I've been a runner off and on for most of my life, and the one thing my running has always lacked was discipline. I like short, fast runs and I've never really bothered to put in a decent amount of base miles....and that's why I always get hurt running (hence the torn tendon, which is now healed so I can stop complaining about it).
This year has been different, and I'm really proud of the discipline I've showed with my running. Since returning from my knee injury in late December I've run 230 miles, and I haven't run faster than an 8:30 pace until Sunday. I figured I had a decent base built and it was finally time to start working in some intervals and working on my speed. I planned a one hour run with a few short intervals at a fast, but manageable pace - meaning a pace that should get me back into the swing of running fast without, you know, tearing a tendon. Nothing too brutal.
Here was the plan:
Warm up = 15 minutes
Main set = repeat 3 times
- 5 minutes 7:00-7:30 pace
- 5 minutes 9:00-9:30 pace
Cool down = 15 minutes
I was in Janesville for the weekend, and since they don't plow the bike path and you can't count on people to shovel their sidewalks, I had to run on the road. There's still a ton of ice left from the ice storm, so I headed down E. Milwaukee to Cty A. I knew the traffic would be heavy but there wouldn't be much ice. I couldn't risk slipping on ice while doing intervals. Dealing with all the cars wasn't fun, but I had clear roads to run on and that was a nice change of pace.
In the first set I felt a little sluggish and I could tell I haven't pushed the pace in a long time. I've gotten used to long, slow runs (and I've learned to enjoy them). I managed a very uncomfortable 7:22 pace. The second set felt a little better and I finished with a 7:00 pace. The third set was the best. My legs felt good and I finished the set climbing a hill that had about 90 feet of elevation gain over .4 miles. My average pace was 6:59, but my normalized pace (according to Training Peaks) was a 6:22 average so that was nice to see. That was an encouraging set for sure. I can't wait until my next interval run. A few weeks of intervals and it's time to start hill training. I can't wait.
Overall the run went pretty smooth, except for me forgetting when I was supposed to turn around and head home. I was so focused on the intervals I ran way too long on Cty A before I realized I needed to turn around. I had programmed the workout into my watch, so it stopped recording my run at the one hour mark (7 miles), but I still had about a mile left to run before I made it home. I'm really anal about recording my workouts, so I was a little frustrated about that. But overall it was good.
Cheri recently decided that she's going to train for the Madison Half Marathon at the end of May, which I'm planning on doing instead of the Florida Half Ironman, so I'm excited about that. We can train together. I hope she's as excited about running hills as I am.