Today I had a track workout: goal was 4 x 1 mile @ 6:17 with 2:00 rest. Beforehand, I intended to make it as close to the goal as possible. My first one was 6:11 and that was taking it out a bit too fast. So, I really wanted to slow it down and hit that target. I ran 6:15 and it just felt weird. I had to make myself slow down and it just felt forced. So with half the workout done I decided to just run what was comfortable and I came in with a 6:10. I pushed the last half of the fourth mile just a touch and came in in 6:06. I think if I didn't intentionally slow the second one and push the fourth I would have had a nice 6:10ish groove going on. This pace felt good and the workout flew by.
So, I am not going to sweat going a little fast. I will try to go the proper pace, but I'm not going to force it. If I am comfortable and not racing a workout to run faster I will roll with it, but if I have to work to hit the prescribed pace I am not going to bust my butt to run any faster. And I feel pretty good about this policy!