Some days you have it and others you don't. Today was a day I had it!
After work, Mike and I decided to do a nice 5 miler. Mike was a bit stressed and wanted to get some of that out on the run so he started it up a bit faster than I thought we would. While it was a n easy pace for him, it was quick for me, not easy pace at least. Mile 1 was 8:13. In the middle of mile 2, I could tell we were picking it up some but it felt good so I thought no problem. Then he said lets do 6 instead of 5. I rearranged my thoughts and expectations and redialed myself into a 6 mile run. And since we were doing a nice clip, I already decided that this would be a tempo run as well.
I always like to make my tempo runs faster and faster each mile I go. The good news is that mile 1 was the slowest mile of the 6. The great news was that indeed, every mile was faster than the previous mile. Mile 2 was at 7:57. Mile 3 was a slight up hill on the crushed limestone trail until we turned around. 7:49. Now the slight wind was at our backs and down the slight hill for mile 4 in 7:21. I was worried a bit now as that was quite fast for me. Just make it through mile 5 I thought and then I can muster up the energy for mile 6.
It is nice running with faster runners at times. In today's case, Mike kept me moving and when I would pass him, it gave me confidence to keep going. I know it was a walk in the park for him as his marathon pace is just under 7:00, but mile is more like (hopefully) 8:30 to 9:00. We cruised through mile 5 in 7:07 and now I wanted a sub 7. I kept passing Mike and he kept passing me and we hit the parking lot at work right at mile 6 in a final mile time of 6:47. I wasn't even fully drained which is awesome.
The temps had a lot do do with the good run. There was little humidity and it was 70 at most. the sun was out but the cooler temps sure did help. That is the great thing about training for a fall marathon (or 2). You train in the heat and humidity of the summer and then when the fall comes with cooler temps, it feels so much easier to run. You hope and pray that race day is the same as well. I have had the extremes in fall marathons. Chicago in '07 when it reached the lower 90's and then Chicago a mere 1 year earlier when it was 37, drizzling and windy. You just don't know what you will get. I guess that is one of the reasons I usually plan 2 marathons in the fall, in case 1 does not cooperate.
Anyways, it was a great run today. I hope you had a great run as well. One long run planned for this weekend and then the taper begins. How far am I running this weekend? I am not sure yet. I am toying with the idea of running a nice slow easy pace out for an hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours and then back in however I feel. This should get me over 22 to near 24 possibly. We will see.