Yes, 3 seconds are all it was. The goal for the Australian Running Festival was to run a post-fatigue 5km PB. My quickest 5km since the dreaded acquired training intolerance was 22:55 at the Women and Girls Fun Run last year and that same time at Stromlo just recently. Today I managed to get in just ahead of that time at 22:52 (passed again by ET [22:46] in that final km). It was not a well executed 5km! I arrived late, so had a very poor warm up, and then ran the first km a tad quick (4:15min). The first 3 km went well and then it was a hard 2 km slog to the finish! Conditions were a bit too warm for my liking, but otherwise it was a great little run. The slight rises keep you honest (and miserable!) and the slight declines are bliss. As my Polar recorded the distance at 5.09 km, split info isn't helpful, or the last split looks simply horrible. It seems I'm back to where I was at about this time last year, before it all fell apart again in the lead up to City to Surf. The big question is, will there be more gains, or will I reach the tipping point again? While the long runs are mostly slogs, so far there has been no bad muscle pain or tiredness. Thing is, it does feel like I'm sitting right on the edge. However, it also feels like I could go quicker if I can get the training balance right! Of course, who knows what that actual balance is? It's not like there are training guidelines for ATI.
It may as well be a breath taking edge :-)
It's all about letting the body decide what it will or will not do and to not get too caught up in trying to follow too specific a plan. As the OCD type of runner I am, that's rather challenging (tic, tic)! That said, what works for one person does not work for another and there are some amazing runners that do little in the way of kms. I may miss those wonderful long trail runs that are the bread and butter of the distance runner. However, it is almost just as satisfying to go out and do some targeted intervals and see some improvement in performance in response. More patience is probably required and gains will slow down. The next goal is sub 22:30, but it may be another 6 weeks or so before I can get close to that.
To all my running friends doing the full marathon or the half marathon in Canberra tomorrow, I wish you all the very best!!