Well, that was quite a good exercise. My schedule closes off the week (I took no rest days this week since I'm flying out tomorrow) with a 15 mile run with 12 miles at marathon pace. It really is a pace I've proven I can run in various conditions: during half marathon and a 30K race. In fact, by the time I toe the line on marathon day, this pace should really feel like the running forever and slightly faster pace.
But in the midst of this training, I'm going into every run a little tired. As I wrote a few days ago, I had done 81 miles (130K) in seven days. Part of me wanted to take yesterday off for rest but I just felt like putting in a few miles. So I did a 5K (3.1 miles) run around my parents' neighbourhood. The route features a long hill at the last mile, which rises about 140 feet or more. I did the last mile at 7:39 pace and was feeling it.
I started today's run feeling great. The three miles the day before was just enough for me to get in some speedwork but not enough to drain me. Fran had suggested that I use one of the features in my Garmin that allows you to see average pace (as opposed to current page). That way, I could look at my watch to make sure my average was on or off target. It worked really well but it was disconcerting to see the difference between average and current. Garmins are really bad about giving you live pace feedback. When you set it to lap at kilometres and miles, it's pretty much dead on, but don't try to look at it for 'how fast am I running RIGHT NOW'
The target was 4:30 kilometres or 7:15 miles. I really fought through the first three miles to stay on pace. I can only describe the pace to me as measured aggression. It's not my LT or tempo pace, but it's a lot faster than my every day runs. The trick is to not hit the bad point where you're reaching LT. For me, lactate threshold is around 6:55 to 7 minutes so the trick was not to get too close to it. By the fourth, I was comfortable and it felt good. By the halfway mark, I was feeling the effort but felt I could keep the pace. By the 10th mile, I knew I could make the run. I was a little concerned near the end that I was ramping up the effort too much... this shouldn't feel too hard.
Final result is one I can be pleased with. 12 miles done in 1:26:38 with an average pace of 7:13 miles or 4:29 kilometres. Here are the splits
Finished off the workout with a warmdown for three miles.