The red, sweat soaked faces of the distance runners on the track team are still vivid in my mind from this past season. One workout, sets of 1200 m (3/4 mi) intervals with 400 m (1/4 mi) jogging recoveries, was particularly brutal on the first hot day of the season. I stood at the finish line recording times as each runner clocked slower and slower laps while the workout dragged on. At first, I was disappointed when a couple of runners begged to be let out of the last interval, but after every single runner failed to hit their goal time despite their best efforts, I began to realize that perhaps I had asked them all to dig a little too deep on that day.
Yesterday was my turn. For the first time in months, I returned to my familiar park with the 1.1 mile path around a lake and mile markers at every quarter mile. My goal? Four 1200 m intervals with 600 m jogging recoveries. I was dreading the workout going in. I honestly can’t remember when I last did any kind of speed workout. During the warm up lap, however, I convinced myself that this wouldn’t be so hard. After all, I ran a half marathon at an average pace of 6:47 min/mile, so how hard could it be to run Four 3/4 mile intervals at 6:40 min/mile pace with jogging recoveries in between?
As it turns out – pretty hard. As always, I started out too fast in the first interval, finishing it in 4:47 (goal was 5:00). So, I started more slowly in the second, but after the first half mile I knew I wasn’t going to hit my time, so I stopped. It was a pretty feeble attempt. To my credit, I at least finished four miles at a brisk pace in the low 7’s, but I was still disappointed.
I’ll have to chalk it up to being my first speed workout in a long time…that and the Memorial Day beer fest. I’m not too discouraged. I think there’s a good chance I’ll nail the same workout next Tuesday!