Today I went out with the goal of doing another 5 miles at a sub-7:00/mile pace; I was shooting for 6:50/mile. I ran the 1st mile in 6:35, second in 6:45 and ended up at a 6:53/mile pace average.
Distance: 4.96 miles (7.98k)
Time: 34:13 (6:53/mile)
Music of choice: Incubus - Make Yourself
BPM: 68 - 172
The first mile was a bit fast and I certainly felt it in my breathing; it was beyond conversational. The second mile felt better (more fluid, less 'muscling through it', but my breathing hadn't relaxed just yet). I pushed myself to keep up the pace as best I could gauge through the next mile or so, but I could still tell the pace was slowing. At roughly 2.5 miles I began to notice my breathing rate relaxing. I kept the pace up and simply monitored my breathing. The final 1.0 - 1.5 miles felt great and was at a normal conversational level as far as my breathing goes.
So my lesson for today is that if I find I pushed myself too hard, decrease the pace a little and the breathing will relax in time.
On another note, I talked to a friend today who ran both X-country and track in high school and runs quite regularly still. I told him about how I use my breathing rate as a monitor while running and that I'm going to attempt a 7:00/mile pace at the half marathon - he just started laughing. He said it's amazing to see how much I've changed in just over a month; being barely able to keep up with him on morning 5k runs to now being more technically inclined in my running than he has been in 12 years of running. He still has me beat with an 18:00 5k time, but maybe I've got him on the longer distance. We shall see!
My right shin gave me some trouble today during the run, so depending on how it feels tomorrow, I may opt for a walk and some cross-training. Ciao!