I did it! I ran 2 8-minute intervals and I survived; I feel amazing! I can hardly believe I am running 16 minutes! I remember when one minute seemed like an impossibility, but now I am going to tackle 20 minutes in 2 days.
The run went great; the weather was beautiful. It felt a little cold and I almost wore long sleeves, but I am glad I didn't because I worked up quite a sweat by the time I was done. Now I wish I hadn't wussed out and tried out the running skirt.
I ran the first 8 minutes fairly slowly. I wanted to get used to running that long first and have enough energy for the 2nd run. Just before I began the 1st run, I realized that it should take me about one loop (1/2 mile) to run the interval; so I told myself not to look at my watch until I was at least close to were I started to run. When I completed the loop and looked at my watch, I only had about 30 seconds to go and I still felt good. I walked the 5 minutes faster than usual and breathed a lot, though I was not really winded from the 1st interval.
When the 2nd interval started, I picked up the pace a bit. This actually felt easier than my snail pace, though a tad more tiring of course--but totally doable. It was just a nice stride and I think I was in the running zone for at least a short while. My biggest problem when I pick up speed is that I have to get used to taking shallower breaths to keep up, but I managed it fine. I know this will come with time. I kept looking at my watch 5/6 minutes into it, not because I wanted it to end, but because I wanted to sprint the last minute. I gave it my all for that last minute. It was great. I realized that I finish these runs winded because I sprint at the end, not because I can't keep up with the long runs.
I am feeling really good about running the 20 minutes at the 5k on Saturday. I plan to bring my own music to help the time go faster. Since I know I'll have to walk part of the 5k, I'll still start with the 5 minute brisk walk (or a very slow jog), then tackle the 20 minutes. I'll probably run the 1st 10 minutes at my snail's pace and then pick up a bit for the last 10. I'll walk briskly and catch my breath for 5-10 minutes, depending on how far I have to go to finish the 5k and how winded I feel. I estimate I'll be at least half way through by this point. If by some miracle I've cross the 2 mile marker, then I may walk less. I'll try to jog some more after I catch my breath for however long I can and then alternate running and walking until the 3 mile mark, then I'll sprint to the finish!
I am beyond excited for Saturday to be here already! I really want to finish in less than 40 minutes, but I'll be happy with anything between 40 and 43 minutes.