Upon further review, I'm becoming more and more critical of my last 0.7 miles of the 5k. Because it was my first race, I don't believe I should get too upset about it, and I feel as though if I had a few people around me towards the end I might have pressed harder - but there's no denying that I just didn't allow myself to run w/ much discomfort towards the finish. Perhaps this was because I had no "skin in the game" as I was not going to get into 3rd regardless of what I did, and because I had no PR or specific time to shoot for, there wasn't much incentive in that regard either. However, at the end of the day, no matter how I look at it, I should have allowed for the discomfort and pressed on during that last 0.7 - I probably gave away 10-seconds overall by not finishing strong. (I woke up the next day w/ literally ZERO soreness whatsoever which confirms the validity of this line of thinking) But, what's done is done - hopefully I'll learn for the next time and now it's time to get back to focusing on my training. . . .
Back to a "normal" week this week. Monday was my usual heavy day at the gym and no running. Tuesday was my typical easy day w/ a run in the morning and another one in the evening. Only change here is that the PM run has now been bumped up from 5-miles to 6-miles. The down week has really worked wonders for my legs and the pace came very easily on Tuesday.
That leads me to Wednesday which is my Threshold day. After discussing the race w/ my coach on Sunday evening she thought it was a good sign that I was able to run a 5:45 pace w/o actually racing anybody - sort of like a fast tempo effort, which is what it felt like as it was happening. I also believe that due to my overly detailed analysis of my paces, HRs, etc that unless I can clearly prove to myself that I can run a certain pace - the "central governor" is just locked down and almost unable to be moved. We were thinking that due to the 5:45 pace as opposed to the 5:55 pace I was running in workouts, perhaps we loosened the governor a quarter turn or so. So the idea of Wednesday's workout was to go and test that theory and run some more up-tempo stuff, check the HRs, gather up some data and see where we're at.
The workout coach decided on: 6 x 800m w/ 2.5-minute breaks. Start at the 5k pace of 5:45 and bring each subsequent rep down, perhaps reaching 5:20 pace by the end. If the workout felt too easy, she wanted me to up the pace a opposed to shortening the rests, and if the HR got slightly above the Threshold range during the last couple of reps that was OK. (basically my kind of workout - go shorter (800m), faster, w/ a decent rest of 2.5-minutes) Needless to say I was looking forward to this one as soon as it was assigned!
9/13: No running. lifting (upper-A, abs, dead lift) stretching rolling
9/14: AM 4-miles easy @ 7:28 pace
PM 6-miles easy @ 7:08 pace, HR-149