How I Get Ready for a MONSTER Workout + Fieldtrippin’

Bright shoes always remind me of how thankful I am for how far running shoes have come over the last few decades.  Remember how boring they all used to be?

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I’m committed to stretching each day.  Skye was pretty thrilled to get to try on my watch and run around the room.   According to the watch, her cadence is much better than mine.

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In the afternoon I was able to go to Brooke’s field trip.  We went to the BYU Art Museum (below she was in an exhibit that you can touch:) and it was quite the adventure making sure 1st graders weren’t touching artwork the entire time!  Skye napped at my mom’s house and it was nice to spend some time with Brookers.

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In my opinion, hot chocolate is a year round beverage.

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Skye was missing Andrew big time yesterday.  She pushed her chair over to a picture of him and kept saying Dada on repeat.

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We picked up Brooke from school and when we got home I saw them holding hands in the car.  I like this age difference of their’s.

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It started raining like crazy so we decided to make it a lazy day.

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Brooke and I watched a movie together while Skye jumped off of the couch onto the pillows she placed on the ground.

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The world’s easiest dinner.

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Andrew came home and while he is pretty tired, he is loving it and learning so much.

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We have a huge workout on schedule for this morning and I am very excited to see how it goes!

The workout= 8-10 1k (.62 miles) and I’m not quite sure what the recoveries are yet (I think they are about half the time of the intervals so probably a little less than 2 minutes) but I did a similar workout last August (below) and I’m excited to see where I will be at now!

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Whenever I am starting speedwork again I get a little nervous about monster workouts on the schedule the day before.  For me, the key to helping the nerves is preparation so I thought I would share some things that I like to do the day before a big workout:

*I listen to something uplifting and positive.  Just take a few minutes to listen to something that reminds you that you can do hard things.  There are so many awesome podcasts about our mental training and so far I’m loving Tina’s week of mental training episodes.

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*If the workout is a monster then I really try to mimic my ‘night before a race’ meal.  The more practice with that pre-race meal, the better.  I’m all about spaghetti with some chicken on top and extra salt or pizza the night before big races or workouts.  Knowing that my stomach is going to be happy from the night before during the workout calms my nerves.

*I visualize exactly where I will be running whether that is the track or a bike path.  I love picturing the night before a workout exactly where I am going to be running and hitting the paces that are prescribed.

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*I PUT THE WORKOUT INTO MY WATCH!   If your watch allows you to, program the workout into your watch so that your watch does the thinking for you and you get to just go out and do what you love to do—> Run.  You can see how to program a workout into your Garmin here.

*I remind myself that hard is good.  Hard is what stretches us, it is what forces growth.  If I’m worried about the next day because my legs are tired or I’m not as fast as I used to be… who cares?  What better time than now to teach myself how to cope and maintain the pace when I am tired?

*I set a mantra for the workout.  Today I’ll be using, ‘I am comfortable’ to trick my body into not slowing down because my brain will be too busy thinking about how comfortable it feels at a faster than 5k pace.  I’m also setting the goal during each interval to smile at least once to set out the feel good endorphins throughout my body.

*I set out my caffeine the night before (I use NanoHydr8).  I don’t use caffeine before the majority of my runs but knowing I get that little boost from caffeine the day of a workout gets me excited to do it:)

*I put out the clothes that I feel fastest in.  There are many pieces that don’t move with me as well as others so I make sure I have out the clothes and shoes that I know I feel most comfortable in and know that I won’t have to adjust at all during the workout.  PS someday we will be back to tank top weather… It’s been around 39 degrees most mornings this week when I’ve started.

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Remember that these speed workouts are all just pieces of the big puzzle to get to your race.  One workout is not going to make or break you so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  You GET to do this and you have to admit… the endorphins after a speed workout are even greater than after a normal run!

PS don’t forget to try this… when your legs are dead then focus on pumping your arms and your legs will have to keep up with them.

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What do you do to get ready for a big speed workout?  

If you are doing speed in your training lately, what day of the week do you usually do it?

-Wednesday is going to be the day from here on out now!

When does school get out where you live?

Those of you working right now—> How long have you been in the job that you are in?

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good job Andrew on the new job and hugs to Skye missing her dada! Brooke is just the cutest with her running and it sounds like she’s doing so well! I’m on injury leave just now with running but I’m hoping to test out the knee this weekend. Schools out next week here — 7 days left and counting — and 3 are minimum. Summer break is basically here!! Have a great day HRG!


Chris, PLEASE let me know how the test goes out this weekend. I hope you are back to pain-free running asap. You are so close to summer break! Thanks so much, you too!


I love your blog for so many reasons but the best is that you teach me the tricks of my Garmin. Two weeks ago you taught me that I could track my monthly cycle and now I can plan a workout? #mindblown What else do you have for me, oh wise one?


The kids get out June 12 – So 15 days including today – Can’t come fast enough. But they’ve got so much more to fit in and no one feels like doing it. We don’t necessarily do our happy dance on the last day of school but when spring sports are over – When they both just did soccer we would know when that day is, but this year they both may get to play on in playoffs and with little league/softball, it seems to go forever…..but the end we are mentally begging the teams to lose so we can be free!


15 days to go! It’s crazy how much time/energy all of those games and practices take up each spring! I hope the end is in sight. Enjoy the rest of your day Jessey!


Good morning,
I especially liked today’s post as I am going to start speedwork next week. I have never done it consistently ( I always just run the pace I felt comfortable at) but I really want to break fours hours marathon time this fall. My youngest one gets out of school today and the other two tomorrow. Unfortunately it doesn’t feel like summer here in Colorado:( I am an oncology nurse and have been in my current position full time for over two years. I absolutely LOVE my job!
Good luck with your speedwork and I can’t wait to read how it went.


Oh I am so so excited for your speed to start next week! I can’t wait to hear about how you break four hours! I bet you guys are getting snow there?! Our mountains are getting a lot of snow right now. Your job sounds awesome and your patients are so lucky to have you!


I have my speed workout tomorrow and I’m not as excited about it as I wish I was. Last week’s speed workout left me sore for 3 days.

The rain has been crazy here and I’m just hoping that by next week it will be closer to summer temps again so I can send kids outside to play.


I hope your speed tomorrow goes really well! I have a feeling I am going to be sore for a few days too. Yes, get the rain out of the way so we can enjoy summer break!


I’ve been so sick for going on 3 weeks – upper respiratory crud that has turned into a sinus infection – so I have been getting my runs vicariously through you and the kids. Thank you for that! Today I’m going to get back out there for a really light, easy run and see how I do. I’ve been training with the MAF method, so speedwork isn’t something I do much of and I think I miss it (what’s up with THAT?).

About the workouts into the Garmin thing : THATS THE COOLEST THING EVER! I love my Garmin as much as it’s possible to love a piece of running gear lol.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy that speedwork!


LAURA… noooo to be so sick for so long. I hope that today your easy run felt okay and that you are on the mend and ready to resume training again. We ended up using the markings on the trail today which was awesome but yes, putting the workout into your garmin is so nice and it takes out all of the guessing. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great day!


Good morning, Janae!!!
Great tips for the speed prep, and I want to check out those podcasts from Tina!!!

I don’t usually use caffeine either, but before a speed sesh, I’ll chew some Run Gum during my warm up and than change into my FAST shoes for the actual workout portion. I usually wear compression shorts and calf sleeves, too, where I don’t for normal runs (and then I do this stuff on race days, too!). They’re all just signals to my brain to GO. I’ve found that if I don’t really even THINK about the workout and just DO it, it goes better, too. Simple I know, right? Sometimes easier said than done though! And, really all we can do is go out and do the best we can and see where we’re at :) It helps that I really like track work. Longer intervals/mile reps DO scare me a bit more though………but, again, nothing makes or breaks us. Running isn’t life or death. I’ve been doing speed on Tuesdays and either Fridays or Saturdays. I really dislike doing it on Fridays!!! ha ha After a long week at school, it’s hard!!!

Speaking of, I’m ready for SUMMER VACATION and SUMMER RUNNING on JEN TIME!!!!! 8 more days with students. Eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkk!!!!!!! :) :) :)


Hey Jen! Oh I still need to try out Run Gum! I love your speed outfit:) . Best signal! That is so true, why waste energy thinking/worrying and just go do it. Oh I bet that speed on Friday is killer. YOU ARE SO CLOSE! So happy for you. I hope the next 8 days go by so fast.


Our middle son did his last final exam yesterday so he is out as of today. Our others have school until mid July. I’ve been in this job for almost 27 years, but my company has been sold once and is for sale now, so fingers crossed I’ll keep my job. We’ll know more in the next month, so I try not to worry too much until we know more details. Speed work usually on Thursday. But my hamstrings are bothering me a bit so not right now until they feel better. I went to the physical therapist yesterday and he gave me McKenzie exercises and stretches for my back. (Bending backward is hard for me, so that’s where the exercises aim at) Amazing how everything in our body is connected. Have a great Wednesday!


Happy summer to your middle son! 27 years.. WOW and I am sure they will keep you. You’ve been there through it all. Let me know next month how it all goes. I need to look up the McKenzie exercises… my hamstrings get so tight too. Keep me updated on everything, thank you!


So exciting, those are some great tips. Cant wait to hear how it went. Are you on track or road today??

To get ready for a speed workout I program my watch and then look at the program a million times to make sure I put it in there right and know what I’m in for;) When I was doing speed work I always did it on Weds and I like to have that consistent day that my body is ready for.

I currently work as a legal assistant and I’ve been at this job for 2 years in June! Crazy how time flies. Looking forward to hearing how Andrews job is going as well.

Have you had a chance to listen to any of those mental training speakers from Tinas podcast this week? I listened to Damon West on the elliptical this morning and it was so inspiring–>you don’t have to win all your fights but you have to fight all of your fights .


Hey Eleanor! We were on the road today! Bahaha I do that too… I don’t want to be out there and then realize I put in 5 miles for an interval rather than .5 or something ha. Oh I am LOVING them! I’ve been listening while doing laundry. Such a good quote! Have a beautiful day!


Hot chocolate is good all year round here, too – especially since we woke up to 4″ of heavy, packed snow yesterday and will possibly get more tomorrow.

My college kid took his last finals on the 14th, high school kid finished yesterday, kindergartner’s last real day is today with “graduation” tomorrow.

No speed for me currently – I want my hip consistently happier before I add it back in to my routine. But when I do it, it happens whenever, usually on a day when I’m running by myself.


SNOW… 4 inches!?! WHAT? Oh I hope it warms up soon for you guys! Happy summer break (minus the weather) to you guys and I hope you enjoy the graduation. I hope your hip stays happy asap so you can start getting in your speed again. Have a great day!


Wednesday is my speed day too! I run with a group at the track. Last week’s workout was a tough one, but I started reading Deena Kastor’s book and realized going in with a better attitude will help! Instead of thinking “this will be tough” think “I can do hard things!” or “This tough workout will make me stronger”. And I’ll use your arm advice when my legs feel tired.


HER. BOOK. IS> AMAZING. Oh I am so so glad that it has all been helping. Our thoughts sure get us to where we want to go! Enjoy your day.


I totally agree with you about Hot Chocolate!! Sometimes I have some before bed because I think it helps me get a good nights sleep.

I just love that TJ’s Naan pizza! Thank you so much for sharing that! I get so many good food ideas from you :)

So glad Andrew is enjoying his new job! I feel like it takes about 4-6 months to get comfortable with a new work environment.

Great tips for hard workouts! I usually do mine on Tuesday and Saturday. It’s really important for me to get enough fuel (food that makes me feel good) and be extra hydrated. It makes such a difference.

I’m listening to Tina’s podcast every day when I’m driving. What a great week so far! I hope you have an awesome workout!!


I’m going to try hot chocolate before bed… great idea! Oh I am glad you love the pizza, so so easy. Fuel/hydration are key for me too for those workouts. Thanks Elizabeth and I hope your Wednesday has been great so far.


Aww…Skye is so cute, wondering where Dada is. And her hair is suddenly so much longer!
Field trips are SO fun! I’m glad you got to go with Brooke. It’s tiring, though. Teachers are rock stars in my book for handling all the activity of all those kids daily.
School is out for us June 14 this year. We had to add on a day because of the number of snow day closings. Does your school system have built-in snow days, and do they ever extend the school year if you use too many?
I started my job in 2007 as a contractor and converted to a Federal employee in 2008, so technically it’s been 12 years.
Hope it warms up for you again soon!


That’s what I thought yesterday… Brooke’s first grade teacher is now officially my hero. So we don’t usually have snow days here because our city is so prepared for snow days (like a million snow plows etc) that they rarely cancel school even though we get so much snow! 12 years, that is awesome Corey! Thanks so much and I hope you have a wonderful day!


I like your commitment and dedication to speed workouts! I literally don’t do anything different except wear very specific layers as opposed to grabbing random clothes! Ha! My speed work is random but usually on Mondays so I can get it over with! I should add in a tempo run later in the week but it’s hard to plan for that without a race on the schedule. I’m definitely going to have try your 1k workout; sounds scary but doable and now I see the need to carb load! This week I’m focusing on strength and it’s been fun! Monday and Tuesday I hit about 800ft elevation just running hills in my neighborhood! Speed work in disguise I suppose!
How fun that you got to go on a field trip! I love going and I’m very excited for the potential of tagging along on some next year with my little guy who stars kindergarten next year! My oldest still kind of likes me chaperone but he’s going on less field trips and he’s not as proud to show me off … he’s too cool! ha! The hardest field trip I went on was to the zoo. Just hours after I completed a monster 15 mile training run. Oof that was rough.
School is out June 19th this year because they have snow days to make up. We had a great winter but now we’re paying for it. Boo! Ha!
I’ve been at my current job 14 years! I work for my best friends family and they are very forgiving when I want to take time off work for family related events – field trips, school/Dr/dentist appointments, award assemblies, first days, last days etc.
Have a great day!!


800ft of climbing–> that is speedwork just in the hills. I love that you get your speed in first thing in the week, great idea. Let me know if you try the 1k workout. Oh no… I am nervous for that stage of ‘too cool’ with our kids. Oh I can’t imagine a zoo field tip ha. Your job sounds absolutely perfect, I am so glad you have such a perfect situation to work and be a mom. Thanks Jenny, you too!


For those of us in Seattle area, due to ridiculous snow we had in February…the last day of school is June 24th!!

I have been at my job for….nearly 12 years (changed companies ~ 5 years ago, but same industry).

Hope you have an amazing day, Janae! Thank you for being such an inspiration to so many of us!


That is crazy… you must have had SO many snow days this year. 12 years–> That is awesome Aimee! Thank you so much, that means a lot and I hope your Wednesday is really great.


These are such great tips for a hard workout! I don’t do it as much but when I was a bit of a newer runner, I would get on Pinterest and look up a bunch of running mantras and that seemed to calm my nerves.

School gets out next Thursday for my elementary and junior high kiddos and Friday for myself (teach high school). Yay!

This is my 9th year teaching English and my husband’s 17th year teaching math (how did that happen??)


Oh I love looking on Pinterest for those types of things too. I bet you are SO ready for summer… one of the many reasons I wanted to be a teacher haha. Your students are so lucky to have you both. Time FLIES by! Have a beautiful day Marissa.


Skye is so active!! It made me laugh how you and Brooke were chilling out watching a movie and Skye was couch diving! Your weather sounds kind of like ours out here in Michigan except we aren’t warming up much throughout the day. Lots of rain and cold! Where is summer!? Also, this crazy weather is making my allergies so awful!! My eyes are SO red and itchy and watery and gross.

I’ve been at my job for 3 years and I love it and am so blessed! Taking this job was one of the best decisions I ever made!

I hope you’re having an incredible day today, Janae! I know you rocked that monster workout!


I’m worried that we are never going to have summer at this rate. BOOO to your allergies, those are the worst. I am SO happy that you love your job so much. They are so lucky to have you! Thank you Torrie, you too!


Does Skye believe in lazy days?! :) She looks pretty energetic! My oldest son is already out of school since he is in college now and my other two are done June 6th. I think I am more excited than they are!

Love the TJs Naan pizza idea – I had never heard of those before. I think I am going to have to add that to our meal idea list.

Question – what type of Garmin do you use?


Hahaha valid point… she definitely doesn’t believe in lazy days! Hahah I love how excited you are for them to be done with school… I feel the same way! I have the Garmin 935 and love it! Try the pizza, it’s so easy!


Oh my gosh, the hand holding! We are trying to have our second and I was worried that the age difference is now going to be closer to four years. This definitely makes me feel better!


Oh Megan! Don’t you worry one bit… these two have a very special relationship (and my sis is 7 years older than me). I am very thankful for their age gap! Good luck and please keep me updated!


We got out last week! I’ve been happy to have my oldest back home.


Oh the best!!! I am so glad… enjoy!


My kids don’t get out of school until June 24 :( :( :( I am SO ready for summer!
I do speed on Wednesdays too right now! I am trying to go to a Body Pump class Tuesday afternoons so my legs are more tired for the speed – seeing if that will help fight my late race fatigue!


When does school get out where you live?
My last day of school is June 5! Cannot come soon enough! i am so burnt out

Those of you working right now—> How long have you been in the job that you are in?
I have been at my job for 14 years!! and i am only about to turn 34.. pretty crazy but i am back in school to get my BSN! Only in the pre-reqs for another semester.
Which brings me to a question for you! Well Andrew really..
where did he go to nursing school?


HEY!!! He went to Western Governors and loved it so much! So so excited for you Cassy!

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