Another tough one! And I finally did some math to figure out why.
We run at LSD pace, 12:30/mile. "Fast" laps are to be at 12:15/mile, or a little over three minutes per 1/4 mile lap. Right? Right. Coach had us running 2:52/lap, in the outside lane. My first four mile splits: 11:47, 10:53, 10:45, 11:10. I can run that fast, on a cool morning or during a race. I can't do it on a hot Wednesday early evening after work.
I kept up with the group for a while, then I hung back. I've been having some shin pain and didn't want to push it that hard for that long. As I stopped for water at some point I saw Coach Don, and I've never been happier (other than when he met us with cold water on Sunday) to see him. I ran the last two miles with him, perfectly on pace and feeling good. We did the recovery laps walking, though, and I'm fine with that. I still ended with an average pace of 11:46. Once I realised that I CAN run what I'm SUPPOSED to be running (and not consistent 11 minute miles, if I could do that I'd be in the 11:20 pace group) I felt really good about the workout.