Well, tonight I went a little bit off the reservation. After starting to feel better on Tuesday, John had advised me to do all easy runs for the remainder of the week leading up to the 500 Festival Mini Marathon on Saturday. Tonight was supposed to be 4 to 6 miles easy and 4 x 100m stride outs. However I had planned on asking John at track tonight if I could get in 2 to 3 miles at goal race pace with an easy warmup and cool down. When I arrived at Vanderbilt I learned that John would not be there so I just made the executive decision to proceed with my alternate plan.
I have not done a race pace run since last Tuesday morning and have run a lot of easy miles since then. I know it would have been better to do any race pace work earlier in the week, but I really wanted to feel that faster pace again before Saturday. So, I ended up doing a 1.3-mile warmup followed by 3 continuous miles on the track at goal race pace and then a 1-mile cool down.
The 3-miles at race pace were at a 6:41 average and felt good and fairly relaxed. I mentioned yesterday that I could tell my energy level was down after being sick, but the run did not feel like that tonight. However after downloading my Garmin, my heart rate was a bit higher than I was expecting and even higher that what it reached during my 4-mile race pace run last Tuesday. I think a lot of this has to do with the warmer temperatures and humidity, though the conditions are probably going to be even worse on Saturday for the race. I’m thinking that I may start off with a pace around 6:50 on Saturday and then just take it by feel from there based on the conditions.