Tuesdays are typically our speed/hill work runs. We are remaining pretty consistent with our training, and I have to give my hubby a huge shout out for not giving up with his first half marathon training. Yet with the humidity the Chicagoland area has been hit with lately, it’s been hard for me to keep my breathing steady and my legs not feeling like I am carrying 2 bricks as I run. So today, when walking out of work I was hit with a cool breeze that slapped me in the face and I smiled. We were going to have an Epic run tonight. Despite the huge blister on my second toe that I acquired in last year’s 20 mile training run (20 miles of running in torrential downpour rain, with thunder and lightening to boot) that I’ve had to now bandage as it’s resurfaced with all the rainy runs, I knew this one would be good.
We laced up for our 4 miler as soon as we got home from work, and hit the road running. I knew immediately my intuitions were spot on, and even the first mile felt GREAT. This NEVER happens for me. My goal for us on this run was an average of a 9 minute mile, as this is our race pace goal. Our course is laden with 2 significant uphill climbs that I incorporate for our hill work outs. I love doubling both hills, with speed as it makes the run tougher…but in turn it makes us stronger runners.
By mile 2 I felt the wind not only fighting me, but fueling me to push harder…and suddenly I was flying. I settled in as we barreled up the first of two hills at an 8:58 pace, where just last week we were at a 9:06 pace. The second hill was tougher as it is in the last mile of our run. I looked down at my watch, and we were clocking a 8:46 pace…KEEP PUSHING…I had to stop briefly to stretch my calf, but we took back off full force towards our house…and as we hit the last half mile, I took off…I didn’t think…I didn’t look at my watch…I just RAN. I peeked out of the corner of my eye, and there was my hubby holding steady next to me…so I ran faster…I flew…we finished our last mile at an 8:33 pace, which is probably my fastest mile in several years. After several high fives, and a sweaty kiss we finished our run with huge smiles and a great feeling of satisfaction and pride. Our splits were: 9:11, 9:00, 9:03, 8:33
Do you incorporate speed and hills in to your training?