On a spur of the moment, I decided to join some people for a track workout, something my legs haven't seen or even thought about in a long time. I got there a bit early so I could get in a decent (and slow) warm-up by myself then ran with Scott and Jocelyn (and later the always cheery Chris Cummins) before the workout. Scott and Jocelyn were doing 2x1.5 @ 6:10 pace and then a 1 mile so I decided that sounded like it would be fun and joined in for some slam bang fun.
Note: I have not 'abandoned' the HR training plan, I've just started modifying it to gradually include more threshold work and higher intensities so by the time February rolls around (first race) I'll be able to lay down a pretty good time while still peaking for New Orleans (in an ideal world, of course).
Jocelyn, being the excellent pacer that she is, led everything on pretty exact pace for the first one (9:16) and then a bit faster for the second (9:11). She and I did one more mile and for whatever reason I decided to progress each lap and ended up with a 5:55. It's amazing how different those paces feel. 6:10 feels very comfortable. My breathing is regular, controlled and I don't experience any acid buildup in my legs. I guess speed-work really does have it's benefits. All told got in 9.75 with warm up and cool down today. I think I'm going to shoot for 60 this week, not 55.