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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Picking up the pace

Fun fact from yesterday evening's workout:

I ran it at a faster pace than I ran the Crescent City Classic 10k this year.

And tonight's workout was eight miles. We did a mile warm up, then three miles at goal marathon pace, then two miles at "tempo" pace, then three more at goal marathon pace. We ran it at City Park, n the roads, but luckily our evening workout was bright enough to avoid trips and falls thanks to the Christmas lights set up for Christmas in the Oaks. And I was also lucky enough to have a big group to work with: it was myself and five other guys. You know what, though? I never take advantage of running in a group to allow others to "pull me along". If we are on the track, we'll take turns pacing, but I struggle when I follow. I think it messes with my cadence or something. I am a million times better in the lead. Same with the roads: we don't really take turns leading on the road, but I do better spread out or up front. I don't care that I'm "doing more work"; I just feel like it's more natural and easy that way.

Our first set's splits were 6:59, 6:52, and 6:46 for the MP miles; we picked it up for the tempo and ran 6:35 and 6:28. As we settled back into marathon pace, it felt almost easy now: conversational. 6:52, 6:48, 6:45. Now, those splits are a tad fast, but I think I should add a few seconds; my Garmin was beeping a little sooner than everyone else's, so I think it lost satellite for a little bit. My teammates got most splits in the low 6:50's. My results were 8 miles at 6:46 pace, so yeah, faster than the 10k I ran this spring. I can feel the training working!

But here's the big catch: I have to prove it in races. So far this year, despite several PRs, my racing has been spotty, especially short distances. Up next is the Turkey Day, that race that loves to hate me (it's usually a rough day for me), and at five miles, it will be a test of speed. I hope I can pull off a good race, and hopefully another PR!

Do you workout with a group? Are you a lap leader or follower?

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