Today's training program called for 7 miles with 10x4 intervals (at 10-Miler pace). As a self-proclaimed turtle, let me state for the record that I DETEST intervals. They make me realize that I actually have only two speeds in my repertoire at this point: stop and go. So I was not looking forward to the run, and add to that the fact that RBR (Running buddy Robin) is soaking up some rays in a sunny, warm locale, and I was not mentally prepared for the run. GrazMan did his best to pump me up about it, but I wasn't there yet.
I arrived at the group meeting spot and was happy to learn that another running buddy, Dave, would be our team captain. Then I heard him describe our 7 mile loop--a LOT of uphills. And the winds this morning were gusting at 20-30 miles an hour. OK, tell me again why I'm doing this?
One of the other captains, an incredibly sweet and encouraging woman named Betsy who has run with us over the course of the past 4 months was kind enough to run with me, but I know from past experience that she is faster than I am (who am I kidding? EVERYONE in Group 4 is faster than I am!) I assured her she didn't need to stick with me, but when I saw that she was going to stay by me anyway, I decided I better pick up the pace. We did our first interval and I had a feeling I was pushing past my safe zone, but I really didn't want to let her down. However, by the time we hit mile 3 and the Really Big Hill (the first of three!), I was slowing down quite a bit. Somehow we slogged through the next two hills and made it back to the starting point. While I felt incredibly slow for the last half of the run, it turned out to be my fastest long run time yet. Wow! I'm happy now that it is over, but since we gave up on any real interval training, I know I'll have to do that this week. I figure I can work that into Wednesday's 5 miles on the 'mill.
Oh, yeah, the toenail. I'm officially a REAL runner now, since I killed one of my toenails and had to have most of it removed yesterday by the podiatrist. It feels SO MUCH BETTER, but it is not going to win any toenail beauty contests. In fact, GrazMan made quite a face when I unwrapped it this morning after my run, so I won't be posting any photos of it. Too bad, as I'm kinda proud of it!