It's still worth it! Right? RIGHT?
I neglected to add yesterday that I did complete a fairly successful speed work run. I warmed up with 3.1 miles slowly, taking me to the track where I did six half-mile intervals (with about .2 mile recovery in between). I'm still not back to where I was last summer with the 800s, but I'm getting closer! The paces were 8:25, 8:18, 8:09, 8:12, 8:04, and 8:02. Oh so close to the coveted sub-4-minute half mile! That made me happy. The fact that I was able to speed up throughout tells me that I am improving on getting my legs back, though not there yet. When my 800s are where I want them to be they are much closer to one another in pace and time.
I have also upgraded the quality of my elliptical cross-training at the Y. I read a blog/Running Times article that suggested doing elliptical work at 180 RPM. Are you KIDDING ME? There is no way I could go that fast. Even if I reduced the resistance a ton. I don't think anyone could. (Let me know if you do it!) However, I have been doing intervals by alternating one minute at 13 resistance and 100+ RPM, with a minute at 14 and whatever RPM that turns out to be. Once I am warmed up the fast minutes are about 100-120 RPM and the slower are 80-90. The bonus is I burn calories a lot more quickly, my heart rate finally has gotten up to a training range, and I sweat like a horse. (That has to be good, right?)