I wasn't super excited about doing this workout, mostly because I knew I'd be slow. But on the other hand, I am happy I can do it --- so I had mixed feelings. Add in cold, and dark, and well...it wasn't easy to get out of bed. But I did, and I'm celebrating that small achievement.
I got to the track (and it was still dark, and still cold at -1C, or 30F). For January, that's actually warm, so I guess I can be happy about that? There was a slight breeze which chilled me a bit every time I came around the 100m mark. I warmed up OK in 10:05 for 1600m including 2x100m strides, and my legs felt well-recovered. No weird soreness, and not excessively heavy. But I didn't feel fast.
I wasn't fast. Before I started I took a few deep breaths and said out loud (there was no one else there), "If this takes me 18:30 or 19:00 it doesn't matter at all. I'm just getting started. I will get faster. Time doesn't matter." Or something to that effect. I was really trying to believe it, and I DO believe it. It's still hard to be slow, but yeah, you've gotta start somewhere.
I am proud that I worked very hard today and my HR was very high - I obviously gave this my all for a workout of this type. My ave HR was 165, and my max was 174. Today's achievement was in getting out of bed, getting out to the track, and working hard. That is where the accomplishment is.
Time: 18:27 with splits of 2:54.4, 2:58.4, 3:18.2, 2:59.1, 3:19.9, and 2:57.4. All mostly irrelevant. Merely a baseline for comparison, or so I'm telling myself.
Some more perspective: in 2011, when coming back from not training for at least a similar length of time, my first fartlek was slower than today (18:34) with the same HR. So this seems like a reasonable first outing today.
My toe is still a bit swollen and sensitive, but speed work is not exacerbating it. I'm adding a picture just because it's interesting (to me anyway). You can see how toe #4 (next to pinky toe) is wider and puffy. But the pain isn't bad at all; just a bit sore, and it lets me know if it's had enough (i.e. after standing a lot doing fish work in the lab).