Yes, it was too fast for a tempo run, but it felt great. My tempo pace right now should be somewhere around 8 min/mile. But yesterday, after a warm-up segment of 19:10 for two miles, I ran 14:54 (7:28, 7:26). Then, even weirder, I ran 17:27 for for the two miles back to the car. Granted, a lot of downhills in the last mile, but still. The course as a whole is very hilly, and I'm surprised my perception of effort was so far off. It was the first tempo workout I've done in a long time in cooler weather (53 degrees), so maybe that had something to do with it. If nothing else, I hope it means I'm recovered from the marathon, while still retaining the fitness that I had built up.
As a way of seeing where I am right now, I signed up for a 5K this weekend. I have no expectations at all, and I won't even make any goals. I'm going to run purely on feel (while still taking splits, of course) and just see what happens.
Here's the plan for the rest of the week: group run today, 5 miles, plus weights. Tomorrow I'm taking an SRD. And then the race Saturday. I'll try to post this weekend to run down the schedule for next week. I'm hoping it will help me hold myself accountable. :)
The more I think about it, the more I like this gradual-build-up-into-marathon-training plan. Even though I'll be gambling a bit with the weather for Sunburst, I think I've all but decided to do this one no matter what. I continue to have a really good feeling about the upcoming training cycle and marathon, and I feel sure that if I stick to the plan, I'll achieve my sub-4. Right now I'm riding high on motivation, and I hope I can convince it to stick around for a while.