I always get nervous before the start of speed work. I have selected my target pace and I then get apprehensive about whether or not I can meet that goal over the full distance. I typically settle in by the time I'm through the first 100 m. of the run, and tonight was no different. But that didn't mean that the last two miles weren't tough. In fact, I was ready to quit after my seventh repeat, but Jen Vording kept me strong. In the car on the way down to TD Stadium, I was thinking anything better than 7 minute miles would be good. On the track as we were about to start, I said 6:56. Here are my splits:
My average was 6:54.37, so in that respect I was in the range of where I wanted to be. But after the 3 fast repeats, I was pretty sure I had to slow the pace a bit or I wouldn't be able to hold it together. I consciously targeted 6:56 and for those next two laps I ended up within a second of that goal. Surprisingly a bit faster on the 6th lap, but then after the cool-down for that lap I told coach John that I was struggling. He suggested just doing one more lap so that I didn't hurt myself, but Jen Vording suggested we just slow it down a bit so we targeted a 7 minute mile which I was able to do.
For the last and crucial lap -- where you really find out what you've got -- I was struggling the whole way, but managed a 7:00.88 even still.
So, I'll chalk this one up to being a successful night. Looking back to the year I set my personal best in the marathon, my 8 x 1 mile repeats on October 19, 2010 averaged 6:54.25 per mile -- so just 0.12 seconds per lap faster than tonight, but 4 seconds faster on that last lap. Close enough.