Showed up at the Y at 5:24. Keith, Raj, and eventually Dixie showed up. Ran a short warm up while waiting for Dixie then set out on our run. My smartcoach plan said to do 4 miles at 6:48. The group usually does about a 7:00 pace so I figured that would be reasonably close enough and I could always pick up the pace for the last mile. Instead, they wanted to do a 7:20 pace. So, as a compromise I decided I would do the first three with them at 7:20 pace and then do 2 more on my own at the 6:48 pace.
The weather was warm (71 degrees) and humid (about 90+%). After about a 1.5 mile warm up we started at the 7:20 pace. With the weather, it didn't feel so easy and I was having some doubts about picking up the pace on my own after three miles. Fortunately, the pace soon felt better and once the first 3 miles were done, it was not a problem to pick up the pace. In fact, I felt really good at that point and found myself at a faster pace with what I thought was a 6:48 effort. Last two miles were in 6:30 and 6:28.
Average pace: 7:40
Jogged back the rest of the way to the parking lot, stretched a little bit then went inside for a few sets of weights.
I felt really good about today's run. It wasn't the longest or fastest tempo run that I have done, but I felt surprised by how good the last two miles felt. I'm hoping I'll have this speedy feeling for the Clearwater half marathon in a week and a half.