At least I got in a double day with a short easy run and a swim on Tuesday and I had no guilt. When your body puts on the STOP sign, you have to obey, if you know what's good for you. Since breathing is integral to exercise, it would do well to have my respiratory system in full order. Feeling better by Friday, I got in the 10 x 1 minute efforts at 5k pace for 6 miles. I then promptly suffered from my allergies the remainder of the evening so I opted to stay indoors on the warm, sunny, windy and humid morning on Saturday and it was a good move. I felt much better today as I gave my struggling respiratory system a respite from the pollen flying through the air.
Rode an hour on the trainer and ran an easy 30 minutes on the treadmill. My legs were stiff from Friday's efforts. You would think two days off would have left me with fresher legs. I guess they were because I was hitting 6:50 pace for those one minute efforts but I paid for it on Saturday. That's OK though, intensity should go up when volume knocks down for a key race, that's the way to pack the muscles with oxygen producing mitochondria and boost fitness.
When I started running today, my legs were a little sluggish but I have learned to take warm up seriously and not hinge my entire workout on how I feel at the beginning. I warmed up for a good 3 miles and as soon as the garmin clicked off my 3 mile split, I stepped up the turnover a notch. Into the wind (of course! When is it not windy on the east end??) and got myself down to the low 8's. Then it was time to hang on. Powered by good thoughts and good music I cranked out the next three miles on the rolling hills. 8:17, 8:13 and 8:11 hitting my target of 8:10-8:15 goal pace and I put the brakes on at mile 6 to a comfortable stride. I fist pumped myself, pleased with the days efforts. Pleased that I overcame the "pain", happy that I did not let the fatigue of running hard slow me down. I ran through it, just like I plan on running through the final miles of that half marathon next week, willing myself faster when my mind is screaming for my body to slow down. I will not. That last tempo effort today was dedicated to the final miles of any race I have coming up. I embrace you once again, pain of fatigue, bring it on! I love running...