Well, I did it. I got back onto the track for a speed workout. First time in many years. It hurt a bit, but I really enjoyed it. After a 1.5 mile warmup, I ran 4 x 800 meters with 2 mins rest btwn each, followed by a 1.5 mile cooldown (5 miles total on the track). My splits for the 800s were:
3:20 (3:23.8 avg)
I wanted to run them in 3:30 (about a 7 min pace), but my track pacing skills are very rusty. As expected, my body was saying "what the heck are you doing? No lo comprendo!" (Yes, my body is often bi-lingual during times of stress). These weren't exactly "race pace" intervals, which they probably should be. There's no way I can currently sustain a 6:46 pace for anything over about 1.5 miles right now (my 5k race pace back in June was 7:12), so I'll probably have to back off the next time I do these. After my cooldown laps, my right IT band was barking a little - probably from the speed, as well as running 20 laps counterclockwise, which put more stress on the outside of that leg, so I stretched, used my foam roller and took an ice bath when I got home.
As my title suggested, I have a question for those of you who have done this: is it smart for me to start doing speedwork while I'm also trying to build up my mileage for a half marathon? Given my history of injuries, I'm a little nervous, but I really want to work on both, if it's realistic. Thoughts?