The One That Almost Killed Me

Yesterday morning I popped out of bed full of energy and ready for an early morning run.

When I opened the door I was hit with a blanket of humidity (81 degrees, 80% humidity). I completed one whole mile before turning around and going home. Hardcore, I know.


The evenings tend to have lower humidity here so I figured running at night would be better. Boy was I WRONG! At night it was 79 degrees with 95% humidity! And guess what I had on tap? Speedwork.

My workout consisted of a one mile warmup, three miles with 2 minute hard intervals / 1 minute easy intervals and a one mile cool down. 

I was able to crank out my fast intervals between 9:35 and 10:45 pace but I’m pretty sure I died a couple of times! I texted my coach to say the workout killed me … in a good way :).


^ At least the wind has died down!

Some things I learned during last night’s run:

– I can run for short periods of time at a sub 10-minute mile (who knew?!)

– I can even hold the sub-10 minute mile pace when I’m running up the bridge

– After running hard intervals in the 9 to 10 minute pace range I need to walk slowly for a minute

My target for the fast intervals was 10:00 – 10:30 pace. However, I am having a hard time maintaing a specific fast pace. Heck, I just learned how to keep a consistent pace at 13:00-13:30!

I’m sure I’ll get there with time … although my pacing inconsistency allowed me to discover I could dip into the 9s (and even the 8s one time) which is pretty cool to know! Especially in this sticky, awful weather.

You guys, we can do hard things!

You know what helps? Eating a Jolly Rancher while you’re doing a hard run. I picked up that tip from Ali’s blog. She’s a genius! Not only does it make you feel less thirsty but it’s delicious! Last night’s workout was a two jolly rancher kind of night.

Tonight I’ve just got three easy miles on the sched. so it will be a one Jolly kind of night.

When was your last OMG-I’m-Dying workout? Was it running/lifting/core work?



  1. Susan
    November 25, 2014 / 6:40 am

    Great job! From one “slow runner’ to another. When I look at my Garmin download and see that at times I am running 9+ – 10 + minute/miles I am so happy!

    I know you have races and goals but for me, any time I try to push myself to be faster I risk getting injured. Last injury pretty much took out my summer from running so even though I get happy when I see myself running a bit faster, I have to remember not to push it.

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:28 pm

      I hear ya! I’ve been lucky to never have had an injury that kept me out of the game for longer than a few days. I only do speedwork one day a week, and it’s not always as intense as last night’s. I should probably share the little details of my runs more consistently on the blog. I probably do one super hard speed workout every three weeks and the others are much less intense…. shorter distances, slightly easier paces, etc.

      9 and 10 minute pace is crazy! Whoo!

      • Susan
        November 25, 2014 / 7:39 pm

        I say keep it up! You have a good recipe for success! To me running injury free trumps being fast. I love following along on your journey.

  2. November 25, 2014 / 6:51 am

    Haha I would be so scared that I would choke on the jolly rancher! Glad it works for you, but be careful!:)

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:29 pm

      Haha, you have to keep the jolly rancher tucked to the side in your cheek! That’s the secret!

  3. November 25, 2014 / 7:38 am

    When I read your first part and saw the “9s” and “10s” I thought ooooohh. I always feel like I’m dying when I am running shorter distances (which means…..sprint haha). In terms of a dying workout… haven’t had one in awhile – usually they are strength workouts though. Nice tip on the Jolly Rancher.

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:30 pm

      Sprints! Bleh! I do a few sprints about once a week after an easy run, but I never time them with my Garmin. They’re so short that I doubt the Garmin would be able to get an accurate reading with all the starting and stopping in fast succession!

  4. November 25, 2014 / 8:17 am

    Doesn’t it feel great to know that you can push yourself that hard and come out stronger on the other side? I love that about running!

    My last omg-I’m-dying workout was my intervals last week. It was the day after I started my new strength routine and, wow, I was really feeling it.

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:32 pm

      Oh wow, I bet! A new strength routine always throws off my running for a few days… even upper body routines because my chest is sore and I can feel the steps vibrating through my chest (does that make sense? haha).

      I DO love that about running. I was dreading the workout before I got started but once I started seeing the faster paces on my Garmin I got really excited!

  5. November 25, 2014 / 8:26 am

    Awesome speed work! That is awesome that you can do a sub 10 even going up the bridge. I haven’t had a RUNNING “I’m dying” workout since I last did speed work- which was over a month ago. But whenever I lift back I feel like I’m dying. I do two different pull up grips. I always feel like I am dying during them but I know they are like the BEST move I can do for my back/arms/shoulders.

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:33 pm

      PULL UPS!!!!! Ahh, so hard! I have no real strength in my upper body because I could not do a pullup to save my life. Every once in a while Adam will encourage me to try, but unless I’m using an assist machine, it’s just not happening.

      • November 25, 2014 / 5:59 pm

        That is what I use 95% of the time! I only try to bang out a couple “real” ones once in awhile, because I can only do like 3… and then I am DONE. So I use the assist because I like to do 10. What are you talking about no upper body strength??? You can row more than I’ll ever dream of rowing!

  6. November 25, 2014 / 10:09 am

    Ohhh speed work. I love to hate it. Congrats on cranking it out in those tough conditions. I think I would probably choke and die if I had a jolly rancher in my mouth while running haha

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:34 pm

      You wouldn’t! The secret is to tuck the jolly rancher into the side of your cheek! It’s totally safe there between your cheek and your teeth! Although it just occurred to me that it’s probably going to give me cavities!

  7. November 25, 2014 / 11:32 am

    Congrats on getting it done! I’ve kind of never done real speedwork but I’ve been working on my endurance so I’m excited to start doing it and see how it goes. I’d also be worried about choking; I can’t seem to even eat a GU without issues!

    • November 25, 2014 / 4:36 pm

      I had issues once trying to eat pretzels on the run. Do not try to eat anything dry during an activity where your mouth may already be a bit dry. It’s just a bad combo! I don’t know what I was thinking!

      You just need to tuck the j.rancher into the side of your cheek where it’s nice and safe, but still providing a delicious flavor!

  8. November 25, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    I haven’t done any speedwork for *quite* a while, just focusing on long run and weekly mileage for my next race (half marathon – eeks, this weekend! So not ready), but after this weekend I have 5ks coming up, so will have to get back to it. Looking forward to it and not looking forward to it at the same time, if you know what I mean!

    • November 25, 2014 / 10:50 pm

      I definitely know what you mean. Everytime I think about running a 5K I get that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach!

      Good luck in Seattle this weekend! Enjoy it, I hope you have great weather!

  9. November 25, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    Woohoo!!! You are right, we CAN do hard things! And yikes, speed work in crazy humidity?? That is hard!! Good work Kristina! (Yuck, I remember how hard running in humidity is from Yiwu). I love how you texted your coach that it killed you ‘in a GOOD way’. Love that feeling of being completely exhausted and sweaty and knowing that you have done that and worked so hard. Haven’t had that feeling for too long now. Maybe I need to resume some speed workouts once again? (It has literally been many months since I attempted any). Go Kristina!!

    • November 25, 2014 / 10:52 pm

      Thanks Lou!!! 🙂 I realized I am like a dog in a lot of ways because the speedwork was hard and at some points I thought “never again” but as soon as my coach said “good job!” I was like, “yeah! can’t wait to do it again!” I am apparently easily trained through positive reinforcement, haha.

      You totally deserve this break you’re taking! 100K is just crazy! You are amazing!

  10. November 25, 2014 / 5:41 pm

    I died a couple of times during my LR last Sunday. I run again tomorrow and it will be an early morning run so I am really hoping that this blanket of humidity will be lifted. I take back all the mean things I said about running in old weather 🙁 humidity sucks

    • November 25, 2014 / 10:53 pm

      SAME HERE. Please bring back the cold weather! I’m thinking about switching my long run to Friday since it’s going to be a few degrees colder than Saturday, haha.

  11. November 25, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    Great job on the speedwork! I’m at about the same pace as you for my speedwork, and boy is it TOUGH. But it’s good to push to a level of discomfort (not pain) sometimes – it’s good prep for racing.

    I’ve been cross-training a lot lately since I’m trying to give my shins some RICE, so upping my weight for lifting and tackling plyometrics again has been a real challenge! I miss running though, and I’m looking forward to my Thanksgiving turkey trot (before I break again for more RICE). Hoping that by mid-December I’ll be feeling more like myself, but I need to be diligent with healing these shin splints.

    • November 25, 2014 / 10:56 pm

      I can’t say I love speedwork, but it definitely has its purposes. Just a few months ago I never would have been able to knock out those paces for two minute intervals so it’s definitely working! Too bad we’re so many states away and can’t train together!

      I hope you have fun at your Turkey Trot! Maybe take it easy so you don’t set yourself back with progress on the shins!

  12. Angie
    November 25, 2014 / 11:43 pm

    My OMG workout was last night at spin class. I am NOT a cyclist and I wasn’t even putting out the watts the instructor was saying to do. Ugh! And I get to do it again for the next 4 days in a row to get in my 112 miles for the indoor triathlon at the Y.

    WTG on those speed intervals. We really can do hard things.

    • November 27, 2014 / 7:58 pm

      Indoor tri?! That sounds so cool! Way to go, Angie!

      I really want to try a spin class. I don’t belong to a gym though 🙁 We have a gym that we can use here at our condo complex for free so I always just go there, but of course they don’t offer any classes. I bet spin is the fun kind of tough though!

      • Angie
        November 27, 2014 / 9:13 pm

        I’m not a big cycling fan, but it is a great workout!

  13. November 26, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    Great job on speedwork! I try not to do really hard speedwork when it’s so humid out, or else I get sick! Glad the hard candy idea is working for you!!

  14. December 4, 2014 / 7:33 am

    I am so far behind again! Playing catch up…great job on the intervals 🙂 I have been slacking at speed-work so much this season, just keeping moving seems to be enough. Crazy, huh? Last year I loved doing intervals weekly…Oh, I do love the treadmill for hitting the exact pace and time, when I do run intervals outside it’s never as exact.

    • December 4, 2014 / 5:38 pm

      Karen! I missed you! I actually thought about you on my run last night and was hoping everything was okay since you hadn’t blogged in a while! 🙂 If you didn’t pop up a post today I would have emailed you!

      I actually don’t like doing speedwork on the treadmill because I feel like I’m going to fly off of it! hahaha