I've not been feeling very good on my runs lately. My back and sciatic nerve problems that I was having last month are completely healed up and I've been getting in somewhere between 70-100 miles a week for the past few weeks, but I've had very few runs in the past two weeks that felt good.
Most of the runs just feel sort of awkward and slow.
The strange thing though is that whenever I keep track of my times over a known distance I'm running about 20% faster than I usually do. My typical pace when I'm just jogging on flat terrain has always been somewhere between 7:30-8:00 per mile. Lately though I've been noticing that my "jogging" pace is somewhere between 6:30-7:00. Only when I'm running technical trails or gaining a lot of elevation am I running as slow as 8:00 miles.
Today I ran an 8k race as a tempo training run. I didn't feel very good on the run and I felt like I was going very slow, especially in the second half of the out and back race. My time at the turnaround was 15:30 and then strangely I ran the second half in just under 14 minutes (about 5:40 pace), even though it felt slower than the first half. 29:30 isn't by any means fast for an 8k but it was strange to me just how slow it felt and just how much faster I feel like I could have gone if I was feeling "normal" and was pushing myself 100% rather than the 85-90% that I estimate that I pushed myself today. The thing is though that I've never really had the speed to run an 8k much under 27:00 so a 29:30 should not have felt slow to me at all.
I guess it's a good thing that I'm running faster than I feel like I am, but I'd rather be fast and feel fast. It's just such an odd feeling to not have the accurate sense of the speed that I'm moving that I've always had.