Last Wednesday I ran Kari's "Proof I Didn't Peak in High School" timed mile.
I had hoped to run it at track the night before, but work kept me from getting to track with my running group, so I ran it in the morning on our mostly flat bike path.
I don't know how to warm up for these things, so I ran out for a mile at a comfortable pace, noting nearby landmarks every quarter mile (that's one nice thing about the track). Then I did some little leg/hip stretchy things, then ran a mile back to my car, at an uncomfortable pace.
My overall lap paces when I glanced down at my watch at my approximate quarter-mile landmarks were: 7:16, 7:21, 7:23, 7:21.
I was hoping for closer to low 7, but for no real reason. I felt surprisingly like death afterward given my unimpressive speed (see upper right photo), but then again I haven't been to track since mid-March and my runs have been primarily long runs around a 9:00 pace, short incredibly hilly runs, and comfortable-paced trail runs. So it shouldn't be a surprise.
I can do 10-12x400m in the 1:38-1:45 range, which is mid-to-upper 6min/mi pace, but that's with 200m rest in between.
I had fleeting thoughts about attempting this again, but decided my lack of recent speed work would probably mean marginal, if any, improvement.
After finishing my mile, I breathed heavily while pacing back and forth for a few minutes, glad that no one else was around to witness how winded I was. Then I attempted to steady my hand to take some cell phone pictures to prove I did this thing, and hopped in my car and hurried home to catch my online class with minutes to spare.
What did I learn from this?
1. Go back to track workouts. Now. Stop letting work interfere.
2. Do I really want to run a 5K in a few weeks? Half Marathon pace is so much more comfortable.
3. I like how the track visually breaks up a distance. Trying to run fast-ish down an endless straight stretch is hard.
4. Really, I like 400m better than anything else that is supposed to be run at a hard effort at the track. I complain about 800s, so I probably would have complained about a mile, too.
Oh, and was this proof that I did not peak in High School? I don't know. I don't remember any timed miles from high school. Aside from a Turkey Trot I ran in 9th grade (still can't find my time for that...), I didn't run in middle or high school except when it was required for soccer.