Channeling Prefontaine

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even
more.”
Steve Prefontaine

I have a thing for Pre quotes. A few years ago when I lived in my tiny (but quaint!) studio downtown, I had Pre quotes framed and hanging on my walls. I no longer feel the need to base my decorating scheme around Pre, but I still like to read his quotes now and then.

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

And I was totally channeling Pre this morning despite the fact that I woke up ridiculously early, especially considering that I stayed up pretty late to watch the Braves lose and the Cardinals win and clinch the Wild Card. I knew I was sacrificing sleep and therefore early morning functionability, but it was well worth it. (Yes, I just made up the word functionability – go with it.) But surprisingly I had a ton of energy when I woke up, something I used to have when I was in a good running groove, but a feeling that has been foreign to me since I started this dog and pony show up again.

So I decided to take full advantage of my mystery energy and convinced myself that speed work was just what I needed this morning.

Um, apparently this mystery energy brought temporary memory loss with it as well. Because I hate speed work. Absolutely loathe it. 100% of the time. On any other day, even if Steve Prefontaine himself had come back from the dead and woken me up, I would have told him no way in hell was I getting up at 5a.m. to do speed work.

But today I did. Trust me, it wasn’t anything fancy – or pretty, for that matter. I warmed by running a half mile at an easy pace and then alternated 4 minutes of balls-to-the-wall sprinting with 1 minute of recovery for 30 minutes total. I’d planned to cool down with another easy half mile but all I could really muster after those intervals was hands-on-hips slow crawl home. But I’m okay with that.

Because I willingly did speed work!  And you know what? I didn’t die. Or puke. And though I felt completely and utterly exhausted when I hobbled back home afterwards, it felt good. In a Prefontaine – punishment sort of way.

I’d planned to make an awesome smoothie for breakfast for me and the boyfriend but my blender decided to betray me one last time.

See that? Yeah a nice big piece of plastic decided to break off as I tried unsuccessfully to fit the lid on it this morning.

There may or may not have been cursing and banging before and after said event. #SmoothieFail.

It’s okay. I really wanted a Larabar anyway….

How do you feel about speed work? And are you as semi-obsessed with Pre as I am? Or do you have a slightly more current running role model?

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10 Responses to Channeling Prefontaine

  1. I was also up late last night switching between the Redsox and the Rays games. Two amazing games (I’m rooting for the Rays)!!! But yep, now I feel sluggish today. I meant to get up to run, but I was way too tired this morning.

  2. I’m not even going to address the baseball thing, but great job on the speedwork! I’ve been having a really hard time waking up early to work out lately since it’s staying dark later and later. That’s my least favorite thing about fall!

    • Oh Megan… we may not be able to hang out much in the next few weeks… just sayin’.

      And I hate speed work. Enough to where I don’t do it. I love running and my thoughts on it are that I’m not going to do anything that compromises it. Yeah… lol

  3. I absolutely love speed work when I’m in a class and someone is yelling at me. I can’t stand it when I’m forced to do it on my own. I’m weird, haha, yes, I know!

  4. I don’t mind it but I also don’t do it much. Usually it’s when I don’t feel like running for a long time that I will do it. Then I just pick off stoplights to sprint to. Granted my sprinting looks like a manic turtle, but hey, it is what it is. I am a distance runner. Looong and slooow. That’s how I roll. :)

  5. Pre sounds a little twisted…in a good way, haha
    I love speed work – especially tempo runs!

  6. I just started with speed work a couple of weeks ago and I love it! Far more than my LSD! I’m with Paige – LOVE tempo runs!

  7. I suck at running so I don’t really care how fast I go. I just huff and puff for a few miles and that’s good enough for me ;)
    PS. Your crappy blender and my crappy blender would be BFFs.

  8. Ashlae says:

    I LOVE the suicide pace quote. While I was a competitive runner I told myself that throughout all of my races – such a great quote!

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