Saturday, January 28, 2012

Doing Speed Work in Versailles

I'm in Maryland for the weekend to visit with my family, which means that this morning's scheduled speed work took place at the local Y. In the Richmond area, there are two branches of the Y that I frequent, and while both can get busy, they generally aren't swamped (that is, until soccer season when all of the soccer moms and dads and children invade and then I just curse and grumble as I circle the parking lot for the umpteenth time).

The Y here was a veritable madhouse when I arrived this morning at around 10:00. I had to invent a parking place because all of the spots were filled. On the way in, I saw what is probably the only snow I will lay eyes on all winter:

Sad, dirty parking lot snow.
Luckily, it was busy because apparently today was team picture day (?) and not everyone-wants-to-run-on-the-treadmill day. I checked in and jumped on a treadmill right away.

Speaking of visiting treadmills, isn't it kind of funny how you get used to the specific type of treadmill in your "home" gym and any other kind is just bizarre and uncomfortable to you? That's how it is for me at least. I'm a creature of habit, so having to run on a treadmill that is unlike my usual really throws me off. For instance, the treadmills at this Y have very small display areas and tiny drink holders that you have to prop your water into instead of the cup holders that you drop your water into on my home Y treadmills. Small thing, but it bothers me.

But I digress.

Today I thought I'd try to do some 800s instead of the 1600s that my training plan called for. I did 4 miles, running the first half of each mile at a pace of 6.2 mph/9:40 and the second half at 7.0 mph/8:34. By the end of the workout I was sweating buckets, but felt ok. Total time was 36:40 with an average pace of 9:10.

I liked the 800s - I was able to run faster during the speed intervals and didn't get as bored during the recovery pace intervals. It also worked out so that each half mile was more or less equal to one song on my iPod. When things line up like that, the OCD part of me is really happy.

Today my shuffle was serving up some great tunes. Isn't it amazing how certain songs can just take you right back to a time in your life in an instant? This happened to me a few times during today's work out. Most of the songs on my shuffle have some kind of memory or association attached to them, but some are stronger than others. Today the shuffle was picking out the ones that just give me goose bumps.

Example: Lady Gaga "So Happy I Could Die." For me, this song will forever be associated to the day that I spent at Versailles. I had dreamed of visiting the chateau and when I finally got there, I was so overcome that I couldn't stop smiling. As we walked up to the gates, my travel buddy and best friend was filming me and asked, "So how do you feel to be at Versailles?" and my reply was, "I'm so happy I could die."

There are about 50 pictures of me from that day, and in all of them I am wearing a giant, goofy smile. I won't torture you with all 50, but here are two.




When this song comes blasting through my shuffle, I feel like I could run forever. The treadmill, the gym, or the road just melt away and I'm back in Versailles, and I never want to leave.

The song that happened to be playing during my last 800 of speed work was "Deliver Me" by Robert Randolph & Family Band.

I couldn't help but think how appropriate! Yes, PLEASE deliver me from this speed work!


The afternoon was spent shopping at the outlets and Best Buy in a pair of 4" spike heel ankle boots. By the end of the day my calves were absolutely killing me.

But, the plus side of speed work and walking through outlets and Best Buy for 3 hours is that I feel absolutely no guilt about eating this giant piece of cake in celebration of my Dad's birthday.


Have I mentioned yet that I love cake?

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