Pushing Up Pansies

June 29th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Morning Craziness

Well, it’s that time of year. The time when I start hemming and hawing about what I’m going to train for this summer: the half marathon or the full marathon. Last year I considered running the full marathon again but then bailed mid summer. I instead opted for the half with the excuse that I’d never run a half marathon before, conveniently weaseling my way out of a summer of 20 mile long runs.

This year though? My decision process is being strongly influenced by Born to Run – the book I’m currently reading about these super human athletes who run 100 mile ultramarathons and make it all sound so easy. I have to admit it’s left me feeling a bit like a pansy for quibbling over a measly 26.2 miles in comparison. It’s like sitting on the couch watching figuring skating as these beautiful skaters do perfect triple axels with ease. You’re sitting there thinking “Pssshhh I can do that!” as you promptly plop over and drool into your throw pillow whilst falling asleep during a Burger King commercial.

Except no drooling for me dammit! But no triple axles either, just 26.2 miles. Sure, it’s no 100 miles in Leadville – the highest, coldest city in North America – but at least I feel 83.8% less pansy than I would otherwise while reading this book.

So yes, at this very moment I am feeling very full marathon-y and have decided to try out this Less Is More Marathon training program which touts running your best marathon ever. Your best marathon ever? Well! Sign me up for that! This plan entails running three days a week: one day of speed work, one tempo run and one long run every week.

And today my friends was a speed work day. This means dragging my butt out of bed at the crack of dawn, running the 3/4 mile to the track with camera in hand, a nice helping of self inflicted torture and then running home again.

Track Morning

Hmmmm… Authorized Use Only? Well, what if I authorize me? Does that count? OK so shhh… Just look like you belong here and no one will raise an eyebrow.


Given there are 10 weeks to go until the marathon, I am technically on Week 6 of this 16 week training plan. Never mind please that I didn’t get started until last week and therefore missed the first four weeks of speed work and long runs. Details, details!

On today’s docket was 5 sets of 1200 meter repeats, which is track talk for running hard 3 times around the track and try your best not to puke. Then do it again, 4 more times.

And once again, never mind please that I didn’t double check the schedule before I left this morning. I thought I was only supposed to do 3 x 1200. Oops. I didn’t even realize this mistake until just now when I fetched the link for you all. Boy I am on a roll.

So where was I? Oh yes. Sneaking onto the track for some speed work. Me and my awesome memory did our 3 sets of 1200 meters with a 400 meter recovery lap between each set and I didn’t even puke! I ran the last repeat barefoot, figuring if I was gonna raise any eyebrows and get kicked out, best to do it on my last set.

So yup, speed work sucks, but it works, so you do it. Say that three times fast. Or better yet, say it five times fast.


Little do you know there were two other people running on the track when I took this pictures, both surely wondering what the hell I was doing. And little do you know I photo shopped a booger out of this picture too.

Speed and photo shoot insanity over, I left my shoes off and ran the 3/4 mile home barefoot, eyebrow raising be damned. Although one look at the clinger in my nose and any security guard would have surely ran the other way anyway.

Home for a Breakfast of Champions Forgetfulness: Strawberry Banana Museli.

Strawberry Banana Museli

1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 container of 2% Fage
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
Diced strawberries and bananas on top

Let the oats soak for a couple minutes to soften up. Enjoy after a hard, illegal work out before you realize you were actually supposed to run even longer than you did, thus concluding you are two-fifths pansy. Continue enjoying before you download the pictures off your camera and realize there’s a booger in your nose too.

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10 Responses

  • Lizzy says:

    Do the full Mamma! I’m training too for my FIRST! we can do it! :)

  • jennabean says:

    ok, what the hell is Fage?!? that’s new one to me! :)

  • Alison says:

    Whoops – sorry Jenni! It’s a brand of greek yogurt!

  • Sara says:

    I just started reading Born to Run this week and I am love, love, loving it! It is inspirational, informative, and oh so enjoyable! Good luck with your training!

  • KatieF says:

    I used the Run Less Run Faster program for my 4th marathon. My then-PR was 3:32:55, and I ended up running 3:40:47 at the marathon I used that plan for. It wasn’t my fastest marathon, but considering that I had some, ahem, GI issues during the race and had to make at least four port-a-potty stops, I was happy with how that plan prepared me.

    • Alison says:

      Katie, I’m so envious of your speed! I’m hoping to at the very least beat my 4:15 from 2008… better yet come in under 4 hours… a dream come true to come in at or under 3:40 for a BQ! That may be a year or two off… we’ll see what the next 10 weeks bring. Either way, I’m glad to hear you are happy with how it prepared you!

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    Okay……this brought a true LOL

    “You’re sitting there thinking “Pssshhh I can do that!” as you promptly plop over and drool into your throw pillow whilst falling asleep during a Burger King commercial.”

  • Good luck. Speed work is probably my LEAST favorite part of running, so you are brave!

  • Cindy says:

    How did I miss this? I come here every day almost. jeez girl!

    Must be “the almost”

    boogers or not, you rock. I am glad you are still hitting the road barefoot. I play outside in the dirt with JJ without shoes now. I mean, sticks, weeds and rocks….should be no problem, right?

    I run in our “pool dirt area” hopping like a mouse going oooh ,…owie….oooch….and the like.

    but not fast.

    is that track that squishy turf stuff? I would love to run barefoot on that surface!

    you go girl! FULL MARATHON!

    • Alison says:

      I’m doing the exact same thing Cindy – walking around barefoot as much as I can – around the house, outside… anything to aide in toughening up my feet!