Last year the hubby and I participated in a local event put on by the Baltimore Road Running Club which involved a 10 mile 2-person relay. It was fun, definitely tough in the summer heat but also a great opportunity for a group workout with each person running 5x 1 mile.
Lucky for us, it was in the cards for us to be in Baltimore again for this race as we're in route to the Poconos for camp! We invited along a few friends to join, which always makes for some friendly competition :)
|Me, the hubby, bro-in-law and Tim!|
I don't know why, but I ended up being a bit overly excited about this relay. I wasn't originally and definitely remember telling my husband "no way" at the idea of doing it again (I think last year he dragged me skin and nails out there...) Mile repeats are pretty daunting and I think I would have rather done a nice long easy run instead. But my husband was insistent (those of you who know him know he's good at that!) and I warmed up to the idea, deciding it was a great opportunity to see what sort of speed I have right now. With having run this in 2012 and also some similar mile repeats this past January it would serve as a good measure of fitness.
|Pre-race, feeling relaxed and happy!|
|Definitely taking this as some sort of good sign!!|
The turnout this year was smaller, maybe 12-15 teams total. It was perfect though, as too many people equals a crowded track which isn't really conductive for running fast. After warming up, my husband told me I was to go first and we all lined up.
Call it a workout or a race, either way it was fun and turned out well. I took it out conservatively, per coach's orders, and I think we were both very happy with the result! The first few intervals felt strong but comfortable, but I also know all too well that fatigue hits quickly in a workout like this and more especially when heat and humidity are taken into account. I was running well and feeling great, so when the fourth interval came around I gave myself the "ok" to hurt a little more and made up my mind to finally break 6 minutes in the mile...
|Yes, I got it! This is a new mile PR for me and I have picture evidence :)|
I ended up finishing out with two sub-6 miles and was ELATED. My previous mile PR has only been 6:02 (high school) and more recently a 6:11 (Draper Mile, 2011, mostly downhill), so to run that twice is pretty surreal and definite uncharted territory for me. I think the hubby was a bit surprised too... more especially that I actually ran faster throughout my intervals. He also ran SO well! It was a team effort and he definitely pulled weight, averaging in the lower 5 minute range for each of his intervals and dropping time from last year. He makes for quite a good cheerleader too!
|Fun times feeling like a track runner again :)|
It's always nice to use a "race" as an opportunity for a good quality workout. This one was a bit outside of my current comfort zone of mostly aerobic running but I'm glad I decided to embrace the opportunity to put in a little speed work. I was an 800m runner in high school, so it felt great to be back on the track and made for some happy feet!! The measure of fitness was definitely invaluable. In the end I dropped ~35 seconds per mile on average from last year...definitely a GOOD sign and great motivation knowing my hard work, consistency of training and of course, coach's expertise and direction over the past few months are paying off :)