When given the challenge to finish strong I thought, "yeah, yeah, sure." I was skeptical that I would actually rise up and meet that challenge. After a long month full of exercise whose end seemed defined by injury I wondered what I could possibly do to challenge myself.
My answer to that question: Interval training.
I recently signed up for a half-marathon and Kathy, and kick-ass marathoner, in SF put together a customized training plan within 10 minutes of me telling her about my plans to run. Yesterday's prescribed training was five miles followed by five sets of two minute intervals run at race pace [9:30 / mile]. I did an unprescribed five mile run on Wednesday, and with my knee griping a bit I lowered the initial mileage to four miles at a very easy 10:47 / mile pace. After that I kicked it into gear, Girl Talk urging me on as I ran my five intervals.
I left the gym feeling like such a bad ass. And when I extracted my phone from my overly full gym bag [seriously, how did all this crap make it in to my bag?] I saw that right about the time I'd hopped off the treadmill she'd called and left a message wondering how my first set of intervals went. I called her back and we encouraged each other [she'd just finished running sets of four minute intervals at a 6:30 pace and running at an 8:00 pace in between...SUCH a bad ass] and talked about the importance of Vaseline and Body Glide.
So I pulled it out in the end. I finished strong. I love it when I surprise myself.