Michigan's gloriously warm winter has definitely turned this week. This morning, when I was deciding what to wear on my run, I checked out the temp:
It looks nice with that picture of the sun and clouds, and even 13 degrees didn't sound THAT bad. But then I saw the "RealFeel" temp of 4 degrees, and the wind, and promptly changed my mind.
I had intervals on the schedule this morning, and I wanted to do them outside if possible. The roads are clear of any ice and snow, so I just dressed as warmly as I could and hoped it was enough! I wore two pairs of Cold Gear tights, a Cold Gear top with a fleece jacket and then a windbreaker over that. Ear warmer headband, thick gloves, socks, and shoes. Aquaphor on my cheeks to help with the wind. I was a sweaty mess before I even stepped outside, because I was so hot with all those layers!
10 minute warm-up
4 x 4:00 (note that that is 4:00 minutes, not 400 meters) at "faster than race pace" (the suggested pace is 7:30/mile, so I wanted to aim for that); recovery jog/walk between intervals until heart rate reaches 136 bpm.
The warm-up was not fun. I had a headwind, and it was freezing! It's difficult not to run faster when it's that cold during the warm-up. I'm supposed to keep my heart rate low, but it's hard to get warm when jogging along. I was actually grateful when I heard the beep to start my first interval.
My legs were feeling kind of sore, and I felt kind of clumsy for the first interval. (When I was sitting down in shorts on my couch a couple of days ago, I noticed that when I flexed my quads, my muscles were insanely prominent. So I showed Jerry, and then the kids, constantly flexing and relaxing. Turns out that I got really sore from that little flex/relax session! haha).
Anyway, four minutes goes by so slowly when running hard! The pace wasn't that much faster than my 5K pace last weekend, but it felt much harder. After the interval, I slowed to a jog, and waited for my heart rate to go down. It was taking much longer than usual. Eventually, I slowed to a walk to decrease my heart rate a little faster. I ended up with a half-mile recovery, which is the same as the interval itself.
My lungs were burning by the third interval, but I just keep pushing myself with one more to go. I walked for all the recoveries after that first one. I really don't think I could have managed a fifth--it was a very challenging interval run! But I was very happy with my 4:00 splits:
0.53 miles at 7:33/mi pace
0.53 miles at 7:30/mi pace
0.54 miles at 7:27/mi pace
0.53 miles at 7:35/mi pace
Pretty consistent, and very close to my target! You can see after that first interval where I was jogging, going slower and slower until I was walking just to get my heart rate down. For the next three, I just walked after each one. I didn't want to be outside any longer than I had to in that cold. For the rest of the day, I was feeling that "runner's lung" (not a real thing, I just call it that) where I coughed a little each time I took a deep breath. That's when I know I've had a really tough workout!