On my schedule was mile repeats at 5:20 pace. During my warm-up I decided to experiment a little with my perception of pace. I changed the workout to mile repeats at perceived effort of 5:20 pace. I started my watch at the beginning of each, then didn't look at any splits.
On mile 1 I simply ran what I thought 5:20 would feel like.
Mile 1 in 5:07.
On mile number 2 I simply ran the same effort- which was quite comfortable.
Mile 2 in 5:07.
On mile number 3 I tried to just relax and stay within my comfort zone.
Mile 3 in 5:10.
On the last one I wanted to push and experiment with suffering comfortably. Each time I thought I needed to slow down, I sped up. Once I realized that the suffering wasn't getting worse by doing this I never really felt I needed to slow down. My "safety word" if you will, was "I can sustain this". I kept making sure that I could honestly say it each time I rated my exertion level.
Mile 4 in 4:56.
Here's a little dialogue to help me explain my last mile:
"Ok, here we go.. start the watch.. do NOT look at the 200 split!"
"This feels good. Quick, solid. Relax. Just chill through the 800."
"Ok. Just one more lap then you're on the last lap"
"I want to ease up a bit, no sense in killing it"
"Can I sustain this effort to the mile?"
"Pick it up just a bit... lets kill it."
"Ow.... sort of. I guess it's not THAT bad. It's not really pain."
"Can I hold this?"
"400 to go. Fu*king head wind! Push through this- you're just fine.. I can hold this."
"Pick it up, relax... This aint so bad."
"I'll bet it'll be 5:05."
"The world record in the marathon is 4:44 pace... shit."
pm) Walked with Ben on the trails for over an hour... the best recovery workout I've ever done.