Not gonna lie, I was a bit intimidated by this weeks training and a bit nervous about hitting the paces on a few of the workouts, but I am doing my best to shut off the anxiety part of my brain and just trust that my legs can do the workouts. The forecast today left me feeling much more confident and ready to rock and roll on today's tempo. Salty and my friend MY were planning to run with me and the wind was only supposed to be 1-3 mph, compared to last weeks 17 gusting to 24 mph, so this sounded like it would be an awesome run.
Certain times of the year I seem to get a bounce in my fitness regardless of what type of training I am doing. I have no idea if it is coincidence or what but the past two weeks I have felt like I was getting that bounce despite not running faster at the 5k. 8 weeks out from Columbus last fall I had a really good track and tempo workout followed by an awesome race at Spirit of Columbus. Who knows if it is just my attitude or a real fitness breakthrough, but this week (8 weeks until Boston) I seem to be getting a similar bounce, my Tuesday track workout went well, I felt much fresher yesterday than I normally do after a track workout, and despite a hard bootcamp class last night I felt really good today the first three miles of our tempo.
Goal today was 6 miles. First 3 at 6:15, next 2 at 6:05, and the last one at 5:55. I was hoping since the wind wasn't as much of a factor that we could really dial it in today and hit paces rather than work off of effort. The downside of the perceived fitness bounce is I seem to have a hard time picking out the right effort for my planned paces. We ran 3 out and 3 back today, wind at our backs on the way out and in our faces on the way back. It was nowhere near the problem it was last week, but it must have been a little stronger than 3mph by the lake because it was definitely noticeable when we turned around. The first mile was a touch fast, I blame it on feeling fresh and having such good company combined with it being close to 40 degrees. The next two miles just sailed by and the legs felt great. The next mile we had to deal with the hairpin turn and some traffic that had us rolling to the top of a hill at 6:15 pace, with the following downhill I wanted to get us back down to 6:05, and we did that, but probably did it a bit too aggressively. The next mile had to really focus to keep it under 6:05. The last mile I was struggling for sure. My breathing was ragged and we were working pretty hard to keep it under 6:00. I tried not to look at the watch too much because I really couldn't have run any harder and I didn't want to get upset if it was slow. My eyes were starting to glaze/freeze over a bit and the last half mile I had to resort to some serious mental tricks to keep myself focused ahead instead of on the ground. With a serious push around .9 we barely got that mile under 6:00. Not quite the intended 5:55, but still my fastest tempo ever and trying to hit the 5:55 kept us honest.