So, I've hit a plateau with respect to my running speed. Even though (according to Garmin) I managed to run a 6:09 mile earlier this year on the track, during speed work yesterday I managed 93-105 second quarter mile intervals, meaning a 6:12 to 7:00 min pace.
Probably due to a number of issues- nutrition, humidity, the fact I was on asphalt and not on a track- these all probably play a role. But I really should face the fact that I won't be getting faster this season. I shouldn't even want to- the stress on the body is big, and since the big race is three and a half weeks away, I should play it careful and not tempt fate.
And the strange thing is, I probably won't tempt fate this way. It's not like I actually really like speed work. I like the results. I like the camaraderie of everyone feeling like they've been steamrolled together. I like the fact that what was normal has become easy, and what was fast has become normal. But I'm not hugely fond of redlining my body in anything other than a race.... it's uncomfortable, and the chance of injury is high.
This summer has, however, been very useful in teaching me what I can do. So to extend the plateau metaphor for a bit, I think I'll stop, take a rest, and admire the view. I'm in this for the long haul. Getting faster is nice, but it isn't why I'm in this, any more than losing weight or getting medals. They are only a happy side effects. :)