Distance: 4.42 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:08 per mile
Type: Threshold run + Time Trial
Weather: Very cool, mid-50s, and clear
Summary: 1 mile warmup at slow pace (10:00 to 9:30 pace), 1 mile time trial (6:55 pace), recovery walk/jog for 3-4 mins, 5 min threshold run at increased pace (estimate 9:00 to 8:30 pace), 3-5 min recovery, 3-4 min threshold run (intended to be 5 min) at increased pace (estimate 9:00 to 8:45 pace)
I had done a time trial mile run (meaning trying to go at the maximum pace I feel I can withstand over a full mile to see how fast my best possible mile pace is) several weeks ago (back on June 16). My time for that mile was about 7:30, and today I was able to run the mile in about 6:55 (still no iPod, so I used my analog wristwatch to keep time, not the most accurate, but good to within a few seconds). This seems like a pretty good improvement for just over a month (I know, I know... I was out of shape before, so my improvements will be quite large to begin with). Amazingly, during the time trial I went out way too fast and felt like complete crap for about 3/4 of the mile and I was sure I was actually going to get a worse time in this time trial... I guess my running over the last month is paying off a little.
According to the McMillan Calculator, this means if I did nothing to improve my general aerobic fitness and base speed but only improved my endurance so that I can make it a whole half marathon, I should be able to run my upcoming goal race at 8:28 minute pace for a total time of 1:50:46. I would be absolutely ecstatic with this time (my goal is to finish in 2 hours or less, so a 10 minute premium would be awesome). And of course, just improving my endurance would also give me a little bit of a gain in aerobic fitness, so I might even be able to do a little better (my "perfect race" goal of 1 hour, 45 minutes might even be in reach).
The mile time trial also served as the first of three (initially planned as 2) threshold intervals (albeit a mile time trial is at the extreme fast end of a "threshold" run, and even borders on a speed workout, but since it was over an entire mile I think it fits better in the threshold catagory since it will help me build up stamina). The other threshold intervals kind of fell apart since the mile time trial took so much out of me. I was sucking wind for both of them, and I barely increased my pace (perhaps to as fast as 8:30, but certainly no faster). Oh well, it certainly should trigger adaptations from my body.
Next Planned Workout: 3.5-4 mile easy run with 4x8 sec. hill sprints, either tomorrow (Thursday) morning or evening (probably evening)