So every Monday, I have a "Progressive Build Run". This is where you increase your speed each mile of your run, so that your last mile is significantly faster than your first mile. I've been doing these sorts of runs for a while now, and I've got a pretty good handle on the pacing. I start out at a tortoise pace and then gradually increase to slightly-faster-than-tortoise pace. This sounds simple in theory, but it can be really hard to reign in the pace at the beginning. Especially when other runners on the track are zipping past me. I want to yell at them "I can run that fast, but I'm not on Mile 5 yet! Just you wait!!!"
Today's progressive build run was 6 miles (as it will be for the next 3 weeks), and below is my pace graph that I took great pleasure in charting with Excel. *geek alert* Remember that pace actually decreases as you move up the Y-axis - the lower the point on the graph, the faster the pace. Click to admire the progression full-size:
Let us take a moment to admire that last data point. The final lap. That was a 7:15 pace. Which is not unusual - I have managed that pace for the final lap several times before. However, what's interesting to note is that today, I didn't have to work as hard for it. My heart rate was lower on this last lap than it has been in the past (182 today, versus 184 last week, and this week I ran the entire last mile faster). Which is not to say that it was EASY by any stretch of the imagination. Not at all. But at least I didn't feel like throwing up! It's all progress. :)
Peace. Love. Train