Ran alone this morning. Standard 10.04 course. Eventually eased into sub-7:00 pace. HR stabilized at 125. Hit the first half in 35:35. On the way back ran the standard 2.5 mile tempo. First 1.25 at 5:40 pace, all quarters 1:25 exact. That for some reason felt brisk in a way, I would not have called it relaxing, but at the same time I felt no urges to run slower. HR fairly quickly, quicker than normal made it to 155. Then I shifted gears into threshold gear. First quarter in 1:21. Thought the uphill one would be 1:23, or 1:22 at the very best, but I ended up with 1:21 again, and felt strong. Another one, which still rolls unpleasantly was 1:21. Earlier I thought maybe I was just being too feisty but now I started to gain confidence in the new level of fitness. Next quarter in 1:20, and kicked it a bit on the last one - 1:16, 13:44 for 2.5 and 5:18 on the last mile. Even caught the 5:30 guy at the very end and beat him by 1 second.
This in and of itself is not a super great accomplishment except that I have been doing this run weekly putting in essentially the exact same effort, and getting the exact same results over the last month or so. I did not feel like I mentally put in any more effort than I did before. What is interesting is that my HR shot up from 155 to 164 within about 0.3 from the time I started running threshold effort, and then eventually maxed out at 169. This HR response was accomplished without extreme mental effort. I also felt that I had the ability to make my legs sore. This may sound like a joke to others but it is a big deal for me. I often find myself in a prize money race in a situation where a little bit more in effort results in quite a bit more in money. I try every imaginable method to push myself to the limit, but the body gives no response. After the finish, the legs feel fresh, and I do not feel tired at all.
The feeling in the tempo was somewhat comparable to running in Arizona in the Del Sol Relay on the first leg. I was running 10 seconds per mile faster than I would have on the same terrain in Utah with the same perceived effort, and I was able to push my HR higher. At this point I feel inclined to attribute the change to a better functioning of the nervous system in response to my efforts to keep blood sugar at a decent level throughout the day.
Finished 10.04 in 1:07:22. Ran a mile later in the morning, half with Julia running and Jacob in the stroller, the other half with her in the stroller as well. Ran another 4 in the afternoon, 1.5 with Jenny, 1.5 with Benjamin, and 1 back and forth watching them play in a park.