It's pretty incredible to see what the body is capable of when having other people to 'push' you. I ran the mile with my training group and wasn't trailing anyone but just knowing my coach was there timing us (though I had my footpod/garmin) kept me going.
In that short amount of time my brain went through a gamut of thoughts.
First lap: Start slow! Okay! Well, this isn't too bad, I feel comfortable and strong! Passing people is motivating but sure saps the energy.
Second lap: Okay, this is getting a little harder. Time to turn my music up a little more. Wow, The Cure sucks for speed. *skip*
Third lap: BREATHE. Keep going. It's only a mile. Sigh. My calf has been kind of tight, maybe I should just call it a day and stop after this one to be safe.
Fourth lap: Wait, is this already the last lap? How did I lose count? Who knows, forget it. Sweet! Time to kick it up for the last 100m! YEAH!!
Since I was in the second, third and even partially in the fourth lane throughout this run I hit the mile before I reached my coach. I have a fancy calibrated footpod attachment that tells me so. (A track is measured by the inside lane). I didn't want to look like I stopped short, though I was officially done, and pushed harder for the last 25 seconds and hit a 6:54 pace at the end, with a 7:12 avg for that section over the mile time. Finishing stronger feels great!
I've been doing a lot of track workout's with speedy intervals, so I guess it shouldn't be that surprising that I've made some pretty decent progress. I've been aiming to run my 400's between 6:45 - 7:20, depending on the workout. Usually they are at the tail end of a pretty long set, so just getting in that burst of speed and staying consistent with it seems to be making a difference.
I've taking a liking to track this season, probably because it's starting to make sense and doesn't feel as grueling. It's still incredibly challenging, but I can actually make it through all the workouts without cutting them short or feeling unmotivated. I'm pretty sure I'll always be more of a long distance/endurance runner though. I can't even conceive of a low 6 minute mile. I'm totally okay accepting that I may never get there. Pace really isn't my ultimate goal. Injury free and consistent training has always been #1.
Next weekend I'm running the Shamrock 5k but I haven't run a 5k in a year so I have no idea how I'll do. This race isn't that important to me either, it's very crowded, and I'm running 16 miles the day before, but I'm going to try my best. I'd like to come in with an 8:30 pace or better, but that sounds so fast right now! We shall see, wish me luck!!