Tonight, I broke down a new barrier: speedwork. I was always hesitant about touching this prior to my first half because well I didn’t think I’d ever be fast enough. Plus I am oh so paranoid about injury. They say speedwork makes you a stronger runner. At the same time I was determined to hit up more of the run clubs as much as my work schedule could allow. Of course, one of the real downers is that in my regiment, Thursdays is a rest day for me, and I’m missing two group runs because of it.
So my only real shots are Wednesday evening by UPenn’s campus and Saturday at Rittenhouse Square’s Lululemon Athletica shop.
Tonight, it was cold, yet I took the subway after work to the Philly Runner shop on UPenn’s campus. Met up with the group runners there, and it appeared I had two options: a shorter distance of 5 miles with interval speed runs or an 8 mile run at a brutally fast pace. My plan has me doing 5 at most tonight, so needless to say I went with the speedwork. It had gone just fine at the beginning except when the rain came coming down hard. During the harder runs, my legs were flying but the rain was starting to annoy me and whilst I had put on quite a healthy amount of Bodyglide (sports lubricant for you non-runners), but somehow, someway, that speedwork made the runs go quick. My legs were aching pushing harder, but somehow, I got through it. I soared under the triple bridge and the Cherry Street entrance by Logan Square. Then came the top of the hill at the Art Museum. Then doubled back, soared from Cherry Hill to the Donut. And back again, and back again. The rain came down hard with our last tempo run to go and yet we still made it back to 37th Street. The pain was temporary but surviving speedwork, as baby of a step it was, it was something. This wasn’t so bad. Not so bad. I can do this. Although tonight’s run was productive, I am feeling pangs in my knees, but the ice is helping. This should be temporary.
And lo and behold, more new people to meet. Compared notes on the races we’re running, I was the only one in the entire group that lived downtown (wow, are running shops that sparse in the adjacent neighbourhoods??) and the only one not running the Philly half or full. A few others were even less experienced than I was (!!!) and were struggling to keep up. I ran easier when I could during the easier stretches knowing I wasn’t in the total rear.
Stretching was also good, plenty of new stretches learnt. All I can say is that this was a damn good run all around, cool people – even with the rain, and a lesser crowd between that and the Phillies playoff game (Roy Halladay pitching a no-hitter!!!!) drawing the entire city in – it was a good night and you better believe I’ll be rolling with this group every week.
Just love how my journey on the pavement gets better with every day. Hopefully injury won’t choke it.