Speedwork was easily the worst part about this training cycle! I got back into the swing of things with Harrell Track Club at 5:30 am once a week, but it wasn't ideal. The group is one much faster woman and a varied group of 3 to 10 runners significantly slower (and older) than I. No one to run with at all. Plus, Christmas, New Year, and Mardi Gras disrupted our schedule (one member of the group had one daughter debuting, and two others in Rex's court, so she was either busy or frazzled for months!)
But even if we'd been totally consistent, I just don't have the speed I used to (and I was never fast, especially short and fast track stuff). I disappointed myself every single time. Plus, the speedwork was much shorter than I would have preferred for marathon training, since no one else in the group was running a marathon in the Spring, and since many of the members are late 50's and starting to move away from a lot of miles.
My favorite workout was actually one I ran by myself on a day when no one else was running. I went to the track anyway, and ran:
4 sets of 4x400 with 200 jog between each (400 between sets - continuous workout). Sets at half marathon pace, 10k, 5k, then mile pace. Set 1: 1:47, 1;40, 1:41, 1:43. Set 2: 1:40, 1:37, 1:36, 1;38. Set 3: 1:34, 1;33, 1:32, 1;33. Set 4: 1:31, 1:29, 1:31, 1:30.
It was a nice 8 mile workout with the warm up and cool down, and starting slower eased me into the speed. I find it incredibly hard to run fast early in the morning!
But other than that, workouts have been slow and depressing. So nothing good to report on that front.
*LAST MINUTE EDIT*
I did something probably foolish last night... I went to Monday night track with Varsity! We just started back up this week after ceasing this workout for several years. I missed it, and I wanted to check it out, even though it started at 6:00 pm (while I was still at work, counting my register down). When I got there, the warm-up was still going on, so I didn't actually miss any workout. We did 4x400 at 5k, with a full 400 jog between, then a 1:30 rest and 4x400 at a cut-down pace. I did ok - it was tough to gauge my pace. I wore my new stopwatch and I hadn't quite figured it out (because the instructions show a watch with 6 buttons and mine has 5, so I was understandably confused). I started much too fast, but during the rest I got a better grip on using the watch and turning the light on, and did better.
Only a few people showed up, but I REALLY hope that we continue with Monday track. I loved Monday track! I just don't have the same pep on Tuesday morning. It's just too early. Right now, though, I'm just hoping I fully recover by Sunday. I hope the high volume of easy running in this workout will have kept my legs fresh.