It sounded kind of fun when I got the email last night. Our coach had planned an "unstructured" track practice for us. I wasn't sure what that meant, but it seemed to imply that we wouldn't be running intervals. Oh no. We still ran intervals.
We of course started with our one mile warm-up. Then our coach told us that when he blew the whistle, we were to start running at a pace somewhere between our usual interval pace (pretty fast) and our standard long-distance run. We were to stay at this pace until he blew the whistle again, at which time we would slow down to a slow jog or walk to recover for one minute. After one minute he would blow the whistle again, signalling the start of another running interval. The "fast" intervals would be between two and four minutes. We were to keep this up for thirty minutes.
By the time we were about halfway through I was starting to hate the workout. When we had 11 minutes to go I felt like I could handle it for that period of time, but would plead to skip the cool-down. I was getting worn down toward the end, but I kept running. There was one four minute interval that was particularly challenging, somewhere in the middle. No one kept track of distance--I think my intervals added up to somewhere in the 3 mile range. After the practice, after we had rested for a few minutes and rehydrated I started to feel more human and gave into the cool-down. Meg and I ran that cool-down mile at a snail's pace, but we ran it.
It was a hard workout. I'm not going to lie. But I think it was good. A guy at Body & Sole (the best shoe store EVER) advised me to run short, fast spurts during my race. Today gave me a bit of a taste of what that might be like.
Oh, and yesterday, I went to a Yoga Flow class at my gym. It was definitely harder than my yoga DVD I do at home. It was a great class, actually. I'm feeling it in my shoulders today!