It was cold, dreary and wet here in Texas yesterday morning. I dreaded the thought of pulling out my warmer running clothes and meeting up at the track in Valley Ranch that evening, so I opted to do some interval training on the treadmill at lunch instead. That way I could get in my workout earlier in the day and stay inside, warm and dry in the evening (which led to baking cookies).
At the gym, I climbed on the treadmill and warmed up with a half mile run at 6.3 mph then stopped to do some stretches. Once my head phones were on, I sped up to my normal pace of 6.7 mph (about a 9 minute mile) and finished the rest of the first mile. Then I started 8 x 400 intervals with a 100 meter recovery, increasing my speed each time. With each interval, I increased my speed from 6.7 all the way up to 7.4 mph with my recovery speed between 4.0 - 4.2 mph.
After the fourth interval, I realized that I was enjoying the faster speed and around that time I hit that "runner's high". I love that feeling! My legs felt great, I was not gasping for air, and I had the energy to keep running faster... I also have the Black Eyed Peas to thank because their songs always get me pumped up, even towards the end of my runs.
The last two intervals at 7.3 and 7.4 mph were the fastest I have ever trained and HARD to maintain, but I told myself that I could manage that speed for 1/4 mile. I enjoyed the change of pace from running intervals and before I knew it, I was on the last half mile of my cool down. I stepped off the treadmill with a big smile of my face and a huge sense of accomplishment from a really good run.
What makes you have a really good run, is it music? Running Mantras? Personal goals? Let me know what keeps you running.