I woke up, worked, and finally dragged myself out the door at half past noon. It was a BEAUTIFUL day – overcast and around 70, even at noon. I had commitments beginning at 2:30 so I knew that if I was going to run today, I had to get out the door by at least half past noon. (Talk about waiting until the last possible second!)
The first mile started slowly. Within the first quarter-mile, I got a text from a friend that I knew I needed a response. I paused my workout for text. Kind of a slow start.
Once I got to running, though, it went surprisingly well. I began my run telling myself (as usual) that I wasn’t going to try to hold myself to any particular pace, just go with the flow. My legs felt strong.
About a mile and a half into the run, I forgot about my determination to go with the flow (as usual). My pace was STRONG. Surprisingly strong. Remember how I was surprised earlier this week to run a 13:30 pace? Today I was running at under a 13:15 pace – sometimes as fast as 13:04.
When I got to the halfway point (~1.8 miles) and turned around, I realized that I’d been running with the wind at my back. It wasn’t a strong wind, but it must have been enough of a breeze to make a difference – my pace dropped from 13:04 to 13:16.
As luck would have it, I was about 2.5 miles in and approaching the hill that I’ve named Hampton Hill. It took me many years to overcome Hampton Hill – to be able to run all the way up it, nonstop. It’s long, and steep enough that I feel it. Today I went into that hill focused even more than usual on maintaining even effort. I didn’t expect to gain on my pace, but I didn’t want to lose significant time. And doggonit that was a tough hill today!
My goal, from this point on, was to maintain 13:15. Of course I was pleasantly surprised when I beat that. Of course I dug in for the kick during the last half mile or so. And I’m thrilled that today I ran 3.6 miles at 13:10 pace, with NEGATIVE SPLITS (just barely).
When I got home, Sadie gave me a tongue-bath. Adorable.
I switched up my shoes today and wore the pair that’s been giving me a little trouble in the heel area. I didn’t have that trouble today – a little udder cream on my heels seems to have solved the problem – but the remnants of an itchy bug bite on my ankle rubbed a bit, and that was mildly painful.
What do you think?