My goal for the day was to get in some longer intervals. I figured that four one-mile intervals separated by a mile at whatever pace felt comfortable would be about right.
The humidity returned today. Temperatures were in the 70s as I was running, not great but not torturous either. I used the first two miles of my usual 12(-ish) mile loop for a warm up, and then I picked up the pace to start the first interval.
I’m still trying to figure out what my marathon pace is going to be in October. A 7:40 pace is a 3:21 marathon, a 7:50 pace is a little over 3:25, and an 8 minute pace gets me to the finish just ahead of my (maybe-)Boston-qualifying time of 3:30. I figured I’d run the intervals at a sustainable pace and see what my watch told me to try to get a better idea of whether anything significantly faster than a mBQ might be do-able.
I ended up running at a level of effort that wasn’t too challenging, but was probably more than I could sustain for 26 miles. My splits for the first two miles were 7:37 and 7:39. On the third mile my pace went up to 7:47, but that mile was mostly uphill so I wasn’t too discouraged.
Usually I finish this particular route by running the Winchester/Arlington side of the Mystic Lakes, but the road on that side is fairly hilly. Today I decided to run on the Medford side instead. It cut the run a little short, but let me run my last interval on a route that was comparatively flat.
I thought I was cruising along at an appropriate level of effort, maybe not quite as fast as my first two miles, but still a little faster than marathon pace. That section of the course was much easier than the third mile, so I was surprised when I found I’d run a 7:51, the slowest split of all.
These were not the encouraging results I was hoping for. If my actual marathon pace was sub-7:40, I’d be pretty happy. Unfortunately, today even the 7:50 pace didn’t feel like one I could keep up for 26 miles. But I’m not too worried. It’s still early, maybe not as early as it used to be, but I’ve still got two more months of training and tapering before the marathon. That, and the cooler weather in October, will hopefully add up a performance I’ll be satisfied with at Cape Cod.
(10.4 mi. run; 147#)