Another week, another beasty interval workout. When I first read the following workout in my plan, I nearly broke out in cold sweats as it looked so brutal.

Warm Up

1M at HMP

3 x 800 at 5k

1M at HMP


Is there anything worse than your intervals getting longer during a workout? Mentally, that’s just so HARD. Not even just mentally. Every way, this workout was sure to chew me up and spit me out. Last week’s 400s were a delicious amouse-bouche compared to this. Ouch. I was ready to suffer.

I did have the weather in my favor. We are having an unseasonably cool spell in NYC, so when I left the apartment yesterday it was 77%, 41% humidity. Just about perfect for some summer evening running then.

Here are my thoughts during this one:

Warm up: staycalmstaycalmstaycalmdontspeedupslowdownstaycalm My heartrate rose steadily and topped out at around 145, which if I had done any scientific research into my heart rate and zones and all that, I could tell you something insightful. Instead, ummmm, not too bad, but it was a slow warm up.

(warm up pace: around 9:45 ish)

Mile 1: What pace should I run? What pace am I running? Too fast? Definitely faster than half marathon? But feels ok? Could I run this for an hour? No way. But another 0.74 miles will be ok. Halfway done. This is taking a long time. Just keep going. There is no way I could keep this pace for 2 miles, never mind 13.1. Surely I’m nearly done? My heart is pounding. Justkeeprunnngjustkeeprunningjustkeeprunning ohthankgodthatsover

Pace: 7:42, HR: 167

Three minute walking break. Caught my breath. Stressed a little about not even being half way through the workout. Brought my heart rate down to 133.

800 #1: Running so fast! Just 3.5 mins of this! Keep going! Keep going! Just one more of these and we’re half way! Keep pushing. Catch that guy! Catch that girl! So thirsty! Keep running! And stop!

Pace: 6:58, HR: 166

800 #2: Oh this feels really bad! Why are my legs so tired? Keep going legs! Running through treacle here. Breathing so hard I must be scaring people on their citibikes. This is so much slower than the last one. Why am I still running? When will the lady tell me to stop? This is only supposed to be 3.5 mins! Oh thank god.

Pace: 7:16, HR: 166

800 #3: Last one! Don’t think about that mile afterwards. Just keep running. Run faster. Run faster. Run! Run! I wonder if I am getting any better? How do I know if I’m improving? I can’t compare this to anything. I’m running too fast. This isn’t 5k speed. Must negative split. I want to stop now. Please let me stop.

Pace: 6:58, HR: 167

Mile #2

Oh crap I have to run a whole mile. A whole mile. 8 minutes of this. My legs are tired. I sound like a walrus. I hate this. I hate this. Just 0.75 miles until I don’t have to run anymore. Keep moving your legs. Am I running faster or slower than before? Soon I can stop running. I want to stop now. Born to Run is playing – it’s a sign! Keep running. Keep running. Only 800m left to go. 800m is a long way! The 800s I ran were hard! Only 400 to go. This 400 is taking forever. I sound like a walrus in labor. I probably look like a crazy person. I hate all these people on bikes. I’m done!!!!!

Pace: 7:27, HR 170

There are certain things that I feel good about in this workout:

1. I didn’t quit

2. I didn’t even really think about quitting

3. A year ago I would not have ever seen a 6:xx as my 800 pace. Ok, so I only did 3 of them, but I also ran 2 miles, which is sorta the equivalent of another 4….

4. I negative split!

5. The 3 minutes of recovery consistently got me back to a “recovered” place – 130bpm within 3 mins.

The not so good:

1. I ran it too fast

2. Was I in control?

3. Why was I scared?

Every done a workout that scared the bejesus out of you? What happened?

3 thoughts on “Play By Play Account of 7 Miles on the West Side Highway

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