The last two weeks were new highs of 44 and 45 miles, and this week I am shooting for 50! Included will be a 20 mile hill run Sunday, three 'normal' runs of 6, 7, and 8 miles, and yesterday's speed work, which came to over 9 miles.
Monday was an easy six the day after my epic 20.6 at 8:09 pace. And yet my legs felt fine and instead of easy junk miles I ended up pushing a pretty good pace - the last two at 8:00 pace.
Tuesday was off, so Wednesday I was full of steam and ready for some long speedwork. I decided on 3x2 mile intervals with 1/2 mile cooldowns. I planned to run half marathon pace, since I have Surf City in 10 days and I wanted to get a feel for 7:15 pace.
One mile warmup and I was feeling a little tired - 8:39. Oh well, off we go!
Mile 1: First Garmin check I was near 7:30, and it felt fast. I tried pushing harder, but was still near 7:30. Ugh. Well there's a long way to go. I tell myself to just relax and run, and usually things get easier as I warm up. Perhaps I'll work my way down to 7:15. Mile 1: 7:27
Mile 2: G says I am at 7:23 at the start. I keep pushing and soon I am at 7:15. Hmm. Not as hard as I thought. I definitely feel a 2nd wind during mile two and am enjoying accelerating. Finish up at 7:10 - no problem!
Quick drink and jog 0.6 miles at 8:25 pace. OK! Feeling good now. Ready to kill it.
Mile 3 and 4: First G check shows 6:54! OK, bucko, take it easy! I relax and feel like I am just coasting for 1/2 mile as the lap pace slowly drops to 7:15. Then I pick it up again and finish 3 at 7:09. Mile 4 is fun and I alternate with sub 7 and trying to relax. Finish 4 at 7:04.
As I jog 0.7 at 8:25 pace I think about how much better shape I am in now then even last year. Last year for this workout I ran 7:30's and 7:40's. Speedwork is now a blast and running hard just seems to make me want to run harder, not quit and walk. I'm starting to see how this can be addicting. I haven't run and had feelings quite like this since college; Like I am invincible and can do anything!
Miles 5 and 6: I settle into pace and cruise along the beachpath, passing joggers, walkers, even bikers. Not effortless, but not too hard either! 7:14 and 7:07. I finish and almost don't want to slow down for the last mile. Want to cruise forever. Plenty left in the tank. Looking forward to the race...
So the 6 speed miles averaged 7:12, and I feel pretty good that I could do that for 13 and get a new PR. Surf City, here I come! In the meantime, I'm still piling on miles.