I've usually done 1-mile intervals by alternating fast miles with recovery miles, easy to measure using the Garmin. But now that I have mastered the "lap counter" on the Garmin, I decided to try a more creative, and challenging, method of doing the intervals, by reducing my recovery portions to half-miles, interspersed with the (hopefully) speedy miles.
I started out with a two mile warmup (why rush to the hard stuff?), Mile 1 at 9:57 and Mile 2 at 9:24. Then the speed miles...
Speed Mile 1 - 7:54
(Recovery - .5 mile at 9:23 pace)
Speed Mile 2 - 7:58
(Recovery - .5 mile at 9:34 pace)
Speed Mile 3 - 8:15
Speed Mile 4 - 7:45 !!!
Did you notice? No recovery between Speed Miles 3 and 4. It was getting late in the morning (for someone who has to be at work by 9:00), plus I was already at six miles total after finishing Speed Mile 3, so I just took a short pause at a stoplight to swig some water and breathe, and launched into my final speedy mile.
It's unfortunate that I didn't manage to get under 8 minutes for each of the four intervals, but I'm pretty happy with the results all the same. During Speed Mile 3 I had to pause at several unavoidable lights (can't exactly run in front of traffic, can I?), and I think I always lose (or is it gain) a few seconds restarting after pausing. In Mile 4 I hit all the lights green (or close enough), so I was able to power through at full speed all the way.
My cool-down was .6 mile home at 9:49 average pace. I was actually booking along at about 9:15, which felt like a resting pace after going 7:45, but at some point I started to flag and ended up in an easy jog.
I was please to notice that my quads, which have been very tight since last Friday's run, especially the right one, felt back to normal this morning. Although, I suppose my sprint down the hill in the final mile could have them acting up again by tomorrow!
Tomorrow's a non-running day again, and on Friday morning I am going to try for a shortish tempo run extra early. I have to be at a seminar in Mount Vernon by 8:30 or so, which means I have to be ready to leave home at least an hour (preferably more) earlier than I normally am. So I think the Friday morning semi-long run will have to be curtailed somewhat. I am optimistic, though, that our increasingly pleasant weather this week will make it easier for me to wake up early enough to get out there in a timely fashion. Maybe I'll leave the blinds open so that the morning sun (assuming we have any) will wake me up.
Finally, I have a 15-mile long run on the schedule for this weekend. I'm not sure how that's going to fit into other weekend plans right now. I'm trying not to sweat it; I'm certainly ready for the half-marathon even if I don't manage to accomplish a 15-mile run this week. My intent is that this will be my last extra-long run before the race. I'll keep up the normal weekday run schedule next week and halfway into the following week, but cut the length of my long run next weekend and then take the two days prior to Anacortes off from running entirely.
Final stats for today's run: 7.61 miles in 1:06:39, average pace 8:45.
*The question then being, pace for what kind of race? Presumably it would be half-marathon pace, since this is a half-marathon training plan, but I chose to do it slightly differently. Like 5K pace (or close, anyway).