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Long Intervals

October 27, 2009

Didn’t run Sunday again–Monkey woke up and had uncharacteristically wet the bed so we just pulled him into bed with us, and I didn’t want to chance him getting an even worse night’s sleep so I turned the alarm off and didn’t go out in the early morning.

Monday’s my new speedwork day; with Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays being my most wide-open days, Mondays are the days that makes the most sense for intervals, and if I have it in the tank I can run a good tempo run Thursday with enough time to recover for Saturday’s long run–at least in theory.

So I set out to run mile and a half intervals yesterday. The training schedule called for me to run them at 8:13 pace and I almost harrumphed out loud when I saw that–sadly, because at one time I thought I could run the entire 13.1 at that pace but that seems like a long time ago.

It’s warm again–did I mention that?

I warmed up for a mile and when Garmie started telling me it was time for the first rep I started to pick up speed. Getting up to 8:25 from my easy pace wasn’t hard, but that mile and a half seemed forever long. The beeps from Garmie telling me recovery was near couldn’t come fast enough.

The same was true for the second repeat–I concentrated on keeping my effort steady throughout the interval. The great part of long intervals is that, for me, in addition to being good speed practice, they allow me the opportunity to work on my pacing, to work at maintaining a steady speed. So my word for the day was cruise control–once I hit my pace (I settled on 8:30-8:25 pace as my desired goal), I just focused on holding it.

After that second repeat I was tired, but not feeling like I couldn’t finish. Got ready for the second repeat and noticed immediately that though my legs still felt tired, I didn’t feel like I was working quite as hard–looked down at Garmie and saw a pace under 8:25. Thought about slowing down but instead focused on cruise control, and indeed that third rep was not only fast but easy.

Same for rep four. One mile’s cool down for a great nine-mile run of long intervals. My paces: 8:25, 8:19, 8:11, 8:06. The great irony is that my average did work out to awfully close to that pace I’d harrumphed about.

Today, a 7-mile progression run–picking up my pace from the 9:40 of the “what, we’re running now?” first mile to an 8:20 “let’s bring it home!” final mile. Only catch is I tried chocolate milk as my recovery drink and then I couldn’t eat breakfast because I was too full. Duh!

I think for the next two weeks until race day (yikes!) I’m going to keep Sundays as a rest day. I ran like that last year and felt great; this year I’ve been running post-long run and have felt tired and depleted. Maybe it’s time to go back to what was working before. We’ll try it, at least, until after the half, then see how I feel for the ten weeks I’ll have left before the marathon.

The kids have a yucky-sounding cough. I hope they both get well soon because it throws my schedule off when I have to stay home with them and because I can’t afford to get sick now!

Well, and, of course, because they’re my children and I hate it when they’re sick. Obviously.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    October 27, 2009 3:46 pm

    You are awesome. Long intervals are harder than heck. Great job

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