Sometimes I get so obsessed with measuring my running success by mileage that I forget that, though I'm a metronome, another form of running is speed training: less mileage and focusing on pushing my speed. I blame the memory of soccer sprints ("suicides" anyone?) as my mental block against this whole section of training.
The reason this has come up is that running with the slower/newbie Tuesday group, I realized that since its only week two, the group is barely making it to 4 miles. Well what motivation do I have to get out of bed before dawn if I'm barely hitting my minimum mileage? This is what I was contemplating while I was running up Meridian Hill Tuesday morning when a couple of the faster runners caught up with me (yea I might have started fast out of the gate due to my frustration with the route) and then sped right past. A little taken aback, I shook off my surprise and then took on the challenge. I stuck with these three for the rest of the run, including an extension we all decided needed to be added on to round us up to a full 4 mile route.
For the first time in a while I remembered what it felt like to really push my limits... and it felt good! Ok, yes it didn't feel fabulous during parts of the run where it felt like my side was being compressed by a tourniquet, but overall my breath felt big and full, my legs were really getting stretched out, and kicking a little butt didn't hurt either :) .
Older Speed Training Posts:
Indian Sprints , Fartleks Part I , Fartleks Part II