Thanks for the compliments on last night's speedy 4 miler. Certainly, those were not usual digits for me (consistently running sub-9 min/miles for 4 miles has never happened before); however, in the past few months, you're right to observe that I have been working on getting faster.
I suppose D10 already said it best when she observed her own increase in speed, but I will repeat her thoughts here because they are so in synch with my own.
See from Sept '06 through Oct '07, I was pretty much solely focused on marathon training. First for Disney and then later for Chicago. And I think I was just so focused on completing the distances, I didn't even conceive of the idea that I could be pushing myself to go faster. After Chicago, when I resolved that I would lay off the full marathon for awhile, I started to see what I was capable of over shorter distances. At first, it was hard. I was so used to zeroing in on my marathon pace -- 10:30/mile -- that to pick up the pace was difficult.
But slowly, I have seen gradual increases in my speed ability. No, I have not been consciously doing tempo runs or speed intervals -- essentially my method has been much more simplistic: run faster. Plus, something I read somewhere (honest to god, I don't know where -- either in RW or on someone's blog) has stuck with me: "If you want to run faster, you have to run faster." In other words? All that time spent "wishing" I could run faster was useless; turns out I had actually had to push my little legs to go faster in order to see any difference. Weird, huh?
Anyhoo, by no means can I hang with the fast chicks yet, but the improvement is certainly satisfying.
In other news, it's 50 degrees here in South Florida today -- very frigid -- but to me, that means perfect running temps. So, later I plan on putting in something between 6-7 miles. I'm sure I won't be able to replicate yesterday's speed, nor would it be my aim to do so, but I'm looking forward to something a little lengthier.
Have a good Thursday, peeps!