Rain, Rain Go Away. Or Not. Because Then I Would Have To Go Outside To Do Speed Work. (But no matter what, I still get cookies)

by Carilyn on November 22, 2013

Yesterday was Black Thursday. Or, more commonly known as Speed Work Day. Ugh.

I only do speed work because everyone who is smarter and faster than I am does it. And I like to copy the cool kids. Like Pam Smith. And Sabrina Little.

Because I’ve been spending way too much time on the treadmill watching Top Chef and the Food Network, Wednesday night I made a solemn vow to myself that I would go outside to do my speed workout on Thursday. But then I woke up to this:

black sky

And the only thing I hate more than doing speed work, is doing speed work in the rain. (Okay, I would also hate doing speed work naked, with a rash, or dressed as Minnie Mouse, but rain is definitely high on the list.) Lucky for me, the newest episode of Top Chef was on TV, so really, there was no reason to beat myself up any further about not running outside. I, mean, come on! I’m not missing Top Chef just to slip, fall head first into a parked car and end up unconscious in a grimy gutter! Sheesh!

Inside or outside, my speed work is pretty lame. I warm up for 2 miles and then alternate 400 meters fast with 400 meters easy, for 7 miles, then cool down for 1. Mileage total in case you don’t have a calculator: 10.

I realize for ultrarunning, 400s aren’t really ideal, but anything further aggravates the ruptured disks in my back (is it the pounding? the quicker turnover?), and truthfully, I don’t have the attention span for much more. My only real goal is to get my heart rate up to max and, hopefully, get a few of those comatose fast twitch muscles to come alive. I have no illusions of ever running a 2:45 marathon.

And as always, for the last few miles I daydream about what I will make to eat when I’m done:

Chocolate Pecan Cookie Sandwiches

cookie sandwiches

1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast the pecans in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes.  Mix well with the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate, large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Turn mixer to low and slowly add the vanilla and then the flour mixture. Mix until the dough forms.

Scoop out small balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.


Chocolate Frosting

1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar (with up to 1/2 cup extra if you want your frosting sweeter0
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips (about 5 minutes).

Cream the butter with a mixer until light and airy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/4 of a cup at a time. Add the milk and vanilla. Continue to mix.

Add the chocolate and mix well.

Spread the frosting between 2 cookies and eat with a glass of milk (unless you are lactose intolerant or just think milk is gross).

And a helpful hint: if you want to eat more than a couple of these (not that I ever would), make sure you do at least 800s instead of 400s.

Happy Running!



Kirstin C November 22, 2013 at 10:26 am

Oh, man, those cookies look delicious.
Hope the rain lets up soon. Unless you need it. Then you’ll just have to suffer indoors with your dreadmill and cookies. 🙂

Carilyn November 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I am definitely spending too much time indoors, Kirstin! Tomorrow has to be a trail day just so I don’t end up Vitamin D deficient 🙂

Kim November 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I got caught up on Top Chef (and Project Runway and Chopped) this morning on the treadmill!!!
And – I’m so excited that you linked more ultra runners – I’m still thinking that I’m going to try again!
Kim recently posted…A Valuable LessonMy Profile

Kate November 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Attention span!! That’s the best thing about speedwork. Just a few minutes and you’re changing it u—squirrel!
Kate recently posted…Playing catch-upMy Profile

Char November 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who dreams of baking when they’re running. I worked out how to fill cupcakes while doing a killer hill session one day. Inspiration can come from pain!
Char recently posted…The Lord Giveth …My Profile

Marcia November 23, 2013 at 6:07 am

The cable company did something awful so now I don’t get Food Network on the TV where my mill is. Devastating. I kind of like that 400’s are all you do for speed. They are my favorite….if there could be such a thing…

Beth McCurdy November 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I’ve been following your blog for a long time and it is one of my favorite running blogs! I look forward to meeting you at Desert Solstice in 3 weeks!! Can’t wait for this race!

Teresa Smith November 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Carilyn, Funny stuff about the mental struggle to run outside. Can I share my story? this past week I was getting ready to run (before dawn) but heard the rain running off the roof – my mind says, “why do this?” – but I was awake so out I went. By the time my feet hit the porch – it had stopped raining. Awesome~ran the entire time without a drop. TAKE TWO (the next morning) Didn’t hear any rain so dressed for warmer weather and stepped onto the porch and we had a rain shower. I reached into the house and grabbed a jacket. Five drops of rain later – it stopped raining – until on my return walk up the drive. So lucky! (Wish I had that luck at Flatrock 50K and had to DNF because I was soaking wet and felt hypothermic)

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Beth! I look forward to meeting you, too! It will be “fun” (or at least as fun as running for 24 hours around a track can be) 🙂

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Yes, Kim! You should definitely try again. You are tough!

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Oh my gosh, Kate, I drive my husband crazy by screaming that every time he does something ADD. He didn’t see UP, so he just gets annoyed 🙂

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Char, you are a phenomenal baker. In fact, you could just send me your photos of some of your cakes and I could just post them like I made them. Deal?

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Marcia, I don’t think I could run on the TM without Food Network! Sad but true 🙂

Carilyn November 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Teresa! Glad you had such great runs! But, yeah, hypothermia during a race is tough – and hard to recover from and finish.

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