I had to put it on the back-burners for a few years as I was concentrating on my best imitation of an endurance tortoise. But with a good base after doing Goofy and Napa I decided I was ready to kick it up a notch. I've been doing a modified version of Higdon's plan. I have been trying to follow his prescription of intervals, tempo, and goal-pace runs since I really have no clue how these things should be utilized.
I have definitely seen gains in my running pace. An easy pace for me used to be in the high 10:00's during Goofy training and now I'm back down in the high 9:00's to low 10:00's which I consider to be my average plodding pace. However, I still consider a sustained 9:00 min/mile effort to be more of a 10K effort vs. a half marathon effort at this point.
So this morning I figured I could rattle off three 9:00 miles with some effort, but hopefully nothing too painful. I do most of my pre-work early runs on a bike path along the beach. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that the area can be very windy. Since it is a straight bike path you generally get a glorious tailwind in one direction and a nasty headwind in the other.
I got out of my car and was blasted by wind. Wonderful. I took off running south to warm up for a bit. The wind was at my back and I felt good. Garmin reports I did a 9:58 pace for my warm-up period. Then I turned north into the wind to start the 9:00's. Thinking back I should have planned a little better. Maybe warm-up into the wind so I could start the pick-up with the wind at my back. At any rate, the wind was kicking something fierce today. It wasn't just gusting every now and then, it was a constant tirade with butt-kicking gusts thrown in for good measure. I was really trying to up my pace and Garmin said I did that first 0.5 mile of the pick-up into the wind at a 9:50. Umm...okay, I was just plodding along not even trying and hit a 9:58, and now I'm pushing really hard and you say I did a 9:50?!
Let me officially declare that I HATE RUNNING INTO THE WIND. I kept up the effort for probably 0.25 miles more and threw in the towel. I just didn't have it in me this morning. I probably should have given it a perceived 9:00 effort and told Garmin to shove it where the sun don't shine but I didn't. I pulled back to a comfortable pace and decided to run 4 miles easy. Well, it didn't feel all that easy because half the run I was fighting GOD. I believe this was the last goal-pace run of the training program and it obviously did not go well. Oh, Wind, I shake my fist at you!