It has been almost 14 hours since I finished my AM run and I can still feel the reminders of it in my slightly sore quads and a core that feels like it got a workout. All in a good way, of course. Yesterday when I looked at my scheduled run, I almost laughed at what I saw - you want me to do what at WHAT pace? It's been awhile since I saw any run intervals at a 6:xx pace and I hoped my legs would remember what to do. I hoped I'd be able to shut my brain off and not think about pace and just concentrate on going hard - if I could do that, the times for my intervals should take care of themselves.
I didn't want to do the run in the evening after work - I wanted to get it out of the way in the morning, so this meant running after swim practice. I got home, ate a few mini strawberry muffins because I was STARVING from swimming, put on the running shoes and headed out the door. I set up the Garmin to show my current pace rather than my average pace so I'd have a better idea of what pace I was holding for the intervals. The ten minute warmup went by quickly and then it was time to start the eight intervals.. The first few were a little rough - the bike path is a false flat on the way out and my legs were screaming at me that now was NOT the time for fast intervals. But then I warmed up and suddenly found that I was holding my steady goal pace during the intervals and not dying. Suddenly I found myself running the easy rest intervals faster because 7:45s felt easy and slow compared to the speedwork intervals. As the miles ticked by, my confidence in my running ability grew. By the end, even though I was tired, it wasn't a question anymore on whether or not I could hit my goal pace. I knew I could if I gritted my teeth hard enough and wanted it badly enough. I was beyond thrilled after this run, tired, and hungry. I can't think of a more perfect way to have started off my Thursday.