Tonight was speedwork. At the gym. The plan was the usual, you know the drill: 1 mile warmup/cooldown, and in-between those, four alternating sets of 4:00 at a fast pace, and 2:00 at a slower pace.

Last week, I had troubles involving not being able to stay on one of the “good” treadmills; well, this week, I had the luxury of being able to keep one machine for the entire workout (except for one brief panic when I went to get some water but left my gym key and cell phone on it, and when I came back, some guy in a trucker hat was stretching on it, and doing his best to not look me in the eye or hear me, until I finally practically shouted at him (he was not wearing headphones, by the way) that I was not finished with this machine and could I have it back? “Oh, you’re not done?” he said, and sheepishly stepped down).

I wore my Asics, and the usual shorts and long-sleeved shirt. I forgot my hat, so sweat was running down my forehead as if it was Multnomah freakin’ Falls, but I lived. Music was Bad Religion (needed the punk rock to help me kick it into high gear). I did use two puffs of my albuterol inhaler (although it must surely be used up by now; maybe I don’t really need it? Is it now a psychological crutch?)

And… in my 24:00 of speedwork, I went 2.59 miles, for an average pace of 9:15.9, which is pretty decent speed and distance. I had a little less trouble keeping the pace this time, although, as mentioned, I do get dehydrated and thirsty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m working hard by the third fast section, but when it was done and I was back to the slow pace, I didn’t have to slow down as much.

Basically, I run at between an 8:27-8:41 pace during the fast sections, and no slower than a 10:30 pace on the recovery sections. I did walk for about a minute after the last fast section, though. I’m going to keep doing this drill every week until I can finish it without walking or stopping at all. It’s a good drill to get me through the winter, I think. Maybe if I’m bored of it by December I’ll come up with something else.

Also, my breathing has gotten, I don’t know, easier or something – I’m not fighting to keep a steady breathing rate, I just breathe normally and don’t try to suck in huge amounts of oxygen. Also also, my Asics started to give me a blister on my right heel. Ugh. Guess I’ll need to wear the ankle socks, instead of the low socks. How annoying.