At 10:00 this morning, I ran 6 miles on the Centennial Trail in Snohomish, where it was sunny and about 68 degrees F. Instead of doing speed work on a track this week, I decided to run them as part of this run. I ran the first mile as a warm-up (8:25), then ran 4 x 1/2 miles hard, 1/2 miles easy. Times were as follows:
3:23 hard, 4:13 easy
3:19 hard, 4:19 easy
3:20 hard, 4:13 easy
3:15 hard, 12:31 (1.5 mile cooldown)
These were HARD, but I was happy with how it all played out. First of all, these were true half miles (as opposed to the 800's on the track last week), and I didn't stop and rest in between each, as I did last week. I just slowed down and ran easy half miles until the next hard one. During the last hard segment, I had a nasty side stitch. I was surprised to have run it so fast, for me, anyway (6:30 mile pace). The total time for the run was 47:01 (7:50 mile pace). I'm not currently using a heart rate monitor, but my finishing HR was 150...but that was after the 1.5 mile cooldown. Still elevated above my usual finishing HR, but post-hard segments, it was likely much higher. Overall, this run was a confidence-builder.
My plan is to rest tomorrow, then run 8 miles on Saturday morning. Next week, I'll probably forgo the formal speed work. I may run some hills instead, then bump my long run up to either 11 or 12 miles.