Halfway Through the Summer of Speed

We are almost at the half way point of Summer Break here in Virginia Beach. While others are in the thick of Chicago/Twin Cities/Early Fall marathon training, I won’t start until September rolls around. I purposely will choose (not yet though) a late Fall Marathon so that I have significant training time. Waiting until November/December is hard for me. I love being in the thick of marathon training but I also want to set myself up for a successful marathon build and with three young children and a husband that is underway often, summer time is a difficult time for 20+ milers and 100+ mile weeks. So shorter, speedier work it is for the next 6 weeks. Here’s a little peak into what I’ve been doing lately.

Last time I wrote I was about to run a 4 mile Countdown race as a workout. It was unlike anything I’ve run before and I head a great time. The clock started at 6:30 pm and counted from 75 minutes down. You chose your race distance 4, 2, or 1 mile and start whenever you want. The goal being we all finish at the same time. Around 25 minutes, Andrew and I started to get real antsy and 20-30 seconds later we took off. It was a bit of a weavy, sweaty, fun mess and we finished about 8 seconds before the clock turned to zero. We think we ran around 6:11 pace (We thought we weren’t allowed to wear watches), which considering the crowded pathways and heat made for an exciting way to get in a good tempo.

Monday night was reserved for the track. 800’s were on deck and despite the 90 degree temp and raging humidity I was excited to get started….then BOOM, after the first interval I was reminded why I never ran on the track the year or so I was self-coaching. (Self-Coaching might be too ambitious a word choice.) The track hurts. Once again I ran watch-less and every interval felt like a struggle. The track was packed though with 20+ Hampton Road Runners, Dennis Welch Endurance athletes, a football team doing sprints, and a kids track team. It made things interesting and kept my eyes alert. Anything to help keep focus during the struggle is welcome because at one point I was hurting so badly I thought “How am I going to tell Coach Hadley I bombed this workout?!” That was motivation in itself! πŸ˜‰ We averaged 2:42 with the last at 2:39. That’s a few seconds slower than I had averaged the last time I ran 800’s but it was in the prescribed range and considering the temps, I can take it.

Here are some pics from the evening that that I stole from the DWEP website:

David, Dennis, and I. Dennis Welch is the best pacer. So thankful for his help! I like this pic because it shows him concerned about splits and I’m like “Can I take a nap now?!”

Group shot. I’m far to the left. I had forgotten my Oakleys at home and ran in fake Gucci sunglasses out of desperation. They worked! Out of this entire group I think I’m the only one who “only” runs. The rest are Spartans, UltraBeasts, Trail Champs, etc. It’s hard for me to complain about track work when I see everyone else running and doing 50 burpees and 100 lunges. They are a hard-core and fun group.

Post workout core work. I am woman enough to admit I was mocked for my pathetic sit-ups.

What’s up next for me? I will continue the Tidewater Striders/Running, Etc. Summer Series for two more weeks. The last week is the Memorial Scholarship 5K. It’s a great race and will be filled with speedy people. It’s not the fastest course but I am keeping my fingers crossed all the speed work kicks in and I can pull off a faster time. After that I do not have any larger races planned until the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll Half Marathon on September 1st. Anyone running the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon? I am thinking of running it if the timing works out and would love to hear about it. Happy Training Everyone!


19 thoughts on “Halfway Through the Summer of Speed

  1. Nice job! I just did some 800s today, actually, and OUCH is right! I live on the coast in Alabama, and it is hotter than blue blazes with a zillion percent humidity,. I feel your pain! Of course, mine were much slower than yours. YOU ROCK! I totally agree that it is so much easier with a pacer/buddy. My training partner and I take turns pacing the workout, and it is a HUGE help.

    I have run RnR Philly Half and it’s a good race. There is a tunnel in the early part that caused my Garmin to go wonky, but maybe you will just wear regular watch (since you’ve been running garmin-less recently)? I liked the course and the weather was nice.

    Good luck with the rest of your track series and 5K race!


    • I didn’t know you ran the Philly RnR. Ill have to go see if you wrote about it. I love race recaps!

      I can’t even imagine the heat in Alabama! You are a rockstar for training AND coaching in it.


  2. Hey Kris! Sounds like a fun summer! I just started MCM training (under Coach Hadley!) and am enjoying the workouts…well, mostly. This morning was 800s on the track for me, followed by a ton of stretching and icing…you’re right, track HURTS! I would love to do Philly R&R half…will ask the coach if that’s a good training run for MCM. I am also seriously thinking about the USATF .US National Road Racing Champs 12K Nov 17th as that’s here in Alexandria. Whaddya think?


    • Ahhh, I am so glad you are running with Hadley now! That is fantastic news and now we can say we are “Teammies” ;).

      I am kicking myself for not signing up for MCM. It’s in late October right? I could have made that work. I am going to look more into the 12K. Sounds interesting!


      • You could always get a transfer for MCM. It’s October 27th…day after my birthday!!! Definitely look into that 12K, could be a lot of fun. Thanks for saying I’m your “teammie” – albeit an older, slower one!


  3. 1) Cute bra. What is it?
    2) Did you stash your post-workout soda and Doritos in that cooler?
    3) I can feel the heat radiating from the pictures on the screen.
    4) Your 4-Mile Countdown sounds suspiciously similar to the pre-race warm-up that CT, Jenny, and I did last week… except we didn’t beat the clock. πŸ˜‰


    • 1.) Champion brand at Target. They were on sale and I bought three of them. Wishing I had bought more. I usually can’t do skinny straps but the support on the sides is awesome. Plus I love the T-strap on the back.

      2.) Ha, That was not my cooler but after the 2nd interval I stashed my Gatorade in there. You better believe I had Doritos later that day.

      3.) The school sign said 94! Yikes! I think it was exaggerating though….more like 90. πŸ˜‰

      4.) How didn’t I hear about this? So wish I was there! Of course you all didn’t beat the clock. You were probably having too much fun and forgot about it. Every time I’m with #TRWU I think “Oh wait, we are here to race?!?”


  4. Not that I haven’t asked you for enough life advice lately but I can’t wait to follow your marathon training too and learn from it. I wanted to work on speed this summer but it seems like the stars didnt align for me this summer to do that. That’s fine though, I would rather be less stressed and injury free. I actually have my fastest time from the memorial scholarship 5k LOL! Ill be there at the end of the month. πŸ™‚


    • That’s funny because that race was my fastest 5K last year too! Maybe it’s because we are all together and having so much fun. Plus Virginia Beach is such a competitive area we bring out the best in each other. I can’t wait to run it again this year. See you soon!


  5. Good luck with your running and races! I have been doing speedwork once a week and am ready to see some gains when it cools down a bit. It’s really hard to run fast in this heat and there aren’t many races to try in, so I’m using the next few months for marathon training and that one speed session each week.

    That countdown run seems really cool and it’s neat that you guys are still having races there! Ours have all stopped until the end of August/beginning of September. Gotta love the dirty South!


  6. That last pic had me totally doing a double-take…I thought that guy in the middle was naked! LOL And I love the movie star sunglasses πŸ™‚

    I remember loving staggered start races/workouts where everyone finishes at the same time in one massive frenzied clusterfuck! Excitement πŸ™‚

    This speed work is going to pay off beautifully, I’m sure πŸ™‚


    • You just made me go back and look at that picture, too funny! I didn’t even think of that when I posted it but you are right.

      I thought the glasses would fall off any second but they survived. Running without sunglasses here at dusk is brutal.

      I hope you are right about the pay-off!


  7. Those are some speedy 800’s Kris my 800’a last week were 2:57-2:59ish. I can wait to see what marathon you’ll choose


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