I did something today that I haven't done in a very long time... I ran intervals outside, on the roads. The treadmill makes intervals easier, because there is no thinking about it; just set the pace and run. The track is incredibly boring, so I've only done that a couple of times. The road is definitely most preferable because I don't get so bored, but it's HARD.
I had been planning to do hill repeats on the treadmill today, but it was mentally torturing me, so I decided to set up my Garmin to do 8 x 400 with 200 meter recovery jogs. (Basically, that means that after a half-mile warm-up, I would run a quarter mile hard, then jog slowly for about 0.13 miles... and repeat for a total of 8 times. Finish with a half-mile cool down.
I decided on an out-and-back route, because it's hard to make a lot of turns while trying to run really fast. I started with a half-mile jog, and then the Garmin started counting down beeps to my first hard interval. Since I hadn't done 400's outside in such a long time, I had no idea what kind of pace I was looking for. I guessed probably about 7:00-7:10/mi.
The first one nearly killed me, and I saw my pace was 7:05. So, I knew that I was going to be getting much slower before the last repeat! I wished that I'd set up 400-meter recovery jogs, instead of 200-meter ones. I didn't even fully catch my breath between the hard intervals. It was REALLY tough, and I wanted to quit so badly. But I finished, even though I could feel myself getting slower with each interval.
I was disappointed to see my pace, because I was sure that the last time I did intervals outside on the road, about a year ago, I was doing them with a pace in the high-6:00's or low-7:00's. I just looked it up on my blog, though, and today's wasn't too far off from last year! So I definitely feel better about today's run now, knowing I haven't gotten too much slower.
I always dread intervals, but I feel amazing once they're done! ;)
This morning, I saw that a woman named Melissa posted a picture on my Facebook wall. She said it was a photo of her finishing her very first half-marathon (in 2009). And, what a small, small world... look who was finishing right behind her!!
Just in case you don't recognize that infamous blue shirt, it's ME :) Crazy, right?! I was walking next to my friend, Mandie (in the black shirt). Just in front of Melissa (partially blocked by the guy in the white hat) is my mom. This was at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in 2009, where my "before" photo was taken.
I remember so many of my thoughts throughout that race... Am I the biggest one here? (looking around); Yep, I'm the biggest one here. I'm glad I bought a new outfit for this race, because hopefully my pictures will look okay to post on Facebook. Don't look at the cameras, just walk tall and be confident. Oh, and suck in your stomach, Katie, there's a camera! My legs don't hurt as much as they did last year; good thing I trained this time. But, oh, the blisters! Next year, I'm going to be a hundred pounds lighter, and I'll do this race again...
Hahaha, looking at this picture that Melissa shared brought back so many of these memories! (Thank you, Melissa!)