(I didn't end up running with our usual running group last night; got there 5 minutes late & they'd already taken off. So instead, I decided to finish running my errands & then just do the 6 mile run the next day, i.e., today. :) )
Today's workout was supposed to be 6 miles at an easy 11:00 pace. Ended up running 6.5 miles in 1:05:58, or about a 10:08 pace. As you can see, I ended up running a little bit faster than that. :)
[To be more precise, I ran the first 4.46 mi in 45:58, (10:18 pace) before my iPod's batteries died on me. :) I guestimate that the final 2.04 mi were run at about a 10:15-10:30 pace. (So, the above overall pace calculation is a rough approximation.)]
Frankly, it's been a real challenge to slow down on the easy days, especially since my unconscious "easy running set point" these days seems to be around a 10-minute mile. However, I know that it's necessary, as the body needs to recover after all the effort put into weekly track practices (on Tuesdays). Otherwise, I'll be "biting the dust" by the time Tuesday rolls around again. :) Got to to be fresh for track practice!
What a great day for a run! When I left to run around 5:25 pm, it was 42 degrees! Only needed 2 top layers & light weight convertible gloves. (No neck gaitor needed at this temperature!) Surprisingly, I kept both top layers & gloves on for the entire run; this was really strange because normally at this temperature, I'm peeling off the gloves & top layer by about the first or second mile into the run. (Whatever temperature you run at is supposed to feel 20 degrees warmer!)
Here's the simple explanation: Slower pace = less effort expended during the run = less perspiration = less body warmth = all layers staying put. :)
Also, here's another reason: After four weeks of the running clinic, I can definitely feel a tangible improvement in my overall fitness. The obvious signs/evidence of this: A 10-minute mile pace used to take more effort to sustain, now it feels a bit too easy.
I was breathing really easily at today's 10:08-ish pace, & didn't start to tire until about the final 1/2 mile. The speed work & increased mileage are definitely paying off!
Other news: Tomorrow is the USATF XC Championships. Erik & I, along with several of our friends from the running club, will be volunteering for this exciting event, which features many elite athletes along the lines of Deena Kastor, etc., etc.
If you'd like to attend this event, please visit this link for more information.
If you do decide to go to this event, please keep in mind the following:
--There will be no parking at the race site & access to Agricultural History Farm Park is closed to both private vehicles and foot traffic, so you'll need take the shuttle to & from the event. The shuttle runs approximately every 10-15 minutes. (See the aforementioned USATF link for additional information regarding shuttle schedule & stops.)
--Also, spectators will need to purchase a full day event pass (i.e., wrist ID band), which costs $10 for adults & $5 for minors (cash & checks only). These wrist ID bands will only be available for sale on the event shuttles & include unlimited transportation & access to all activities. This wrist ID band is required for entrance into Agricultural History Farm Park.