There is less than two months left in my training for Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. I'm definitely feeling the burn. It seems like lately my legs are always sore, but it doesn't seem to bother me as much as it used to. I think I am developing a new appreciation for the pain and maybe (god forbid) even enjoying it a little?
My weekly hill workouts on Tuesdays switched over to speedwork Tuesdays. I did 5 miles of pickups yesterday. Although I have a better idea of what pickups are than tempo runs, I'm still not quite decided on exactly how to go about it. I decided to wing it by doing five minute blocks with a 60 second sprint at the beginning of each. I did a 5 minute warm-up at 5.5mph, then took it up to 7 for a minute. I did the rest of my pickups at 8 mph between four minute blocks from 6.0-6.5 each. I was on the treadmill yesterday so it was easy to control my pace and keep track of the time.
The trick was reminding myself to look at the clock this time. I usually avoid it like the plague. Sometimes I even bring a book for the sole purpose of blocking it from view so I don't agonize about the time I have left.
I felt amazing at the end of my workout, exhausted, but good. I have been pretty stressed out this last week with extra hours at work, math exams, final projects and a couple unpleasant conversations. I have had little time to myself so this me time is becoming so precious. When you're having a bad day, there is nothing better than running so fast and so hard that you think your lungs may just burst, then turning around and doing it all over again a few minutes later. With finals just around the corner, I'm going to feel like doing pickups every day.
They say that it is runs like these that make you faster. I hope so. Maybe there is some hope of running my first marathon in under four hours?