I decided to work on speed and see if my longer distance trail running has helped with core and endurance for short races at faster speeds. So I went to Pineland east side and put the hammer down.
The first half of this trail is mostly flat and downhill with only a few ups. I felt a little winded at first but swung my arms a bit and concertrated on running fast. The first half was pretty good.
I figured I would settle in a bit by two miles, continue picking up the pace and finish strong with negative splits. The first mile was a little disapointing at 8:47.
I felt like I was running faster but surely was not putting in enough effort with a peak heart rate reading of only 155, I should be hitting the 160s. I passed a girl walking the other way and felt I must look pretty strong to her as my form felt really good and my breathing steady.
The second mile felt much harder as I started hitting the hills. I felt worse, searching for more air on the hills and wishing I could stop. The 2nd mile split turned out better at 7:57 and a max HR of 159, closer but still not enough.
I planned on hitting race pace on the 3rd but started hitting the real hills which seemed never ending. I could tell I was running slower but working harder. I wanted to quit in the worst way. I was telling myself I didn't need to do this. It wasn't a race for Christ's sake.
I forced myself to keep going as I did set up virtual racer at an 8:50 pace for 3 miles. I had to at least beat that. That damn virtual racer beat me the last time.
I kept going and finished the 3rd mile split at a 9:08 pace and Heart rate max of 166 (proof I was working pretty hard even if the speed wasn't there). I passed the same girl as mile one and felt surely she was surprised to see me in this state of exhaustion. gasping for more air and probably hunched forward because of tired muscles. I found myself wishing I could stand a little taller crack a small smile prooving I was as fresh as ever....but I couldn't find the strength to do it.
I beat stupid virtual guy and decided to continue at least I more mile as I didn't kick at the end of 3 and it doesn't feel finished until I kick. My 3 mile pace averaged out to 8:38. Not quite what I had planned.
The 4th mile felt better (no hills) and I finished with a little kick @ 8:30 giving me an 8:36 for the 4 mile run. I was so winded and tired. I felt like I just ran a sub 7 minute 5k.
Overall, I guess I am disapointed. I seriously felt the long trail running on such technical trails as Bradbury and Pineland would give me a stronger 5k. After this run, I guess I was wrong. At only 8:30 pace I was feeling like I could not continue and had no reserve for a decent kick. Even though it was 80 degrees today and it was X-country, at 166 heart rate, I should have at least pulled off a 7:40 or 7:50 5K.
I guess I will not worry too much about it right now as I still have the 12 miler coming up next weekend and then the surgery so I figure I will regroup after I start running again and figure out how I should train for the future.