posted the link on Facebook to my personal home page that will be used for fundraising on the Komen website, I received 2 cute comments. My running buddy, Lauri (PA), said that she didn't think I could run anything less than 26.2 miles. Another running buddy, Susan (TX), asked if I had forgotten some miles. It's nice to know that they think so highly of me, lol.

This will be Cookeville's inaugural Race for the Cure, and my running buddy, Dallas (TN), was the one to encourage me to participate. I'm glad that he did. Even he commented on Facebook that I was giving up a weekend to run a marathon or an ultra so that I could run this race. But, honestly, I'm looking forward to it. It's a new challenge and a different adventure. I even signed up for the competitive division, which only means that I'll get a chip for official timing and placement in the results.

Now, I have less than 2 months to incorporate some speed training. I don't do speed work, lol. I turn my nose up at the whole concept. It's not fun. I feel like I'm going to pass out. My VO2 Max must be non-existant. My heart wants to explode from my chest. The last time I did speed work I pulled a hamstring that took months to heal. I have no practice in running all out. Can an old dog be taught new tricks, lol?

My goal is to finish the 5K in under 30 minutes. That means that I can't take any walk breaks. It's been a long time since I've run a race where I didn't walk at all. Ten minute miles is easy and slow for most runners; it's pedestrian pace for the elite. For me, I'll feel like the Road Runner from the old cartoon if I can pull it off.

I signed up for the Race for the Cure in Nashville, TN in 2003. I never even made it to the start line. My friend, Sharon (TN), picked up my race packet for me and brought it to the hospital, where I was laid up from experiencing blood clots in my left lung. I was about 4 weeks into radiation treatments for my breast cancer, and unfortunately, the radiologist "over-radiated" my chest. Thinking I had heartburn that would eventually pass, my running buddy, Joe (TN), and I went to a 10 mile race the day before the Race for the Cure. The minute I started running, shock waves of pain went through my body. An ambulance was called, and I was taken to the hospital. Five days later, with the blood clots dissolved, I was released from the hospital. Through the years, it had not even occurred to me to sign up for another Race for the Cure.

Six years later, here's my chance to redeem myself. The crazy thing is that I was probably in better shape then than I am now. Back then I was slowly rebuilding my mileage, doing the shorter races so that I could get back to running marathons. At that time, running ultramarathons was still a dream of mine.

So, speed work it is. Nothing mind blowing - once or twice a week on the track so that I can judge my progress. Nine to 10 minute miles is the goal. I've done it before, so maybe I can do it again. I just have to sustain that "speed" for 3.1 miles. That's as easy as a piece of chocolate cake, right?


  1. Great to meet you at Lynch's!! Are you on Facebook? Let me know if we can be "friends".

  2. Speed work can really make a difference but I only do it 1/week to keep injuries at bay. I also do one hill repeat a week. Great blog and keep up the good work. Maybe I will see you at one of Terri Hayes races.