In my never ending quest to mix things up a little (well, actually because I got lazy on Sunday), I opted to do a tempo run yesterday. I wanted to do 60 minutes, but I got a late start (after 6PM). I scaled it down to 45 minutes. The plan was 10 min warm up, 25 min tempo, 10 min warm down. I started at the NAC, which makes the opening 10 minutes tough. Either way I go I have a hill to climb. I decided finally to go north. Even though this would mean that I am running on roads with cars for a good portion of my run, I would have an almost limitless run out because of the Upper Back Bay trail.
I was hoping that my rest day would help rid me of some of the nagging pains I've been feeling lately, especially my left shin. I think the day off was good. I had no pain, and felt pretty strong the entire run. My goal was to hit 90% MHR - around 160 bpm. It actually took me 3.4 miles to hit and maintain 160 bpm. I held that heart rate only 5 minutes before warm down began. Pace was good too, in the upper 8's and lower 9's. I was very satisfied even with mile 3, where even with the uphill trudge, I managed a 9:30 pace.
Granted, I still have a long way to go to be competitive in this age group. But, when I look back at where I was a year ago, I am very pleased. My next test will be the Harbor Heritage 5K on October 11th. My goal is to break 26 minutes, which means 8:22 per mile. Gulp. Need to make sure I schedule a couple of rest days beforehand I guess!