So today, I bit the bullet. If I ever want to get faster and reach more of my potential, speedwork is going to have to happen. Haakan's always saying he thinks I should take his advice, so I picked his brain a bit and we decided that I should do two mile repeats with a quarter mile walking recovery, and I should aim for around 8:30 for my pace. So, all well with the world, I set off for the reservoir to do my mile repeats, not at all sure this is a good idea and feel like a big weenie that my speedwork pace is his easy pace. I jogged up to the reservoir and did a lap and a third so that I could start my intervals at the water fountain, then use the quarter mile walk to walk back to the water fountain so that I could get a drink before I tried the insanity again.
8:30 was my goal pace, but I ended up doing the first mile at 7:53. And though it was exhausting and I was glad to hit that one mile mark, it also felt great to run that fast. It was like a whole different experience. It was actual RUNNING, no question about it, and it's something I wish I could do for longer periods of time. And without feeling like my lungs were going to pop, or that I was going to lose my bowels (yeah, my stomach was upset, but at least I didn't throw up or anything). So I walked back to the water fountain, got my heart rate back down to a respectable level, and did it again. And it was hard. Again. But I did my second mile repeat at 7:51, and really, there wasn't a whole lot left in the tank after that. I don't know that I could have done it much faster. Did I pick a pace that was a bit too kicky? Probably, but part of the problem lies in not exactly knowing what an 8:30 pace feels like. And that always tends to be my problem - I go out too fast because I just don't feel it yet. It's not internalized and I always have to guess, and I guess wrong a lot.
All in all, not a bad day's run. I ended up with 5 miles total, two of them wicked fast. For me, anyway. I feel a little bit less cool knowing that my fast interval pace is about the pace Haakan maintained for the WHOLE marathon two weeks ago. But you never know, I might get there myself some day.