I am considering running this morning, my legs feel awesome and my energy is very good.
I've been trying to plan my training for the rest of the year and I have a rough plan in mind that involves simply running at HR 135-145 until I plateau in pace, then race a few short races including some tempo workouts... then step back and repeat the HR 135-145 focus. The main goal of this is to get truly fit aerobically and also to keep the effort moderate enough to build to consistent high mileage at altitude and still be able to adapt. I have 42 weeks until the Phoenix Marathon on January 17th which is a tentative goal race. By giving myself 42 weeks to adapt, the increase can be gradual and intelligent. With no races planned this year I will not be tempted to push too hard and I will be more apt to take rest weeks regularly.
Running at HR 135-145 and not by perceived effort will allow me to more accurately judge any plateaus in my fitness. I've gravitated away from the HR monitor in the last year, and although I believe it eventually will be the correct thing to do again, I want to get back to using it simply so I can monitor progress with out racing. Also by using the HR monitor I will build my pace faster and faster, where simply running by perceived effort doesn't as much. In the past it has worked well for me to simply focus on this HR range which eventually becomes more and more difficult as the pace drops. In theory- the faster I can run while remaining very aerobic, the higher my fitness will peak. It will be hard to focus solely on a race that is 2.5 years away but if I can do it, it will prove to be the correct path.