Back to Running: Speed Work Class Week 1

After my last 5k, I foolishly decided to sign-up for a Speedwork Running course that was on offer from a local running club. I thought, maybe if I was surrounded by other runners going fast I would be motivated to get my act together and drop my times.

I don’t think I thought about the anxiety or stress eating that would accompany going to the first class. And, I hoped I wouldn’t be the slowest person.

Should one eat a spoonful of Nutella before running? How about a pack of gushers? And, um, maybe a few pieces of salted caramel chocolates? I was carb loading. Yes, that’s it.

Oh… no? No, you say? Hmm.

Spoiler alert: I came in dead last in the one-mile time trial.

Prior to going to the class, I was very anxious. Who would be there? Will everyone be fast? Will they be waiting a solid 5 minutes for me to finish? How embarrassing will it feel?

I haven’t run regularly since the fall. After the high of the half marathon, I dropped off into the abyss with a few runs here or there throughout the winter. I signed up for a spring half marathon to drop into the 5k (as usual) because I didn’t put in any training.

I completed the 5k with a somewhat decent 12:00 pace (for where I am these days) and pretty much didn’t run much after that either. And I’m signed up for a fall marathon and 10k the day before. My ambitions don’t listen to my rational brain.

Then I signed up for this class. Gah, what was I thinking?!

My Very First Speedwork Class

We warmed up as a group, did some strides plus various kicks and then did a 1-mile time trial on a track. I was super nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get my legs to go any faster, and I was pretty much right. My first lap was around a 10:20 pace, and that’s basically where I ended up at the end.

While running, I could feel the difficulty in my breath as I have never felt before. I wasn’t out of breath, but the past 2-3 weeks I have been suffering and getting over an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia has been in our house. I’m going to think that had a lot to do with my breathing because my legs surely weren’t turning over fast (and I kind of didn’t push myself too hard).

The good thing is that the future classes outside of the last class are all about drills, not time trials. So, I’ll learn how to do speedwork (which I’ve never stuck with) and hopefully get into the 9:00 range in 5 weeks. Plus, I did meet a mom who has her sons signed up for the same running club on Sundays the next few weeks!

Not So Fast

Now, while I should be proud of myself for the 10:29 finish, of course coming in last stinks, but someone has to do it right? Miswell be me. I can handle the shame – I think, and I also can use it as motivation.

I was proud that I got in the 10:00 range, because all of my previous runs the past few months have hovered steadily around 12:00-13:00 paced runs. Chris said why would I be surprised, since I’ve been doing Jeff Galloway’s method of Run-Walk-Run, but I told him people get 9:00 pace or faster sometimes using that method!

Weighing the Options

I’ve unfortunately gained quite a bit of weight over the winter months which disturbs me. I held steady around 160-165 for the past year, and I’ve ballooned up to 180 (I’m 5′ 5″ if you’re comparing). If I was 6′ tall, my weight would be da bomb! Alas, I’m not. My weight prior to kids was 130-135, post Monkey around 140, and post Crab has been a doozy. Every time I’d focus on losing, I’d gain weight. Argh.

I can tell you, the added weight is not from muscle, but thanks for the supportive idea.

My options are:

Option 1: Continue on the path I am, where I stress eat and ferment to my heart’s delight which I believe that homemade drinks and artificial sweeteners have caused some of this weight gain (plus being lazy).


Option 2: Get my sh*t together and run regularly again. Juice up vegetables and find something else to remove my stress.

I’ll take option #2 for $1,000 Drew.

Losing Weight isn’t About Looks, I’m Fancy Already

I follow several body positive people on IG and love their message! I want to remind you that my goal isn’t to lose weight for the looks.

At this point, I’m an old lady with frizzy hair who loves messy buns. That’s probably not going to change. Plus, my skin will deflate like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon when all is said and done. There will be no six pack ever to be had on this body. I’m okay with that.

My deepest reasons for losing weight are to feel better and comfortable in my skin, my clothes and know my health is headed in the right direction. I have no visions of living at the 130lbs I once was, but I’ll take 140 if the universe will give it to me. A range of healthy weight, strong muscles, and feeling energy is where it’ll be for me. Low blood pressure and cholesterol, no skin or health problems, and lots of energy to have fun and climb with my kiddos is a priority.

I’d like to run a little faster, if not just to reach 10:00 miles so I can easily do mental math.

10 * X is far easier than 12 or 13 * X – am I right? Plus, every few minutes I can shave off, that’ll mean when I do get to a 20 miler in my 80’s it shouldn’t take more than half the day.

What have you failed at lately?

2 thoughts on “Back to Running: Speed Work Class Week 1

  1. i got fat (not a good look on a skinny frame) this winter. it was just so nasty in the northeast. like you said, it’s not about the looks as the vanity ship is long gone, but feeling good, getting restful sleep, etc. i really just got back started running a few weeks ago. do you know your heart rate during your runs? i’ve been judging fitness partly by how long it takes to recover to below a certain HR. good luck with the training.

  2. Thanks Freddy! I haven’t been getting comment notifications so I didn’t see this until now. It definitely isn’t about vanity at this point after two kids, so thank you for the support!
    I don’t know my heart rate during runs, but only because I don’t check my watch. I do have records of my HR from each run, so maybe I should start to look more at that. I know my resting HR is higher than it used to be (I used to be in athlete range! and now I’m above average range).
    That is a good idea to judge recovery with HR metrics as well. I think I’ll start to take a closer look at HR, as that’s why I bought this watch to begin with, for the HR metrics on my wrist! Thanks Freddy!

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