This was my first official week of marathon training, and also a return to the track, which just reopened after being closed for the summer for construction.
The first workout back is always a bit like ripping a band-aid off, and this one was no exception. After several weeks of cruise intervals and hill repeats, running fast on the track on Tuesday felt strange, and my legs stayed asleep until halfway through the second 1600. Of course, part of this was because I got started warming up a bit late, and so I didn't do any drills or strides before the workout - when you're not limbered up, the first few reps will be...interesting. But part was also the adjustment. I ended up breaking my own rule and doing some 200m repeats just to get the legs turning over (I wanted to do 400s, coach told me 200s, we compromised with 200s at 400 repeat pace).
Similarly, Friday's tempo was an adjustment. I find continuous tempos to be mentally challenging, and doing them in circles on the tracks adds to the difficulty. I've learned that if I'm physically straining during a tempo, I'm running it too hard. Mental struggle is all part of the workout, though. But I got it done and was satisfied with the workout.
This coming week will be a cutback, as I'm racing a 5K on Sunday as a rustbuster. After four weeks at 70-75 miles per week, it's time for a down week, so this works perfectly. Then I'll bump the mileage back up the week after.
In the coming weeks, I'll also be working on trying to keep my interval workouts restrained so that I can max out the reps. I know from past experience that I get my biggest return from a higher volume of controlled intensity. Eight reps of 800m at 3:05 does a lot more for me than six reps at 2:55. I just need to remember that when I actually do the workout.