I put in a very easy five miles last evening under a very bright full moon. It was light enough for me to run along the roads in Sabino Canyon at 8pm and actually see where I was going. The desert seemed lit up like a movie set, which made for a surreal 40 minutes or so.
This morning an email came from the coach asking me to pretty much repeat last week's cruise-interval-type workout. It's a drag that 5:55 pace is an interval now instead of plain-old marathon pace, but that seems to be where the body is right now.
The plan called for 2-3 x 2 miles at 5:55 pace with mile recoveries in 6:40. The coach also suggested running the last mile or half mile at a quicker pace (last mile if I did 3 sets, last 1/2 mile if I did 2 sets). It gets more convoluted, but you get the gist.
Last week I managed three sets with no acceleration at the end, but I felt a bit in the red during the final two miles. This time I never really settled in. The warm up found me at 7:30-7:40 pace, which is uncharacteristically slow and usually a harbinger of a bad day. The first set found me on pace with 11:50 for 2x1600, but at the end of the 6:40 recovery mile I didn't feel too fresh. Still, the second set came off with the same split, and while I didn't feel I was working too hard the legs felt a bit tired. It was during the following recovery mile that the legs really started to tire, and by the time I finished the third lap it actually took a little work to stay on 6:40 pace. With this in mind I decided to call an audible and turn the last set into either an up-tempo mile or half mile, depending on the legs. After a 400 at 79 it looked like 800 would do, and when I came across the line at 2:42 I knew it was time to quit...3 minutes earlier.
I know these runs will feel easy in a few weeks, but still I find myself fighting the temptation to get down on myself while I'm clearly not running my best.
Training: 2/22, 10 miles, 1h06m, 6:35 pace, w/2x2 miles at 5:55 pace (1 mi. recovery at 6:40), 1x800 at 2:42
2/21 pm., 5 miles at 7:37 pace