Today's run was the second half of Mystery Coach's famous back to back workout. After seven miles around current marathon pace yesterday, I tried for ten miles steady plus seven more miles at 6:10-6:15 pace this morning. The coach gave me some leeway to shift the paces according to how I felt, and as luck would have it I felt GOOD.
The first ten was slated for 6:35-6:40 pace, and it took some monitoring to keep to what eventually ended up being 6:38 pace. The legs wanted to go a little faster, but thinking ahead to the next seven miles kept them relatively in check.
I decided to break the seven mile effort into four segments: 3 x 2 miles then 1 x 1 mile, run continuously of course. The first two breezed by in 12:07 and felt very easy, probably because of the net downhill. Miles three and four went by in 12:12, and it took a little bit of concentration to keep on pace. Miles five and six turned uphill about half-way through, and while I could feel the heart rate climbing a bit it felt good to dig in a little (12:02). I suffered the uphill on mile six en route to the track to run the last mile, where I ignored the pace and just tried to feel the effort. Again I could feel the heart rate bump up a little, but it felt good to finish the effort feeling strong with a 5:50.
When I stepped off the track I waited for my heart rate to drop to 120, but for some reason it seemed to stick at 125 from about 60 seconds all the way to 1:50, when it finally fell to 120. This might have a been a techno-glitch, but I guess it's something to note.
During the one mile cool-down back to the house I contemplated adding two more slow miles to even out the run at 20, but after thinking about the effort today, plus yesterday's run and the race on Monday I just headed home to start recovering.
I feel like I've gained a bit of a bump in fitness over the past two weeks, so it's going to take some good planning to keep the upward trajectory without overdoing it. I think I can hear Mystery Coach crunching the numbers right now from his undisclosed location.
18 miles, 1h55m, around 6:23 pace
10 at 6:38 pace (148HR), then 2 miles in 12:07(147HR), 2 in 12:12(153), 2 in 12:02(157), 1 at 5:50(161), 1:51 to 120HR (stuck at 125 for almost a minute)
Sleep: 7h 8/10
Weather: 75 degrees, 48 dew-point