This morning I ran 3 miles on the 5 lap track at 6:02 pace. I've been mixing some indoor mile, 800, and 400 intervals, so felt it was time to see where I'm at. Eight degrees out with no wind, I ran 18:06 for 3 miles. Not great, but not bad for me either. With the exception of the 10 x 440 yds I did last week in 89-90 sec, my indoor intervals on the tight 10 lap track have been slower than 6 min mile pace. Looking back, I should not expect to run any faster.
Here is what I now know. I am getting pretty strong- with help I am confident that I could have hung on for another mile with minimal slow down (I sort of talked myself out of it- easy to do when you run at race pace alone), however dipping much under 6 minutes for just one mile might be a challenge.
Call it forced periodization, but winter is a time for building strength and endurance, not speed. Fit, but slow. Runners from the Midwest know all about it.