Ward warned me. He said "it's a beautiful day, are you sure you want to do a speed run on the Rail Trail?" I assured him that it was the "best" idea. I wanted to go to the rail trail mostly because the majority of the trail is flat. Yes, there are some "bumps", I definitely wouldn't call them hills especially after some of the road races I've done this year! I haven't put a lot of speed work into my running, so today was the day.
My goal was to get a baseline - 2 miles of speed and the rest (whatever it turned out to be) was to be recovery. The McMillan Running Calculator says I needed to do my tempo run with a pace between 7:40 - 7:56. Hmm....good goal for me, I think. Before I started running, I decided I was going to stop and reset my Garmin between each "set" so I would know exactly what my pace was for each segment.
Here's what I did:
0.5 mile warm up - 4:09 (pace - 8:18)
1 mile speed - 7:00
0.75 mile recovery- 6:28 (pace - 8:36)
1 mile speed - 7:39
1.28 mile recovery - 10:35 (pace - 8:16)
Total: 4.58 miles! Woo hoo!
I was impressed with the 7 minute mile but I know I started out too fast. By the end of that mile (and it ended on one of the "bumps" I thought I was going to throw up. Ewwww. The next mile speed run was obviously slower but I am still very happy with it.
So, why was Ward warning me about the Rail Trail? Because it's a gorgeous day and it was going to be packed. I should have listened because trying to get in a speed run by dodging around people, strollers, their unleashed dogs, kids on bikes (who I swear were out to kill me) was not the most enjoyable, but it definitely added a challenge. Plus, it was awesome when the nice lady who was walking, looked at me, and told me that I "inspired her" and started to run. That was a warm fuzzy moment for sure.
Should I be mad? Definitely not. I love the Rail Trail for the reason that it gives people/families an excellent place to walk, ride their bike, or run. (I will not that I do not appreciate it when people smoke on the rail trail. That is what makes me angry and that's when I make some not-so-nice comments!) It is not my personal track. While I'd love for it to be just that, it is not. Next time I want to do a speed run (and I will be doing more very soon) I will have to head to the high school track when practice is not in session!