My name is Shauna and I’m afraid of speed-work.

I’m not afraid of being in pain, screaming at myself to keep going, sweating, or barfing up my heart.

I’m scared of bonking out during an interval and feeling like my former self: a quitter who had no heart. And as I write that my heart aches a bit. I feel like it’s really mean and unfair to all the versions of me who have done the best they can with what they knew. The “old” me did not know any of this was possible or she would have done it!

Wow, that went to a Judy Blume place I wasn’t expecting! Back to the speed work.

Planned a pyramid: 1 mi warm up, 1 min fast, 1 min slow, etc. up to 3 min and back down. Cool down after intervals to complete 4mi total.

It was cooooold. For California. I could see my breath so I may have started a bit fast in an effort to warm myself up. When my first interval was cued, I hauled ass. It was brutal and when I was prompted to do my next (slower) interval, I was already DYING. Might have gone out a bit too fast.

I dutifully picked up my pace at the next interval. 3/4 of the way through, I just stopped. Paused RunKeeper (CHEATER!). Keeled over to catch my breath.

Definitely went out too fast.

The rest of the workout went pretty much like that. As I told Twitter immediately afterward, I PR’d in stopping: 10 times in 4 miles. #duhwinning

Fairly early in the workout, it occurred to me that my biggest fears about speed work were being realized. I was struggling. Bonking. Stopping. Failing. The workout was too hard.

I got to the end of the run and had a little kick left for the last quarter mile. Humbled and thirsty, I reviewed the interval splits.



NOT TOO SHABBY! I was really pleased when I saw this! Obviously I would prefer the fast intervals to be much, much more consistently paced. And I would prefer not to stop every 3 minutes to ponder my mortality.

Next time!


3 thoughts on “Pause-work

  1. Mila says:

    Shauna I’m always so proud of you! I wish we lived nearby so we could train together, only we’re on opposite coasts and I was too scared of perpetual sunshine to apply to grad schools in California.
    Speedwork, as all else, will only get better xoo

  2. Anna says:

    Wow, Shauna, I`m impressed! Another scared-of-speedwork-runner here. I never thought about doing a pyramid of different minute(s) long segments, I will give it a try though, sounds a lot less scary than my usual routines.
    And I always keep in the back of my head what my mothers speaking elliptical used to say (yes, that exists, her name was Rhonda, she said): Remember, you can do anything for just one minute.

    • Shauna says:

      I really didn’t do much speed work during my first half marathon training. I did a workout where I warmed up, ran fast for a quarter mile, slowed down for a half mile, and repeated three more times. I like this workout and I plan to do it again, in addition to the pyramid. The pyramid workout originally went up to 5 minutes but i only had 4 miles on my plan for the day. That would have added another 32 minutes.

      LOL. Rhonda is totally right.

      What do you do for speed work?

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