Project "run slower to run faster" continues. In retrospect, my splits for the weekday workouts are still a bit faster than they should be, though they felt conservative at the time.
For the weekend long run, I had another "4-3-2-1" on tap. I've historically blanked my watch and run these off of feel, but this time I used the pace function on my Garmin to make sure I targeted 7:15 pace - a bit slower than I've run these workouts in the past.
I don't have much faith in Garmin's instant pace function - as the GPS receptors jump from one satellite to the next, the pace reading can fluctuate widely. However, average lap pace seems more reliable - once you're about a 1/4 mile into the rep, there's enough data to smooth out the reading (assuming one doesn't run through tunnels or similar). So I set my Garmin to display average lap pace, and I was off.
1) again, sometimes slower efforts are harder than faster ones. Though "harder" isn't the best term here - "less comfortable" is more accurate. My heart rate was slightly lower running 7:1x (as opposed to 6:5x - which is where I naturally gravitate). However, holding that slightly slower pace felt awkward and I kept wanting to speed it up. By virtue of continuous monitoring of the Garmin, I managed to stay in control for the most part, but as I got more tired towards the end of the run, it became harder to keep the brakes on. I ignored the Garmin for the last mile and just ran by feel and...6:56.
2) Since this is supposed to be a MP workout, and 6:55 is NOT a realistic marathon pace for me right now, this tells me I need to do some more work on holding back. I think each pace works a slightly different system, and I'm slightly weaker in the system that supports MP running, hence the desire to cheat by running faster.
3) At times during the run, I ran into a decent headwind. When I did, I noted that my pace actually would quicken - a result of me overcompensating for the wind. That habit obviously doesn't do me any favors when racing on a breezy day. Mental note to stay relaxed and not fight so much when it's windy.