The plan was to do 7 miles today close to MP. I decided that I'm going to avoid the hills for a week or two (except for maybe the very easy runs) until I'm confident the knee is back to 100%. It's not so much the up hills that I'm concerned about, it's the additional impact on some of the steeper downhills - it's just not worth taking the chance.
Obviously 28 laps on the track is quite boring, so in order to alleviate some of that boredom I typically play a game where I have to run every mile faster than the last one. In addition to reducing some of the boredom (although not much) it forces me to NOT turn the run into a Tempo Run - which I will occasionally do as I'm used to going at a faster pace when on the track.
I ran the first 2 miles at 7:07 and 7:04, holding myself back much of the way. The next 2 miles came in at 6:58 and 6:55 and again I was fighting to keep the pace slow. By the start of the 5th mile I decided to let go of the reigns a bit and settle in at whatever pace seemed natural - the 5th mile came in at 6:44. By now I was feeling great - fully warmed up, no knee issues, the breathing was very easy (somehow easier than the earlier miles), and a quick check of the HR showed me easily below threshold level. (Whatever HR strangeness I was seeing yesterday wasn't here today - perhaps that's because I'm now about 95% recovered from my cold)
The pace continued to drop with out having to think about it. The 6th mile was 6:34, and during the last mile I actually considered adding a mile or two to the workout because I really didn't want to stop. My pace was in the low 6:20's now and I considered running an 8th mile at about 6:15 and then perhaps adding a 9th at about 6 flat. . . . but then I came to my senses. Still recovering from a cold, not 100% out of the woods on the knee, and the whole reason I'm running negative splits is to keep the pace controlled and NOT turn this into a tempo run! So I cruised in at 6:21 for mile #7 and called it a day.
Got home and iced the knees just to be safe. It certainly felt good to finish a successful workout while wanting to do more. I'm also glad I did not go ahead and tack on another 2 miles - really would not have been a smart thing to do.
Training: 7 miles on track. (7:07-7:04-6:58-6:55-6:44-6:34-6:21) Average-6:49, HR-158
Note: Ran 8 miles in the hills at 6:57 pace also w/ HR-158 last week. This helps to confirm the 10-second delta between running on the trail and on flat surface for a given effort level.