The Connection Runners + [training]

Baby Steps

Ever seen the film What About Bob?

Yes? Then you'll understand what I mean when I say "baby steps to the door, open the door, baby steps to the bus, get onto the bus" while wearing a goldfish around my neck.

No? Then you should watch this brief clip from the 1991 Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfuss-flick about a man who is terrified of the outside world and antagonizes his psychiatrist for help. It's hilarious.

Ok, now that we've all had a chance to relive Murray taking teensy-weensy little steps around an office like an idiot, I can confess something:

I haven't been keeping up with my speed runs on Thursday because I've been busy flying to remote countries and helping them develop cures for diseases scared. Scared like Bob Wiley is scared to touch doorknobs and public phones scared.

I'm scared of trying to run fast. Because I think I can't.

Let's get one thing straight - I'm entirely average, and I intend to mostly stay that way, but I do want to improve here and there.

So last night, Kevin and I headed to our local track for seven daunting miles of the "s" word: Speed Work.

I never ran track in high school, but there's something heart-pumping about seeing all of the lanes with their numbers all lined up and awaiting fast average feet.

Kevin is a natural-born track runner, but me - not. so. much.

My training plan told me to run this:
1x1600 - warmup
4x1600 - fast laps @8:01 w/ 800 recovery jogs
1x1600 cool down

And so, we set off.

Speed Work 7: Scary Stuff

And I ran baby stepped in circles for seven long, but surprisingly quick miles.

Because baby stepping was the only way I knew how to get through the fear of going fast. Making small, steady strides, I kept an eye on Garmin and watched it beep away the miles.

Then I realized that there's not much to fear. You just have to keep going. Keep baby stepping.

With his superb track skillz, Kevin finished well before me, but hung around to run with me for the last fast mile and cool down.

Here's what I ended up with (ignore some of the weird short splits that I inadvertently entered):

Hot Pace Day!
After all of the fear, I managed to keep my fast splits between 8:02 and 8:22. Not exactly at goal pace, but I'll take it!

We finished just as the sun had set over the rec center.

Mostly peaceful.

Now that all of the baby stepping is done, we get to relax today because we're off work for Good Friday. I'm thinking a little outlet shopping is in order?

And on a somewhat related note, Easter is Sunday! It looks like we'll be splitting the holiday between hanging out with Kev's mom early, then heading to my family's gathering for massive amounts of Polish food. I'll also attempt to eat my weight in Reese's Pieces eggs one last time before those eggs of deliciousness disappear from shelves for a year.

Two Questions for Today...
1) How do you feel about getting in speedy runs (speed work, tempo, etc... ) Something you do naturally, or do you have to baby step it like me? Or something in between?

2) Easter plans? Are you going on an egg hunt? Mowing down on jelly beans?

Tell me, tell me!

And last but not least, if you haven't already, come to this post and weigh in the "what makes a runner a runner?" question. I've looooved the responses so far, and I want to keep hearing them!