My last three 9 mile runs -- this morning, this past Tuesday morning, and the Tuesday previously -- were good, ok and good. On the good runs I wore one pair of shoes. On the ok one I wore a different pair. I've already determined that of my two pairs of running shoes one is good for speed and the other is good for distance. Guess which pair were the ones that enabled me to have good runs.
Anyway, when I went to bed last night the temp outside was 60. I got pretty excited hoping it would drop into the lower 50s by the time I got up at 4:00am. But when I checked while getting ready to run this morning it was... still 60.
It was much more comfortable running weather than Tuesday though, and my time showed. While I didn't run the same exact route as my last two 9 milers, it was pretty close and the total ascent on both routes were pretty similar, within 50 feet. This morning I ran 9.01 miles in 1:16:03. On 9/2 I ran 9.0 miles in 1:16:53. I shaved 50 seconds off what I considered a really nice run, so I'm pretty happy (by contrast, my 9/9 9 miler took me 1:19:05).
On this run, most of the last 3.5 miles were uphill and when I glanced down at my Garmin when I was just about to hit it I saw that I had an average pace of 8:17/mile to that point, about 5.5 miles in, which was a big surprise since I was feeling pretty fresh. The hills hurt though, and I finished with an average pace over the course of the run of 8:26.
I even actually ran one mile in sub 8:00 time. 7:52 to be exact.
This run reminded me of when I used to swim to stay in shape. There are times in the pool when your arms strokes, kicking, breathing and flip turning manage to work in perfect tandem and it honestly feels like you can breathe underwater. The truth is that you're probably going about as slowly as you usually go (if you're me), but it's a great feeling while you've got it. It seemed like I was doing pretty much everything right today, and while the hills toward the end were hard and slowed me down I still felt pretty strong running them.
Now I'm more convinced than ever that I am built far more for shorter distances than I am for marathons. Even though I've felt pretty good running this week I don't know how I'm going to overcome that confirmation.
Obviously, I have more brain work to do than body work in the run-up to October 11.