Easy, easier, easiest
I'm not entirely sure this is worth a blog all of its own but what the hay, it's mine I can do what I like right?!
So today, after a bit of sweet talking last night over email with Coach Doug, my threshold 5 became threshold 8 (10 total, 1w/u 1w/d). I dropped the kids off at school then headed to the Y ready to go. I LOVE Wednesdays, I love getting to string a few miles together at a pace that is 'comfortably hard'. I have been feeling a bit frustrated for a while that I'm not working hard enough but I know that's why I need Doug and why I need to listen to him, I don't want to get hurt and he thinks that at age 35 I have time to get where I want to. I trust him.
I have been feeling for a while that I could go longer than the maximum 6 miles he has been giving me for threshold runs and I thought the confidence boost from proving it to myself would help when I get to race in around 10 days time.
Today I did indeed manage 8 at 6:30 pace (on treadmill, incline 0) but I didn't just manage it, it was so easy. I really feel like I've made some kind of big progress lately. Today was the first time I can say that I felt the way I used to feel in my previous running life as a teenager.
It felt great from the word go but then around 25 mins in it just got easier. That's only ever happened once before, in a run half a life time ago over the same distance and at a very similar pace. My breathing was completely easy and I felt very present in this run, as I always do with threshold. I didn't listen to anything or watch anything on the tv, I need to concentrate 100% during this type of run. I thought about where it hurt and realized, no where. This is a trick my dad taught me years ago. He would ask 'where does it actually hurt?' whilst we were running an I'd try to pinpoint it but more often than not couldn't because it didn't. I still do it during most runs not when I'm struggling though, when I feel like I'm flying!
I know I could have kept going at that pace for another couple of miles without too much difficulty. But the big question that I'm left with is how will that translate in the real world? I will be able to answer that question in 'Ten for Texas' a week on Saturday. All I need is a cool day, cold would be wonderful but cool will do and I can see where I really am. Either way I'm excited.
Last December, 12 months back running after a zillion year break, I needed a similar confidence boost the week before my 1st ever marathon. I ran 5 miles on the exact same treadmill I was on today (I like to get the same treadmill, what can I say) and finished in 32:27 so 6:30 pace give or take. But the difference is that effort was flat out, all I could give type running. There was no ease, it was balls out, lie down and die at the end type running. Today was a very different 6:30 pace, I felt like a million dollars and was able to chat to a couple of people with relative ease throughout (my old men at the Y think nothing of striking up a conversation regardless of what I'm doing on the treadmill :D).
Is that worth a blog entry, one training run? Maybe not but it was a monumental run for me. If 6:30 can feel that easy what pace will feel easy in another 12 months time and 12 months after that? I'm excited to find out!
I love running :)