A.M. Gerry Lindgren tempo. Interesting results.
Again, this tempo is done like this - go out hard at your dream pace until you can't. Then run the rest of it at your best pace in that condition.
Warmed up, did some strides to be ready for the 5:00 pace. First mile: 75,77,79,82 - 5:13. Legs started caving on the second(!) quarter. HR never went above 164. The breathing was the hardest in the first quarter. Hmm... - last week I managed a 5:08. Am I holding back, or am I in worse condition?
Second mile: 85,86,86,87 - 5:44. Same as last week for the total, but 87 at the end is a bad sign. HR drops to around 160.
Third mile: 90,90,92,91 - 6:03. 13:57 at 2.5. HR drops to 153(!) Michelle is going to chick me if I run like this for the second half. Emily is going to chick me for the whole tempo. I am trying every trick I know to go faster with absolutely zero results even though I am barely breathing. It feels like the end of a marathon. Some food for thought.
Fourth mile: 92,91,90,90 - 6:03. HR had sporadic spikes to 155 in the last two quarters. Interesting.
Last mile: 91 (up a slight grade), 88, 86, 83 - 5:48, and 28:51 for the tempo. 14:54 for the last 2.5. Emily did not chick me, got to enjoy small success! And I put a whopping 23 second gap on Michelle's second half yesterday. And I outkicked her in the last 200 by a whopping 1 second (40). For sure I thought earlier that she was going to beat me on that segment today. Something interesting happened in this mile. With 1 K to go all of a sudden I started running faster. No heroic effort. The earlier miles when I could not break 6:00 for the life of me were a lot more heroic. But all of a sudden I started breathing like I would in a tempo, HR went up to 160 and I started running 5:44 pace feeling like I could go further.
Jogged some more to make the total 12 miles.
Plenty of food for thought. Clearly a case of neural fatigue. But also an interesting twist. We are deal with some odd resource here. Neural fatigue is just underscoring the importance of that resource, makes it come out more in plain view. Today it got exhausted in a bit over a minute of running at 5:00 pace to where I could not hold that pace anymore. It continued to get exhausted at a pace as slow as 5:44 to the point of not being able to run sub-6:00. Running slower than 6:00 partially replenished it to the point of being able to run 5:44 again, and that replenishment was very sudden. It is not blood lactate levels - if it was, HR would have stayed high to clean up, and the breathing would not have calmed down. Fluctuating blood sugar is a reasonable possibility, but if it was, I should have felt weak and fuzzy headed during the slump, and I did not. There were absolutely no symptoms other than I could not go sub-6:00 no matter how hard I tried. And it felt just like the end of St. Jude last year, and Salt Lake, and Ogden this year. I know I need to go faster, I feel good, the head works, the legs are not sore, I know every second could cost a few hundred bucks, and for the life of me I cannot go faster.
So what is that mysterious resource? My first thought was something in the brain. How do you find out for sure? My first thought was I need a brain scan machine to measure me every day, and see what is different between good days and bad days. But who is going to give me a brain scan machine along with the necessary expertise? That is wishful thinking. Come on, think of something more simple.
After some thought, I had an idea. In the absence of equipment we use the infamous Sasha Science. Question number of one - once we know it is section X in the brain, what are we going to do to fix it? Well, we are going to try a number of different things and measure how they affect that section X. Can we measure how that section X is doing without a brain scan machine? Sure. Gerry Lindgren tempo with the HRM tells us everything we need to know. Only one problem. Gerry Lindgren tempo is a rather invasive measurement. I can do it only twice a week at most. However, here is an idea. Do a whole bunch of those tempos. Always make a prediction for the split at the mile, and the finish time for the whole tempo after the first quarter based on how I feel. Keep doing that until I start getting it right. Once I perfect the skill I will only need to run one quarter in 75 to know what would have happened in the whole tempo. I can run one 75 second quarter every day! So that gives me the benefits of daily monitoring with a brain scan machine without having to pay a cent for it. The beautiful thing is that if I am completely off the target, and it is not in the brain, or if it is but the modern day science has no way of measuring it, the method still works! Columbus thought to the end of his life that he had found a new way to India, but that did not change the consequences of his discovery - thanks to him we are now here in America. Inspired pursuit even with factual errors beats being exactly true to the fact but treading in your own tracks with no inspiration. I can try different things, measure the results, quickly, and hopefully find something that works.
Of course, there is no free lunch. It might take a long time to develop a sense that is keen enough to know what's up from just one quarter. But at least it is worth a shot.
T4 Racer - 410.13 miles.
P.M. 1 with Julia in 9:45, 2 with Benjamin in 16:40 with Jenny joining us for 1.5 in 12:53, and one more mile alone.
Five Fingers - 954.9 miles.