I've been doing this running and training thing for a little more than 2 years so I know that even with the most ideal conditions 4 miles doesn't always feel easy. It worries me a great deal when 4 miles feels more challenging than it should, but I am going to try to remain calm and remember that I've had LOTS of challenging shorter runs and yet the "big" races still turn out alright!!! (fingers crossed that this is the case once again!).
"C" and I did a familiar route, but one that we haven't done in awhile (I really needed a change of scenery from our every week 4 mile route). We started off with a .5 mile walk and then did a 2:15 & 1:45 interval the rest of the way except for one time after a hill we walked through an interval. Our runs were faster than normal - at about a 13:15-13:45 m/m pace - not speed work by any stretch of the imagination, but not our long run pace either. It felt challenging. The final 2 run intervals we pushed the pace to a sub 12:00 m/m which was challenging but not impossible. We did a walking cool down of about .25 miles.
We have one more run before this Saturday's 10 mile race. We like the 10 Mile race because it's local (Yay for no driving at the break of dawn) plus it's a really good chance to practice our race strategy we hope to use during our upcoming September half.
Do you have 3 and 4 milers that feel hard? What have you learned from overcoming these shorter but hard runs? All advice is welcome!!! Thanks!