I had an unexpected turn in my training on Monday, which has surprised me and is very encouraging. The last few months, I’ve been experimenting with some Maffetone Method training methods using a heart rate monitor and slowing down. Yesterday, as I was running, I was wondering if this slow down to speed up stuff is actually working. Sometimes I feel like I just want to open it up an get home already. With patience, I’ve been sticking with the plan. My heart rate is not allowed to go over 141 beats per minute (bpm) but I find myself averaging about 135 after a run. Anyway, back to my jump. Last Monday, I did about 11+ miles with an average pace of 11:30/mile and heart rate at average of 135 bpm. Well, a week later, I did about the same distance with average heart rate at 136bpm . . . . however average pace jumped to 10:35/mi. It’s not a Speedy Gonzalez pace, but I really don’t care. I’m on a 4 year plan and a jump like that is huge. That’s an improvement in performance that is close to 10%. The two runs aren’t my official MAF Test, but the rough numbers are exciting to me. And, Monday night I got sick, so I had a bug brewing in me that morning as well. Headed in the right direction, and pretty excited about it. Am I looking forward to the day I get to open it up and let it fly again? Yeah, baby! But not yet.