I did a 4 mile warmup and drills, stretching and strides and felt pretty good to begin the workout. I was pretty worried about running the first mile because I often have trouble dialing in a good pace at the beginning of a workout. I'm either usually too relaxed and too slow or I come out of the gate too fast. Being 4 or 5 seconds off on the first 400 pretty much will ruin any chance I have of hitting the target time and with this being a relatively small number of intervals, I didn't want to blow off the mile. I ran on an asphalt loop near my office that is relatively flat and has 1/4 mile markers every 1/4. I started out and went through the first 1/4 right at 75 seconds which was perfectly on pace. Then I started worrying a little bit about the next 1/4 since it is easy to relax and slow down and I didn't want to fall off pace, but I managed to hit the half mile right on pace at 2:30. At this point I was locked into my pace and hit 3/4 right at 3:45 - 3:46. I knew that I needed to run tough the last qtr since I had slipped 1/2 or 1 second on the 3rd qtr, but I always find the next to last one the toughest. It seems like I can always gut out a hard last qtr when I know the end is sight. I kept pushing and looked at my watch when I finished the mile and hit 5:01. I think that is probably the fastest mile I have run since I was in college. I haven't run any competitive races shorter than a 5k since then and i know I haven't run any sub 5:00 miles in my 5k's and I don't recall doing any interval workouts post college where I have gone sub 5:00. Next time I'll just have to pick it up a tiny bit more. When I hit my goal time on the first mile I thought, "this workout will be cake." Little did I know the pain was just beginning.
The 3 minutes rest went by so quick I thought my watch must have been keeping double time because I definitely wasn't recovered. I started my 1200 at what I thought was a quick pace, but I only hit the 1/4 in 76 seconds and I knew I was in bad shape. I felt like I was going really hard, but I was going slower than the mile. The 2nd 1/4 was really painful and I hit the 800 at 2:32. I gutted out a 75 last qtr to finish my 1200 in 3:47, slower than my mile pace. My body definitely isn't used to running this quickly but I relish having challenging workouts. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Again the 3 minutes rest went by way too quickly and I was definitely not recovered for the 800. I started out strong and hit the 1st qtr in 75 and I was dead at that point. I managed to do 77 seconds for the 2nd qtr and hit a disappointing 2:32. If I'd run a 5:10 on the first mile, maybe I would have been able to pick up the pace on the other intervals.
Fortunately I knew that I could crank out the last 1/4 mile pretty quickly even though I was tired. I ran the last 1/4 in 71 seconds. It was a little slower than the goal, but I was happy with finishing faster than the last couple of intervals. I did about a 3 mile cooldown after the workout.
It was a tough workout and my body definitely isn't used to running at that pace. Fortunately, I won't be having to run like that in the marathon or do a lot more workouts like this one for my marathon training. My legs definitely felt better today than they had the last couple of days. I could definitely feel my hamstring some during the cooldown but after stretching and using the foam roller for a while on it, it is feeling better now. I'm going to try to get up early and get 10 or 11 miles in tomorrow morning. I need to make up a few miles for cutting yesterday short.