Today's run was a test of my fitness. I wanted to run a fast-ish 5K race as the tempo phase of my 5 mile run. I ran a real leisurely mile at 9:13/mile pace then I set the treadmill for 8.5 mph (7:03/mile pace) and ran 3.1 miles (5K). I held the pace the whole time and had to fight myself not to "kick" the last half mile since this workout was supposed to be my easy run I missed on Thursday. I finished the remainder of the fifth mile with 6.5 mph setting to about 800 meters and 7 mph for the last half mile. Total: 5 miles - 39:08 - 7:50/mile pace.
This was nice confidence boost because I have rarely tried to run that fast for a sustained period and it actually felt kind of easy after my system stopped freaking out at 1 mile. Its funny that this speed thing really is about guts IMO. I have not been used to overcoming the freak out thing your body goes through when it is testing its thresholds, I suspect this is the same for everybody. Let me try an analogy with skiing. If you are a relatively new skier and you go to the top of your first blue square slope you'll see a hill that you can't walk up and would have to slide down. You would think, "I am going to fall if I ski that thing and it's going to hurt," but if you are prepared you won't fall. You will start to go fast down the hill and be scared. You will "freak out" but when it's time to make that first turn, you just make it like you did on the bunny slopes. Then you make the next turn and the next. Sometimes you will decide to slow down, but you realize that if you are in control at the higher rate of speed why should you slow down. It doesn't even feel appropriate. So, my point is that I have trained to be faster, I have done the work I can run faster if I choose to I just have to not let the freak out win.