I decided to do the route that I trained for my half marathon on. It has a really nasty hill that goes up about 114 feet in elevation over a maybe a .2 mile distance. I've only been able to run the whole thing a couple times. Anyway, on Saturday I wanted to see how fast I could run 6 miles so I was going for speed and I vowed I wouldn't walk that hill.
I took off pretty fast and finished my first mile in 8:32 min. It was so cool having the watch beep and show me my average pace on each mile. Mile 2 was 8:24, and then I tackled mile 3 which included the nasty hill. I was huffing and puffing but I made it to the top without stopping and it felt so awesome!! I thought I was going super slow but my pace was 8:40 for that mile so not too bad. Mile 4 included coming back DOWN the hill and I did it in 7:58. Mile 5 was 8:21, Mile 6 was 8:31. My finishing time was 50 min 31 seconds for an overall average pace of 8:24 per mile!!
I felt pretty awesome the whole time and really think the cross training I've been doing has made a difference on my speed and ability to take on the hills. I've been running 3 days a week and doing an hour of strength training the other 3 days, (don't work out on Sundays) and it's making a difference. If I want to run a 25 minute 5k I need to average an 8:03 minute pace. That's pretty fast but I think I'm on the right track! I'm looking at a race in 2 weeks. We'll see how it goes!