The ramp up has officially started. Yesterday was eight miles at a general aerobic pace (heart rate less than 85% of max) with ten 100 yard strideouts to wrap things up. Final stats - 9:35 average pace at an average heart rate of 82% of max.
When I looked at my stats after uploading my Garmin, I had to reflect. It wasn't that long ago that my 10K race pace was 9:15, now my 8 mile training pace is 9:35. In fact, a year ago if you would have told me that 8 miles was going to be an "easy" run, I would have told you that you were crazy. The thing that is really amazing is that I am pulling off these training paces without pushing too hard. I've got to credit the consistent running that I've been able to do for the past three months.
The other thing that amazes me is that after 22 months, I still look forward to each run (well, maybe as long as it's less than 15 miles). I am finding that I'm no longer holding myself hostage to my watch. I really don't care if I take a walking break here and there. It doesn't bother me to stop for a few moments to enjoy the view or the wildlife along the way. I am comfortable with the fact that in the big picture, it's the accumulation of the miles and time that make the big difference. I think because of that, I've managed to keep things fresh.
Today I'll be back on the ergometer. I believe today's workout is 5 minute warm up (stroke build), then 4 sets of 4 minutes on 2 minutes rest, and a 1 minute warm down. This one should have me huffing and puffing!