Boston Week 10: Speed Work

6 weeks to go…

HOLY SMOKES…only SIX weeks to go?! The time is flying! I finally got our housing booked for Boston which is a major weight off my shoulders. Now I just have to focus on finishing the rest of the cycle strong and healthy!

This week had a tough tempo and a big speed workout, in addition to a fast finish long run. So while, the mileage wasn’t huge, the intensity was definitely there.

I was reminded this week that this was the point in training for NYC where I strained my {right} calf muscle. Coach has made some adjustments during this heavy part of the cycle to avoid injury happening again (4 days of running + 1-2 cross), but I am also doing all the things I neglected on my end (yoga, strength training, rolling) to stay healthy. It was a nice sigh of relief to get through the tempo and track workout feeling good, but with some dicey conditions on my long run, my left calf was feeling a little tight toward the end. I will definitely have to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t turn into anything serious.


  • Run: Progressive Tempo: 1 & 2@7:30-40, 3 & 4@7:10-20, {optional} 5@sub-7:10 (or maintain): 9.5M, 7:45 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

This is the same workout as a few weeks ago, but this time felt much, much better. I waited until the snow stopped and sun came out to hit the lakefront and even though it was {numb face} cold, it was sunny and not windy. I find it amazing how difficult 7:30 – 7:40 pace feels during a fast finish long run, yet how comfortable it feels when it is part of a tempo. The paces: 7:31, 7:27, 7:10, 7:09, 7:02. I tried to just get to the goal pace and let my legs lock in there…hence why the 2nd & 4th miles were a little faster than I planned. I try not to pull back then subsequently have surge too much if I can avoid it.


  • Run: 1:00 Easy: 7.2M, 8:23 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

Some days the easy runs are boring and feel like a chore. And some days they are very zen, where I enjoy running without a goal other than to keep it easy and to complete the given time. I did most of this run with Walter and watching how much he loved being out there reminded me how much I love just putting one foot in front of the other and running. It also reminded me to be thankful to be healthy and able to run.

The yoga class was a new instructor who was much more focused on the “vinyasa” than the “power” and it was nice to mix it up. I felt really in tune with my body and aware of my form and breathing, which doesn’t happen every time I practice, but feels really nice when it does.


 I was too lazy to get up for the 6 a.m. spin class, but had to go to Peoria mid-morning so I rode on a bike in the spin room on my own. I tried to push a steady cadence with some resistance the whole time and then did 15 min of intervals toward the end. I was a sweaty mess. I immediately went upstairs for the strength work afterward and somehow ended up being sore from it, despite doing the same workout 3 weeks in a row?!


  • Run: Speed w/7-8×800 @ 3:20-25: 8.85M, 8:13 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×10 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

I spent the night at my in-laws in Morton and planned to go to the high school track in the morning for my 800’s. When I got up, I decided not to chance that I would waste time driving over and it would be covered in snow. There is a nice flat loop in their neighborhood that is almost exactly a 1/2 mile so I warmed up and did the repeats there: 3:17, 3:21, 3:18, 3:25, 3:22, 3:25, 3:21, 3:25. I switched directions on every other repeat and there was something about going counter-clockwise (the even numbered repeats) that was harder and it shows in the numbers. Maybe it was the wind or the Garmin was off or something, I don’t know. I also had a hard time locking into a pace, which is why the repeats were a bit inconsistent.


  • Workout: Spin or Swim: OFF
  • Strength: Yoga

I planned to do some cardio, but Friday morning yoga prevailed and after an extended break from work during the day, I decided to scrap the extra cardio session this week.


  • Run: 2:00 Hilly w/Fast Finish: 15M, 8:08 avg.
  • Strength: None

Brad and I had plans to go to Peoria Saturday morning, so I headed out to Morton Arboretum solo and early to get my hilly run done. I started about 7:30 and it was snowing lightly and very windy. For the first 2 miles of my run, I couldn’t open my eyes more than a squint because the snow was stinging so bad. Eventually the snow and wind both lightened up and the warmer morning (low 30’s) felt great. The warm temps from Friday + snow that morning made the conditions a bit messy. It was fine for the first 1/2 of the run because I could get a decent grip on the fresh snow, but once they plowed out the snow and hadn’t sanded yet, I was slipping around. I fell once, but very cleanly and popped right back up. Then during the tempo portion, my feet kept slipping, especially on downhills, and my legs felt like they were working hard to keep me stable. The fast finish miles were solid: 7:43, 7:38, 7:22. I was happy with that, especially on the rolling hills, but I was not happy that my lower left calf felt tight during the last 1.5 and a little sore afterward. Once I got compression socks on and rested my legs, it felt fine. There is no lingering soreness, but after being injured before, every little twinge sends my i-word radar into high gear.


  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

Rest, rest, rest.

Miles: 40.6

Treadmill runs: NONE!!! Woop!

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 12

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in bike, Chicago, friends, running, Strength Training, training, Weather, weekly recap, Yoga. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Boston Week 10: Speed Work

  1. 6 weeks- that is so exciting!! I’m hitting the phase now where I’m starting to get jealous of the paces everyone else is able to run. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how the final weeks go for you!

  2. Solid week! 3 key workouts in one week is awesome! You stayed solid throughout the week which is good- I have a good feeling Boston will be a great race for you ! And I can’t believe it’s 6 weeks away! This year is flying by!

  3. elizabeth says:

    doubling comments…I love seeing how consistent you seem! And glad to see you back in the pool. Curious how you will like the 4 instead of 5 days running. I seem to prefer it…but not sure what is better? If there is such a thing? GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!

  4. Pingback: Friday Fun VIII |

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