Intervals – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This was my mission yesterday after work:
1×1200 PI (400), 2×800 CI (200), 4×200 SI (200)**

When I read this off to my husband his response was something along the lines of, “Hu-whaaa?”.  I swear that half of the intimidation of interval workouts is that they may as well be written in Greek.  It took me about ten minutes (along with the aid of my handy-dandy phone calculator) to decipher the code and translate it into this:

3/4 mile @ 10:00 min mile w/ a 1/4 mile recovery jog
(1/2 mile @ 9:30 min mile w/ an 1/8 mile recovery jog) x2
(1/8 mile @ 8:56 min mile w/ an 1/8 mile recovery jog) x4

The Good
Going into my run yesterday my goal pace for the half marathon was a 10:00 mile.  My PR is 2:14:18 so 2:11:06 seemed totally doable.  What I wasn’t counting on was the difficulty I would face keeping my pace down.  My Garmin was constantly recording my pace 10-40 seconds faster than I was aiming for.  I’m placing this in the good category because if my happy pace really is closer to 9:30 than 10:50 (my pace from last summer), well, that would be awesome.  I’m not jumping to any conclusions though.  Since I’m new to the Garmin world, this jump may simply be a result of more accurate timing equipment (I never was one for math).  I’ll be monitoring my next runs carefully to see if the trend persists before making any new goals, but I would be really excited if my time really has increased this much.  I guess these tempo runs have really been working! 

The Bad
The good weather is back and the masses are enjoying it.  Lake Montebello was CROWDED!  I’m talking groups of 20 people clumped together (sometimes walking four abreast!) every 200 ft.  Hello, people!  Can you not see the painted arrows indicating where walkers should walk and the cyclists should … cycle?  It’s really not that hard a concept, and I really shouldn’t have to run into oncoming traffic to avoid your small child who is twirling about like a balloon in the wind.  End rant.

The Ugly
So I completed my intervals, all pleased with myself and eager to share my success with Kirk.  As I was going over each interval with him we realized that I’d done most of them incorrectly.  I somehow managed to run a full mile (rather than 3/4) @ 10:00 pace with a half mile (as opposed to a 1/4) recovery jog.  AND during my speed intervals I mistakenly walked to full recovery instead of jogging.  I guess those two mistakes essentially even each other out, but yeah, bummer.  Here I thought I had conquered The Dreaded Interval Workout only to learn that it had fooled me yet again.  On top of that, I had already climbed into my car and driven a good three blocks before I remembered to stop the time on my watch, so my workout stats are all kinds of crazy.  It was pretty neat to see that it had recorded me “running” a 1:04 minute mile though. 🙂

These best part though? Dinner.  I cubed an apple and nuked it with some cinnamon in the microwave for a minute.  Then I chopped up a Vanilla Yogurt ProteinPlus PowerBar, added it to the mix, and nuked for another minute.  Topped with greek yogurt, canned pumpkin, and chopped almonds.  More like dessert than dinner, but you know what?  It didn’t last long enough for a picture so you know it was good! 

I’ve never really had PowerBars before, but I had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon at BJ’s so I thought I’d try them out.  Now I have  close to 50 bars in my pantry in several different flavors!  They’re loaded with calories so they really are meal replacement bars, but I’m finding that they satisfy my hunger pretty well – though I usually pair them with a low cal fruit or veg (otherwise I feel like a kid eating a candy bar and calling it dinner!).  Anyone else out there use PowerBars for a post run refueling? 

** The acronyms above are defined in the Ultimate Half Marathon Training Plan  that I found over at Runner’s World.  I’m doing the intermediate program on page 3.

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