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The Last Half Mile

Posted Feb 14 2012 10:01pm

Monday’s Workout Wanda: Speed work with total of 4.2 miles at 38:03 – details below!
Tuesday’s Workout Wanda: Easy 1.5 miles just to warm up the muscles for the foam roller!

A few weeks ago I bailed on my group speed run. My excuse was some super important errands with Chris. You know, the time conscious errands – like looking for an apartment to move into in three months…

I was willing to skip that group run because I knew it was going to be a trial run around the lake. Four weeks earlier we had done our first trial run so this was a chance to see where we were at after three weeks of 200 meter repeats. I figured I could just make that trial run up.

That was two weeks ago…I finally talked myself into driving down to the local running shop where these group runs go down. And of course I had to do the second trial run at the exact location as the first – consistency is important people!

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My plan was to do exactly what I would have done at the group run – an easy warm up loop, a speedy fast loop, an easy cool down loop. I knew better than to expect the world from my legs since they’d run 11 miles the day before but I wanted to see if they could hold their own.

There were a ton of people walking and running around the lake so I pretended I was hanging with my running group and took off on my easy loop. The loop around the lake is 1.4 miles and I finished my warm up in 13:13, a pace of 9:27 – with some untimed breaks to snap photos!


My second loop around the lake was my speedy loop so there was no time for photos – just running, preferably fast running. Um…running a speedy 1.4 miles is MUCH easier with another running beside you keeping you consistent! One of the girls in the running group runs around my pace – although I’m convinced she really is faster – and on our first trial run I stuck with her.

This time around I was on my own. It kind of sucked. It was probably the hardest single 1.4 miles I’ve ever run in my life. Partly because I seldom go out to run just 1.4 miles, for whatever reason… It wasn’t fun and I didn’t exactly like running when I was done but I was fairly certain I beat the time of my first trial run. Turns out I did…

Trial Run #1 – 11:31, pace of 8:13 – ran with group and “pacer”
Trial Run #2 – 11:11, pace of 8:00 – ran alone the day after 11 mile long run

Um yeah, a tiny bit proud of those numbers! If I stick with these group runs a sub-25 5K isn’t completely out of the picture! With a 5K PR pace of 8:06 I’d really like to break 8:00 when rocking my new PR! That just might be possible with another few months of speed work!


Of course I couldn’t just have a super awesome day of running, that would be too easy. All was going well until I hit the last half mile of my cool down lap. Turns out running a speedy 1.4 miles when you are rather dehydrated is not a good plan! I didn’t really realize I had slacked on drinking water all day until it was too late…

The wrath of dehydration and speed work attacked my lower intestine with vengeance and I was quite certain I was going to die right then and there. I wanted to just curl up in a ball at the side of the trail – probably would have it it wasn’t all snowy and a random dude was giving me the side eye for cursing to no one in particular.

The back of my right heel also started to hurt during this last half mile of my run but I had more important things to focus on…like finding the closest, most accessible, least awkward place to take a bathroom break!

With a full half mile to get back to my car I decided running was the way to go – it got me back to the safe warmth of my car faster and it was actually easier to ignore the raging innards while running. I managed to finish up my 1.4 mile cool down in 13:39, a pace of 9:44!

Once I arrived at the car I quickly realized that both home and Target {my next destination for errands} were too far away. I needed a bathroom break…now! I’d parked in the parking lot for the running store that hosts the group runs so I took a deep breath and headed inside.


Let’s just say being greeted by name at a local running store when you are only there for an unpleasant bathroom break is rather awkward. Luckily running stores employ runners so at least the awkward came with a healthy dose of understanding! The dude that fitted me for my beloved Saucony’s said it best… “mi bano es tu bano”

Thank goodness for running stores and their bathrooms…I managed to survive just fine and headed out to finish up my errands. It was when I was walking thru Target buying things I didn’t need {darn you Target!} that I realized just how badly the bone on the back of my heel hurt. Walking hurt. Anything that involved my shoe moving against my heel hurt. Crap!

I’m thinking it was just how I had my shoe tied that was bothering my foot as the pain was non-existent when I headed out for a short easy run this afternoon.

On today’s run I learned that in the time it takes Chris to shower I can run 2 laps around our apartment complex for a total of 1.5 miles. Random fact but it puts a new spin how just how I perceive my time running! At least if I’m ever faced with the dilemma of a run OR a shower I know what I’m up against!

After my easy 1.5 miles I befriended my foam roller and stick – my IT bands and calves are definitely feeling the mileage right now! I really noticed tightness early this morning but had no pain while running – just while torturing myself in awkward positions on the floor with my foam roller! Hopefully they are back in the game for tomorrow’s group speed work!

Speaking of which…I’m off to fill up a few water bottles in preparation for this week’s group speed run. Can’t really justify making the same mistake twice, in the same week, with the same people! They  might think I’m a fraud! {they’d probably be right…}

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