Woo-hoo! It actually kept me motivated this morning knowing that it was the last time I'd have to work so hard on speed work.
This was the run I was supposed to do yesterday evening, but it was simply too warm to do it. This morning was better heat-wise (16 to 19 degrees C), but it was still muggy.
The deal this morning was that I was to do a total of 10 miles including a warm-up run (2 miles) and then 4 runs at a 6:51/mile pace (4:17/k), each one separated by a half mile of jogging.
I definitely noticed the elevation difference on this run. According to the GPS, there is about a 75 foot difference in elevation from one end to the other of the speed-work area. So heading west was consistently easier and faster than heading east. You can see it in my times:
Lap 1 (heading east): 6:52
Lap 2 (heading west): 6:41
Lap 3 (heading east): 7:05
Lap 4 (heading west): 6:38
Overall, my pace during the speed work parts of the run averaged 6:49, so my run worked out quite well. And considering that my fastest mile during the speed work a month ago was 6:48, I'm pretty happy with these results!
It was interesting how the various comments and advice one gets while training come into play. The primary one today and yesterday was something my step-sister, Susan, passed along from advice from her brother, Len Gushe, who does Ironman races. When Susan was training for her first marathon, Len told her to "Conserve, conserve, conserve -- and when you think you've conserved enough, conserve some more." I took that into account last night while working to keep enough energy both to finish last night's run within the target pace, and also to have enough energy to do today's speed work.
Injuries are also top-of-mind for me now. Jed emailed me the other day to say that the sixteen-miler he was running when we saw him on Sunday ended up being a six-miler. His hamstring was really bothering him and (gulp) he may not be able to do the marathon in Corning. Arrrrrggghhhh! So all of a sudden, I'm looking at these pains I'm getting in my long runs and I'm being very careful not to over-stress things. But, of course, I'm now feeling every single pain and wondering if could be something serious. Today it was a pain in my left shin after my run. Checking into it on SportsInjuryClinic.net, it doesn't appear to be 'shin splints', so I'm just going to take it easy for the next couple of days.
I have an 11 mile run tomorrow on which I'm going to target 8:30/mile (Conserve, conserve, conserve). Sunday I'm doing a half marathon in Wasaga Beach -- but have to extend this by 7 miles somehow to get my target 20 miler in. This is the toughest training week in my schedule, but it is half over so that part feels good. Ask me how I feel after Sunday's run!