It’s Up To You

Posted: August 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

This morning I tackled my first speed-work session in a long time. You may recall my last two attempts:

Needless to say, I felt a little wary heading out for my speed run this morning.

About to get started on my first track speed workout on over a month. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right?
Tina Reale

I had a pretty defeatist attitude going into the run because the speed interval paces frightened me. A mile in 7:50 seemed pretty lofty. Then, to do that twice?? Even with recover jogs between, I didn’t feel too certain. I tried not to think about it too much and got moving with my mile warm-up. As I rounded the last lap on the track for that first mile a thought struck me.


Dang you, rambling thoughts! You just had to go and get all inspirational on me. But okay. I will give it my all. That is all I can do. It’s up to me to do that. No one can run this speed session for me. I will get out of my head and allow my legs to carry me. I can push myself harder and faster. I will go past the slight heavier breathing or the burning sensation in my legs. I will believe I can and will “do this thing” as I like to say. If I want victory over the dreaded speed work, then I must put in the work. It’s up to me.

Miles / Meters Effort Time / Pace
mile 0 - 1 warm up mile 9:45
1600 meters speed work 7:52
800 meters recovery jog 4:37 (9:34 pace)
1600 meters speed work 7:45
800 meters recovery jog 4:33 (9:30 pace)

That equates to 4 miles with an average pace of 8:43!! I utterly kicked that speed session’s butt. And all before the sun was even fully out.

I just may have done a little happy dance. And next month’s 6 mile speed session sounds totally doable, especially when I remember it’s up to me and I can do this. My choices come from ME. My effort in my workouts. My decisions with food. My attitude. No matter the circumstances, we can each make the personal effort to do our best and reap the rewards. What an empowering thought! And if I can do it, then anyone can. It’s up to you. And you know what? You got this! 🙂

  • What workouts tend to make you nervous or expect the worst?
  • What’s an empowering thought for you?

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48 Comments to “It’s Up To You”
  1. running in the heat makes me nervous. I love running when it’s cold outside and am honestly ok with long runs… once I settle into the run, but the heat just kills me. I’ve gotten scared in power yoga classes before too. Lets just say my body doesn’t move in all those positions all that well just yet, so the pressure gets the best of me.

    What empowers me when I’m nervous is that I can do it and I just have to hold on to how great I’ll feel when I’m done.

  2. I love your positive outlook on your training sesh! Sometimes I get scared when I want to run. I don’t ever really run far, but sometimes when I run I get the worst stomach cramps and I get the runs (sorry for being gross haha). Then I feel sick to my stomach for at least several hours afterward if not for the rest of the day. I hate it! But I enjoy running a few miles- so that’s why I haven’t given up on it yet.

    • Tina says:

      I have a friend who faces the same because she has IBS. It doesn’t sound fun at all. But I give you serious props for making it work how you can! 🙂

  3. It surprises me you were nervous about speed work – you are speedy! Glad you got the nerves out about it. 🙂

    Distance intimidates me. I guess that’s why I prefer the unplanned (read: getting lost) method. LOL!

    • Tina says:

      It’s so funny to me too because before I always loved HIIT workouts. Now, the thought of running a new distance doesn’t bother me because I figure when I’m out there, I just go. Speed though…I know I have to push more to achieve. And look who’s talking “speedy”, Speedy McSpeederson!

  4. The only workouts that make me nervous are the ones that I don’t think I’m 100% prepared for (ie: exercising after an injury, running in excessively hot weather.) Sometimes I actually end up talking myself out of it, so good job sticking to your speed work 😀

  5. WOW! Nice job Tina! That is really impressive 🙂

    You must be stronger now, huh?!

  6. Isn’t it funny how our brains go and get all inspirational all by themselves? When I am struggling, my brain puts my autopilot mantra on repeat “I am strong, I AM strong, I am STRONG!”. It helps me to remember that my body much stronger than I give it credit for being, and that sometimes I need to push through a little bit of totally bearable pain to become stronger. It also makes me think of the OTHER ways that I can be strong. I am a strong daughter, sister, friend, and student, and how fast I can run a mile will not change any of that.

  7. Way to go! Speed workouts are daunting to me as well.

  8. I’m with Laura – Distance – I would say running anything over 7 miles is intimidating…I completed my 1st 10k last year and was amazed at that! 🙂
    I try and think about how good I will feel after I finish working out!
    xoxo from trinidad

  9. Boot camp makes me nervous. Also, I get a little nervous when I’m about to attempt a new distance but it’s a good nervous, whereas the feeling I get before boot camp is more like dread.

  10. I’ve never done any speed work – definitely intimidating. You kicked butt, girl!

  11. Awesome job Tina!!! I was so hesitant to start speed work but I love it the more I do it!

  12. Wow! good for you girl 🙂 I always get nervous when I try a new workout or activity for the first time!

  13. You killed it! Nice job 🙂 Speed sessions always intimidate me too. Good attitude.

  14. Lori Lynn says:

    Running early in the morning makes me a bit nervous, b/c I’m not sure that I’m going to have the stamina to get through it without my coffee!

    • Tina says:

      Haha! Very true! I always have coffee post-workout. It’s my sweet victory reward. And the caffeine mixed with endorphins makes a high unlike any other. 😉

  15. Lisa says:

    I am more nervous about NEW workouts. Like when I decided to try commuting to work by bike the first month was nerve-wracking. But it got better with practice!

  16. I get intimidated by crossfit workouts – they are do tough!! And trainers are watching you so you cant wuss out lol

  17. Awesome job! I know that it is seriously tough to do these speed workouts on your own. But once you really push yourself and realize that you CAN do it, you will! And now you’ll be able to look forward to these speed sessions in an “I can do this!” kind of spirit.

    I always think “as much as this hurts now, it’s going to feel great to have accomplished this once I’m finished.” Hills are always mentally really defeating for me.

  18. jobo says:

    I am a slow runner. And speed workouts freak me out. And they also make me question if they actually will help me get faster. What do you think? Has it helped you so far?

    • Tina says:

      I think I have seen a steady progression in my speed. I don’t know if its credited to those and tempo sessions, just regular running overall improving my cardio fitness, strength workouts making my legs stronger to push harder, etc. Probably a combo!

  19. GREAT JOB!!! YOU ARE INCREDIBLY FAST!!! It is amazing how much we can do when we believe in ourselves!

  20. Rachel says:

    great job!! you are totally inspiring. i too, am training for a half marathon and am working on the speed work! It feels sooo good when your done. thanks you for blogging–daily your blog encourages me! keep rockin!

  21. Errign says:

    Any new workout tends to make me nervous or expect I “can’t do it” or “I’m out of shape” before I started. This is why it took me so long to start going to running club here & now I LOVE it. I’m still terrified of Crossfit though.

    I like to just tell myself to pull on my big girl panties or, I say outloud “Shut the F up & do it!”

  22. way to go Tina! haha I just did a short run yesterday after weeks of not running, but I was intimidated, half-digested, and struggling! 😛

  23. Awesome job Tina!! Running actually makes me nervous. It’s really hard for me to get in a groove with running…my shins or hips always end up hurting and my body just doesn’t like it, which I’ve learned to accept.

    I’m not sure if it’s very “empowering” but I recently stumbled upon this quote from Albert Einstein that I am really loving right now: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” 🙂

  24. Maren says:

    Major props girl! I have yet to master speed work without a coach or teammates pushing me.

  25. Kinley says:

    Wowza! Speedy 🙂 I have really fallen in love with the speed work portion of my current training plan. I love how it makes me feel so sweaty and like I really worked out there and gave it my all!! Keep up the fast paces 🙂

  26. oh what a great post…I often have to dig deep through my workouts to really push myself and WORK it! I use visualization SO much when I workout…when I want to quit or ease down…I picture myself on stage…I think about others working harder than me at the works…for REAL oh and also pumpin music to get me through!

    i LOVE that you KILLED this workout!

    • Tina says:

      Yes! Visualization works wonders. And I miss you and your blog!!! Dang whatever block it has on me. 🙁

      Just know I still utterly love you, girl!

  27. WOW! Great job! I don’t think I could do a speed workout if I wasn’t on a treadmill!

    • Tina says:

      The treadmill would have killed me. So much nicer doing it on a track outdoors. I could never run those paces on a treadmill. Never!

  28. Priyanka says:

    I was just going to write the same comment as Chelsey. I would be so intimidated to do a speed workout without a treadmill. You did a great job Tina!

    • Tina says:

      It’s funny because the treadmill kills me. I couldn’t do it on a treadmill. The flat track is perfect!

  29. Speed workouts have always been my nemesis – I always seem to avoid them! But this summer I’m getting tough and going for it – I just did a similar workout on Tuesday – two speedy miles with jogs in between. Not so bad, but I don’t know how I’m going to keep adding more to that every week. Actually, I do know how – turning off my brain. 🙂

  30. I definitely think that very lengthy runs make me the most nervous. It’s crazy to me when I think about how I am going to be running for such a long amount of time, and won’t be stopping for a moment of rest! In order to snap out of it, I generally tell myself that it’s only my HEAD that tells me I can’t do it, not my body!

  31. Go you! Love your attitude and the results that it generated. You are one inspiring little lady!

  32. The Chick says:

    Ummm, all workouts make me nervous lol! I still haven’t quite gotten to that point where I like working out so motivation can sometimes be lacking.

    My inspiring thought: I am not alone. Knowing I am not alone in the way that I feel, in my fears and insecurities, really helps me to continue to press on and pursue my goals despite obstacles.

  33. I’m thinking about signing up for a marathon and seeing a 20, 21, and 23 mile long run on the training schedule totally freaks me out. I keep thinking that I can’t do it, but then I think that I’ll never find out what I’m capable of until I try.

  34. Khushboo says:

    Wow you killed that speed session, go you! Speed runs also scare me but the sense of accomplishment i get after completing it is so worth the pre-anxiety!

  35. Mandy says:

    Great job girlie…as always!!! You rock 🙂

  36. Ashley says:

    That is a gorgeous photo of the sun going down! I love it.
    I signed up for a personal trainer, so anything she has in store makes me nervous. She really pushes my limits with new strength training exercises that I’ve never done before. I guess that is the point though 🙂

  37. […] Featured Workout Post of the Week: It’s Up To You […]

  38. Jane says:

    Love, love, love this post. I always find your posts inspirational no matter what I am up to. Although I am not training for a race I can apply your post to almost everything I do.

    It is up to me to achieve the things I want and I am the only one who can do it for me.

    By the way – fantastic run!

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