15.22 mi, 2:01:12, 7:58 avg
The scheduled run for today was 14-16 miles at aerobic pace. In other words, don't start out too slow, keep a nice steady pace, a little faster than easy pace but short of marathon goal pace.
I knew I'd get the miles in but I wasn't sure how my legs would react. I've been fortunate this time around to not suffer from chronic dead legs like I did last fall, which makes the running itself more enjoyable. Each run seems to have a purpose, alternating between shorter and easy and some sort of intervals either short and fast or longer and still pretty fast, or a long run with some sort of twist.
Training through the summer and into the fall means slowly getting nicer weather but still warm enough that it's a factor. Ideally I'd start when it's still dark and have a few miles in by the time it starts getting light. But, work/life/run balance means that doesn't quite happen. So, today's run started at 7:34 am by the time I had dropped off my cooler on the course and did my warm up so I could get onto pace. Started out at Longleaf with simple route up Starkey Blvd bike path and into Starkey park. Cooler at 2.7 miles and hopefully there'd be some cold water at the water stops in the park, but as a back up plan there are some ground temperature water faucets.
First mile at 8:41, not quite the 8:00-8:20 range I wanted but hey it's still the warm up. Next mile at 8:10, then the next miles hovering plus/minus 8:00, and last 4 miles getting faster - 7:50, 7:53, 7:40, 7:34.
It was a good sign when I got to my cooler and it was there and still filled with what I had put in it, including my small handheld bottle - was nice not to have to carry it starting out.
Not too many people out running, saw Tom heading back when I was a little over a mile in and then various people I didn't recognize and a good number of people on bikes.
There was some nice cold water in the park and it was a big relief when I hit the turnaround and was still feeling good. I kept on holding my pace until finally let myself speed up a little bit.
Ended up two seconds faster than my faster end of the goal, compared to what I ran at NYC last fall this itself would have been a good marathon pace, but I'm hoping this time around I can get into the low 3:20's or maybe even break 3:20. Still a ways to go to December.
But, as a warning, ended up with a tender spot on my left calf. Didn't seem to affect my running and felt a bit better the next day. It was right near yesterday's bee sting (or maybe some other stinging insect because I didn't actually see it biting me). Might have thrown my gait off slightly.
After the run, showered and did some stretching and then met Tom and Andy at TiresPlus to have the truck brakes looked at and also took them to lunch at Lucky Dill. Stopped by the Palm Harbor house after lunch, which they hadn't seen yet. Truck wouldn't be ready until tomorrow morning so Andy borrowed my car. Truck was back in action the next day, coming up on 15 years on reliable service.