My run this morning brought me over the 2000 mile mark on my Polar watch - since I got it on 14th October last year. The monthly mileage splits making up this total go something like this:-
Oct'06 - 51 miles (incl Dublin City Marathon)
Nov'06 - 127 miles
Dec'06 - 155 miles
Jan'07 - 221 miles
Feb'07 - 122 miles
Mar'07 - 153 miles (incl Barcelona Marathon & recovery)
Apr'07 - 277 miles
May'07 - 220 miles
Jun'07 - 97 miles (incl Cork City Marathon & recovery)
Jul'07 - 288 miles
Aug'07 - 298 miles (heading for a 300+ month)
If I add the 600 or so miles I recorded between starting running on 8th January 2006 and 14th October 2006 gives a total mileage on my legs of 2,600.
For this morning's run I had planned another 8 fast miles (150 HR) sandwiched between some easier miles. Before setting out I was wondering whether or not I was sufficiently recovered to take on a hard effort run. I ran a warmup mile from the gym to the park and stretched. There were two other runners stretching also. I don't know was it the presence of the other runners or what but I set off on my hard effort at little harder than necessary. I didn't know if I could sustain the effort for 8 miles and thought of cutting it short at 4 or 5 miles and call it a "bad" day. Everyone else seems to have one so why can't I (I did - I had a few last week)
However I persevered, all the time thinking this should be easier than it feels - how am I going to run a half marathon on Sunday week at a faster pace than this, and on a more hilly course and warmer - 11:00 o'clock start. I don't like it when self doubt creeps into my runs. While my HR went into the mid 150's during the second half of the run I did not ease the pace to keep to the target 150. HADD recommends increasing the HR by 5 bpm as fitness gains are achieved - this was my reasoning.
I finished the 8 fast miles and decided to add an extra lap of the park to my warmdown - no time pressures as I have the next three days off work (Kids back to school next week and all that).
When I finished the run and got home I had a look at the times as follows:-
12.4 Miles in 01:30:47 (07:19 pace @ 143 HR avg)
8 faster miles in 55:18 (06:55 pace @ 150 HR avg)
While I knew the effort was higher than normal I didn't think I was running sub 7 minute pace. I am pleased with the time, as first of all it explains why I felt more stressed than normal, secondly it shows I can run hard after a high mileage week (87 miles) and finally the 06:55 pace is faster than my half marathon PB pace of 07:04. Suddenly all thoughts of a hillier warmer course on Sunday week are gone (for the moment).