So I've been working Friday nights at the high school football games. This comes after a full day of work and before our Saturday runs. I'm beginning to think this is not the best combination.
Kelly and my run was to start at 5:50. I was running a little late, so she was talking with other group members who would be starting their run a little later. We had a warm up mile, followed by three mile repeats, and finishing with two cool down miles. The assignment was to run the mile and then walk for four minutes. Then we would start the mile repeats. Based on our half marathon pace, we were to run intervals for these miles. The intervals were to average out to this pace of 14:30. The point of this is to get used to running at a faster pace. For Kelly and I, it would be 30:30's, i.e 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking. After each mile, we were to walk for four minutes. The walking minutes were a non-negotiable for Coach Ric, and to be honest, we were happy to oblige.
For Kelly and I, we decided to run the warm up mile with no breaks. We kept a good warm up pace while we caught up on the previous evening's news. Then came our first walking break. My problem is that I walk slow. My shins tend to hurt when I walk fast. Since the Garmin was set for the 1 mile/4 minute interval, we would have to keep track of the 30 second increments. Off we went. Every other 30 seconds we were pushing it. Surprisingly, the mile went by quickly. I guess since there was so much else to focus on. We did well, I think as our running paces were averaging around 12 minute pace. But for our four minute break, we were at an 18 minute pace, which is a little too slow, but I know it's totally my fault. The second mile repeat came, and this time we averaged a 11:30 pace for our running portions. The third mile repeat was the toughest. My heart rate wasn't coming down quite so fast on the 30 second walks and my legs felt heavy. But our running pace continued to be between 11 and 11:30. We walked the last four minute break, and then we decided to run the last of it in, stopping only when we needed water.
We ran in the last mile and a half. Every time I checked the Garmin we were somewhere between 13 and 15 minutes, which is good. It's surprising too, but I guess it shouldn't be. Coach Ric always said that this training will get you to where your last miles are your fastest. We walked twice for sips of water, and we just kept running. We really wanted to finish.
It was a good and tough run, and I completely understand why Coach Dan says we will learn to hate the mile repeats. I this area, I don't think I have much to learn. I'm well on my way. =)