Saturday, January 17, 2009

Speed Development Program and Get Me to the Ball on Time

In between my finagling invitations to an inaugural ball, and running around trying to find a gown, I managed to attend the first and second sessions of the Montgomery Country Road Runners speed development program.

Based on my weekly mileage and recent race times, I was assigned to the Red program and placed in the 10:30 pace group. But the Red group will be spending the first six weeks basically learning how to run so I took the liberty of upgrading myself to White. White's first workout: 1 mile warmup, 3 miles striding on the straights and jogging on the curves, and 1 mile cooldown.

What's a stride you ask? I asked too. You just run like you're on fire on the straights, in lanes 1 and 2 (the inside ones), and then move to the outside when you're jogging.


All 300 of us got sent out in groups, and amazingly, no one got hurt.

Mile one went by in 10:42, and then the work started. The hardest part? Counting. I don't know how people keep track of ladder workouts. I have enough trouble counting to four.

My "jogs" got progressively slower, though I tried hard to continue running all out on the strides.

mile 2: 7:41 +2:38 (counting)
mile 3: 10:55
mile 4: 11:13
mile 5 cooldown: a blistering 12:03

I was sooooooooooo excited at the end of this workout, I can't even tell you. Maybe I finally experienced the runner's high. I dunno, but I was thrilled, I felt great, I was so happy, I had no desire to ever eat anything again and I could barely sleep that night. May all my workouts leave me so exhilarated.

Assignment number two was to run the club's 4 mile "Shooting Star" race on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

It was a little chilly Saturday morning.
Thermometer at the start of the race

I wore three layers, plus the ubiquitous blue running vest, plus a neck gaiter that I could pull up over my face, plus my heavy duty running pants, and two hats. I pulled the neck gaiter over my nose and the warm air made my glasses fog up. Pulled it down and my nose froze. Pulled it up and glasses fogged. Pulled it down and glasses stayed fogged...because the fog had frozen on the glasses. Now I had to take off my gloves and wipe off my glasses...Rinse, repeat. At mile 2 I finally stopped to take the neck gaiter off, which meant I had to take off my glasses and my hats, hold them, while pulling the neck gaiter off. The neck gaiter which I will soon be ripping into shreds. I'm calling one minute just for all the wiping of the glasses and pulling the gaiter up and down, and arghhhhhhhhhhh!

The route itself was fun, a mile through the woods on a paved path and then a mile through a neighborhood, two loops, with a few hills thrown in. Around mile 2 someone pulled up nearby and said, "Are you blogger Jeanne? I'm blogger *Jeanne*, with asterisks!" So that was fun. The blue vest has its uses.

I honestly thought I was running about 12 minutes miles. Turns out I wasn't:

Shooting Star 4 miler:
4/8 Jeanne McCann 51 Bethesda MD MCRRC 42:58 10:45


Runner Susan said...

I need to be in this program! I need exhilarating. Is it a long commute? Which dress did you pick? One that you emailed me? Hmm. I can't stand the suspense.

Petraruns said...

Oh man - running is great but DRESSES are better - tell us all and post a picture. FULL details of everything.

Well done on the race time and the workout time - and the exhiliration bit - long may it last!

Caren said...

I loved the Speed Development Program. This is going to sound so cheesy, but after every Tuesday night workout, I drove home feeling like conquered the world and blissfully happy. Those workouts were truly exhilirating. Great job on a frigid cold race!

Thomas said...

Who assigned you to the Red group? The white ones is where you belong, so good call on upgrading yourself.

You're gonna have a ball at the ball.

Kelly said...

It's so fun when bloggers run into other bloggers. I'm jealous... I'm pretty sure there are no other bloggers in my region (I've tried to find them).

Rainmaker said...

Wow, that's awesome that you managd to score tickets to a ball. I would have loved to have gone, but alas everything was super-duper-expensive. Have a blast! Oh, and pictures are a must!

Old School Runner said...

Sorry I didn't get to go to the race! I felt too creaky to run that morning. You might want to try the Cross Country race in a few weeks--held over the same course as the national championship!

Rhea said...

So I envy two things: Your going to a ball and your new speed program. The running clubs here in LA are worthless compared to MCRCC! And let's see the dress - photos please!

One last thing: I finally have a new blog. A blend of personal and professional interests: Tell me what you think.

21stCenturyMom said...

Speed Racer!! Well done.

And yes - more on the dress and the ball and all of that.

Dori said...

How cool that you got to meet *Jeanne*!

I've been a little envious of you lately. Oh sure, it's been in the 70s here and I'm running in shorts. But you are in the city where CHANGE is coming. D.C. must be pretty exciting.

Are you really going to an Inaugural ball? Lucky girl! I hope you post lots of pictures.

Susan said...

Yo yo yo speedy! Way to go!

Now, you MUST post some ball photos, you know. I am all eyes!

Vickie said...

I so need that program!! And yes, you will find after a good, hard, and as fast as you can manage workout that your endorphins kick in. And it carries over to the next workout and the next and the next, etc. Keep going!

Kathy said...

That's awesome! I need to find a good speed workout. I've been trying, but it's tough! Keep up the FAST work!!

Runner Susan said...

i've emailed you a 100 times. are you getting my emails?

ShirleyPerly said...

Nice job on the 4-miler!

Seriously, I don't know how you folks run in such cold. I was outside in single digits recently for just 5 minutes and my face froze. I could have used one of those neck gaitors.

David said...

Are you wearing Jason Wu to the ball?

Speed work is where the real runners become superstars. The white group will borrow you for just a short spell.

Rachel said...

Love speed workouts! That sounds like a good one and a good group to run with. I'm jealous! But, NOT of your weather. Can't even imagine that.

21stCenturyMom said...

You better be busy writing up your inauguration experience - especially the ball!

Chic Runner said...

Brrrr! that sounds like a chilly temp for sure! I wouldn't make it! :) What a great program you have though, and nice finishing times too!