For some reason, they intimidate me, especially by myself. I am not sure if it is going to the track where real runners run or if it is the workout itself. My friend Laura has been out of commission so I resigned myself that I need to get on the track to do some speed workouts by myself (I have only done one so far!) I have done "strides" workouts when I add speed to my regular run, but not organized workouts with specified interval distances.
Today was different. I had a great time. I actually was starting to feel almost like a real runner. I was bummed that I was limited on time and couldn't complete the entire workout.
I tried a new track. I drove to Cuyamaca College, another Junior College around here. I liked it better than Grossmont for a couple of reasons: 1) it is much closer to my house 2) the campus feels more like a college to me 3) there were other runners and walkers there and didn't feel so isolated 4) they had a drinking fountain and 5) firefighters! There was a small group of firefighters who were working out there. There is nothing bad about firefighters :-) I have a special place in my heart for firefighters ever since the scary fire storm** last October when the fire came so close to our house.
I had a decent workout.
1X 1 mile-- 8:17
4X 200-- :43, :47, :53, :57 (200 meter walk/jog recovery between each interval)
The workout called for two one-mile intervals at a 8:32 pace (working toward a 9-minute-mile half marathon). I only did one of them and I obviously ran it too fast. I really need to work on my pacing. This was supposed to be run at a 10K pace (although I am not sure if I could average 8:32 for a 10K).
It also called for six 200m intervals at 1:01 with 200m recovery between each. I did four of them (it may have been five, but I can only remember four times *blush*) I obviously need to work on pacing for these intervals, as well. I felt good because I ran those splits faster than my last track workout, but I don't think it is as much about the speed as it is about the pace awareness. Does anyone have thoughts on this? After I saw how fast I did each one, I tried to run the next one at 1:01... I didn't have much luck, although I got pretty close.
Today was a nice change of pace. I needed it. My mid-week runs have been hard to get done. I need more variety and motivation to get them in. I will definitely head back to Cuyamaca for the track and the great trails I saw there. They run a Mud Run in the hills above the college that looks like a ton of fun.
The moral of the story is don't be afraid of speed workouts; they can be fun! I just needed to find the right environment.
**Here is a slide show that shows some pictures of the Harris Fire that threatened our house last fall: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8BYt3DFs0as3I Most of the pictures are taken from our backyard (the helicopters etc.) and across our street.