My current marathon training plan incorporates lots of speed work. Speed work is not something I have done much of in the past. Overall I think that it is daunting and it scares me. It means pushing myself past my limits on a weekly basis and really seeing what kind of runner I can be. If I want to be faster and stronger, I have to do it.
Other than speed work scaring me, I am even more challenged by it because I am so out of shape. I lost ALL of my speed this summer. It was all I could do to run on a very infrequent basis. Truly I am starting over with everything.
The times my coach wants me to run are just flat out impossible at the moment. I would kill myself to run one mile or one 800 and that would be it. That would not make a great workout. I also don't want to risk injury so I decided it would be best to build up gradually.
Last week I ran my tempo run at an average 8:47/mile pace instead of the 8:24 pace. My goal is to improve my tempo mile times each week.
Today I had to do track work except I did not go to the track. I just find that very hard to do with 4 children. I don't think the track is a very safe place in the dark so it was the treadmill for me. Honestly, it was probably for the best. I could keep my 800 times consistent and there was no giving up.
I ran four 800's just under 4 minutes or a 7:53/mile pace. My goal time is 3:41. Those 20 seconds just seem impossible at the moment, but it will come. I know this was the correct pace because I really felt like I would vomit during the last 400 of the last two 800's. I was giving it all I had.
I don't think my 800 times will improve as quickly as my tempo times. I have to improve my endurance and embrace 800's for it to work. This is a huge challenge for me. The embracing part that is!
But, I will admit that I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I was finished. I had done it and I was so happy. The workout that scared me all week was DONE. I had conquered my fear and did it.