When I'm not following a training plan for an actual race or event, my workouts are usually driven by whatever sounds fun/interesting/good at the time. After a long day at a job site in Maryland last night, I decided I had enough daylight left to get a run in if I just stayed near my hotel to do it. Staying near my hotel meant running around a half-mile loop of road lined with hotels and industrial businesses. *sarcastic cheer*
As I started running, I had no particular plan in mind. But I ran a decent 9:00 first mile which made me pretty happy in my out-of-shape state. I walked for about a minute and did a second mile in 9:15. Not an even split, but not bad. So I decided to take a longer recovery walk and then try to get a negative split for a third and final mile.
The loop I ran, even with its far-from-exciting scenery, had one thing going for it. It had a long uphill and a fast downhill, which at least made the distance varied and interesting.
I started my third mile on the downhill stretch, letting my legs fly and accepting as much speed as I could milk out of it before hitting the climb. I knew the uphill would hurt, but I had to run the loop twice for a mile, so I focused on how awesome flying down that decline would be the second time around.
I'm fairly proud of my last mile split...8:00! I pushed it pretty hard, but I know I could have sprinted a few more seconds off of that. Just to know that I can still run a 7-something mile makes me feel good about myself!
Just think what I could do if I trained for short distance speed. It's almost tempting to this endurance junkie. I like to think I can defy the slowdown of age and still hit my high school best mile time. But I have little interest in trying for that record and am more than satisfied coming within a minute of it.