We finished another night at the track.  It was one of my favorite workouts so far – 5 4:00 repeats for a total of 20 minutes. 

I prefer longer intervals for training.  I doubt that I'll ever be a sub 6:00 miler, but I know there's a very good chance that I'll be a consistent 3:45 marathoner.  The opportunity to get into a groove, the chance to methodically hit miles in 8:00, the rhythmic circling of a track .. these are the things that I enjoy when I run repeats.

Last night, Coach Paul gave us simple advice – run @ the pace you'd be comfortable running for 45 minutes.  After some quick math, I decided that I could maintain 7:00/mile pace for 45 minutes if someone was chasing me.  In my head, I decided to run our workout between 1:42 and 1:45.  From that point, maintaining pace was simple.  I needed to hit the 100s in ~26 seconds. 

The first lap was a little tough.  I was running with a couple other people.  We sped up and slowed down as we hit the 100 meter marks (24 for the first one, 26 for the second ) we were struggling to find consitency.  Finally, we settled into a groove and hit the first quarter in 1:42, the next quarter in 1:41.  We were able to run this way through the first two 4:00.  Each quarter mile completed between 1:41 and 1:43 (some wind on the straightaway slowed us down).

On the third repeat, Coach Paul threw us a curve ball.  We weren't going to start from our usual spot where the 100s were clearly marked.  Rather, we were starting 50 meters further back.  We'd have to rely on the way we felt for managing pace. 

I've done enough of these by now to know what 1:35 feels like compared to 1:38 compared to 1:42.  When we started the third repeat, we were definitely @ 1:38.  I wanted to stick to my plan and slowed it down just a little bit.  This time, I hit the quarter in 1:40.  It felt good so I stuck with it.

For the next three repeats, the pace was between 1:40 and 1:42.  By the time the workout ended, I felt like I could have run that pace all night. 

That's the feeling that I'm hoping to have on October 29.  I want to get into a rhythm and just run. I know that without Coach Paul and my running friends I'd never be where I'm at today.