Rusty said a 2mile @90-91sec/quarter, rest, 2 by 1mile at 87sec/quarter, rest, an 800.

I considered that and felt that I probably couldn’t do it. My group-mates expressed similar sentiments.

I have a thing about 6 minutes miles. I’ve had it for at least 5 years. I know I can do a 6 minute mile, I don’t think I can go any faster. So I wasn’t sure if I could do two miles in 12 minutes, but I was almost certain I could not do one mile in 5:48.

Oddly my group-mates seemed to feel the reverse, for them the 2mile run sounded harder.

As I said I’ve had this thing about 6 minutes for years. Even in the days when I could run a 10K at 6 minute pace I felt I couldn’t go faster on the track. Now, I can’t run a 10K at that pace, and it’s hard, but possible to run 6 minutes for a mile.

WatchAnyway we started. Eric was in the lead and the first quarter was 91. Perfect. Eric is good at pacing. Then it started to feel hard, but I pushed on. Another 91. This is often the case, the first lap feels easy-ish because one is fresh, then one tires by the second lap, but on the third lap I’ve warmed up and it’s easier again. I decided I should try leading, so I lead for two laps, and we finished the first mile at 6:03. Then Eric and Jill took over again while I dropped back and just tried to hold on. We finished in 12:03.

I was quite proud of that. I had been in real doubt as to whether I could hold the pace for 2 miles.

Then a four and a half minute jog/rest. And then…

A fast mile. I didn’t think I could make it. But I was going to try. By the 200m mark there was already a significant gap between me and Eric and Jill. The first quarter was 90. The next quarter was 93 and now Brian was well ahead. But I felt a little better and the third quarter was another 90. At the mark Rusty shouted that I should catch Brian. And somehow I did. I sped up. I passed Brian. I ran an 88. That was almost the pace I should have run the whole thing in. 6:01 for the mile.

Could I have done the whole mile at 88? It certainly didn’t feel that way on lap 2. Somehow it feels as though I need those first two laps as an additional rest before I can run faster? I don’t know.

Three minute rest/jog.

Another fast mile. This one is even harder. 91 on the first lap. 95 on the second. 92 on the third. And then, out of nowhere, 87 on the last. 6:05 mile.

Rusty tells me I can stop.

Now, two days later, I look back. Could I have run the miles at 5:48? Rusty thought I could. I thought I couldn’t. Did my negative attitude keep me from doing my best? I certainly ran the last quarters of each mile at pretty much the right pace — but I don’t think that was sustainable. More the horse sensing the stable door, final sprint thing.

My 10K mile pace has gone up by ~18 seconds in the last six years, but my mile workout pace on the track remains about 6 minute.

Rusty clearly thinks I can do better. He keeps telling me I should still be able to run a 10K at 6 minute pace. If I can run two miles at 6 minutes, why can’t I run one at 5:48? I see that my slow-down is in line with that predicted by the age-graded tables. But Maggy hasn’t slowed down, so …

How do I push/convince myself to run faster?

And then, to add injury to quandary, my shin-splints are back. And only 9 days to the race.

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