When I saw a progression into the mid 6s today on my schedule, I was excited but also a bit concerned (OK, I was nervous!). Would I remember to run fast? How in the world I am going to be able to hold 6s if my HR was getting close to my lactate threshold holding high 7s and low 8s during my 21 miler on Saturday? But then I shut my mind up, picked up my i-pod and ran a kick a$$ progression with a HR lower than most of my miles on Saturday, and a perceived effort much lower than anticipated. We had some cooler temps, mid 70s today which helped a ton. My legs felt fresh in spite of the higher (for me) mileage. I felt light on my feet and stayed present in every mile, working hard to slow myself down for the first half of the progression. I loved this run. I loved running the last 2 miles fastish. I loved that I finished the run with a lot left in the tank, and with a renewed confidence that my legs have not forgotten how to run fast (nothing like a behavioral experiment to show one that!)
Now it will be much easier to return to building up my miles and running slower. I know this is not my time for intense speed; my marathon cycle is very different now than it was last year or the year before, and I truly believe that this periodization is going to work well for me. I already feel my legs are getting stronger and have adapted to the miles. I still have my speed in spite of no speed work since early May.
Things are progressing well. I love running!