April 2, 2014

April 2

Total time: 47 minutes [intervals]
Total distance: 3.06 miles [intervals]

I decided to perform an experiment today. Since it has become glaringly obvious that I cannot really run much more than a mile right now, and I am facing a 5K on Saturday (curse you, past self!), I needed to try a new approach. I wondered if, perchance, I could get through the long distance by doing run-walk intervals throughout. It was worth a chance, and frankly, it was the only option I had left.

So I set off tonight with the goal of two miles. If I could get through two miles of intervals, then a third shouldn't be a problem. Right? Right.

I started off pretty ambitious: I was going to run 5, walk 2. I quickly decided to modify this and ended up doing 3-4 minutes on, 3-4 minutes off. The majority of the run was 3:3, but after the first mile, I started adopting a few 4-minute walks, and, weirdly, after the second mile, I added a few 4-minute runs.

Here's what was amazing:

1. My first mile was faster than any mile I have run so far this year. That's right, run/walk intervals > solid running. I think this is largely because when I do run, I am able to run at a little bit faster of a pace than when I just run. (To be fair: I am a slow runner, and a fast walker.) Therefore, I decided that if this experiment was successful, I could probably do this for the 5K and still hit a finish time near what I would have run in my peak from last summer.

2. The longer I went, the stronger I got. This is the opposite of what I expected. Common sense would dictate that I would get more tired and thus slower as time went on (which, again, is what normally happens.) Instead, I felt awesome, and decided to extend my adventure past 2 miles and do a full 3. (Honestly, I probably could have kept going if it hadn't started to rain and/or I hadn't needed to get home and go do some laundry. The next time it's nice out and I get an earlier start, I might just do so!). I have no measurements to back this claim up, but I really felt like the running intervals between mile 2 and 3 were faster than the ones in the first or second mile. I even told myself to slow down at one point (I didn't listen.)

I cannot believe how night-and-day I felt between yesterday and today. While yesterday (and the run before that) were disheartening and full of defeat, I felt awesome today.

And I'm no longer intimidated by Saturday's event. I'm aiming my goal time for 45 minutes. If I hit it, great, if I don't... meh. Maybe next time!

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