The first on Tuesday had been a bit of a let-myself-play on a newly measured 5k route. Spent 24 minutes of it above my lactate threshold and definitely NOT at an "easy conversational" pace. Time was 33:32, which isn't going to set the world alight but I'd just graduated so wanted to make sure I covered the full distance while also setting a marker
So today I decided to try some discipline: set a virtual pacer on my watch at 7:15/km, chose a 160bpm playlist instead of my usual 170, and a heart rate warning at 140bpm to (try and) keep it aerobic.
Set off in the rain and settled into a nice rhythm, heart rate levelled out at a pretty constant 138 after the first 10 minutes, and I seemed to be hovering on the shoulder of my pacer at around 20 - 40 metres behind. It was NOT easy to keep hearing that I was trailing him, but the plan was the plan, and I could always try to catch him at the end of the gap didn't open too much!
Got to within sight of the finish, by now hovering round a 140 heart rate and still comfortable enough to exchange a few words with a dog walker as I passed. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for that so, as I crossed the main road - 150m to go and still 20 metres behind the competition - I went for it.
As close to a full-on sprint as I dared with slightly tired legs on tarmac, 32s 150m, and passed my nemesis with about 30m to go to take the imaginary tape It blew my self-imposed heart rate limit out the window for those last few seconds but the watch didn't have time to complain so mehhh
The bonus is that, unlike Tuesday, I really feel like I could go again!