I did an easy run Tuesday after work, a Park Plus, averaging 6:50 for seven miles in spite of the ice and having to stop for traffic. It had been a while since I had run it, probably since late summer. It's one of my reliable loops, with plenty of hills and not much traffic, besides crossing Washington.
Wednesday's workout at B-CC reinforced the way I had been feeling. After doing two 2ks at 5:40 pace and four miles at 5:21 pace in the prior two weeks, 5:10 pace for 1k seemed reasonable. I'd do between 6-8. Mike Cotterell and Bryan joined me, it was chilly and very windy, but I got by with shorts and a long-sleeved shirt.
Mike and I chatted a bit in our first 200 and it showed when we came through 400 in 82. We picked it up to 75 for the second, then cruised in for 3:16. We took 300 m jogs between 1ks, and I pushed through some wind for three straight 3:13s. I tried hard to keep things under control on those two, because I naturally wanted to keep getting faster, but I was more inclined to try to handle a reasonable effort. After all, 3:13 is 5:10 mile pace- faster than I have run, except for a 400m, since September and 11 seconds faster than my fastest miles last Thursday.
Mike and Bryan dropped off and I took an extra 100m to start on the back stretch in hopes of avoiding running into the wind three times. Even though I led all but the first lap of the first k, it felt different starting on my own, though that might have been my fatigue catching up. The wind was still there, regardless, and I felt like I was slowing down, way down, but I came through the quarter in mid-76, so I consciously slowed down and finished in 3:12.
One more definitely seemed doable, though I expected to end up limping in at 3:20, just because that is, more often than not, what I am used to doing. I didn't look at my watch coming through, but I just pushed ahead, careful to not to sprint too much in the beginning and sure to fight into the wind. I was amazed to finish 3:13 even. Much like my miles last week, despite feeling like I was slowing down to a crawl, I was hitting my splits right on.
I took a long lunch break Thursday to run my latest revision of the Catholic loop. It was a pleasant run, and I tried to keep it slow to actively recover from the workout the day before, but the downhill second half is hard to fight. I would up doing 6:45 pace for 10.3.
I finally got a run over 7:00 average Friday when I ran to work. I must not get going well in the morning, because I was dragging the whole run. I must have needed more time to wake up and such, because I never got into a groove, which is necessary for a 13-mile run.