8/2/12 Training

Quick and short describes today’s run. My marathon training schedule called for a three mile run at marathon race pace, but I wanted to run a pace quicker than yesterday’s run. Not only was the distance a mile shorter, but the temperature was about six degrees cooler than yesterday. These factors all pointed to a quicker run.
The one detail of today’s run that did not favor a quicker pace was location. Today’s run was near Lake Jacomo, an area noted for its hills. Luckily, today’s route was based north of the lake where the hills are much more gradual compared to south of the lake where I typically run my hill repeats. That being said, it is still contains more hills than my usual routes near my neighborhood.
For the most part, the first mile was downhill. This helped ensure I started at a good pace, also helped by a few quick strides before starting the run. This helped eliminate or at least decrease the stiffness I typically feel in the first half mile of each run.
The second mile was pretty uneventful. I pretty much concentrated on running a quicker mile than the first but still having enough for a good final mile. The thing that struck me in this mile was the impact of finding a fast but comfortable pace.
The third mile had two challenging hills in the last half mile. The thought of almost being finished helped push through each hill, but it was after the last hill that made today’s run. Not very often, but there are times when runs feel really good. It might be catching your second wind halfway through a tough workout or other times when you feel like you can measure your advancement right then. At the top of the last hill I had one of those moments. Looking at my watch, I noticed I had 0.1 miles left. Being at the top of the hill with this short distance left to go, my body would have typically shut down and just coast the rest of the run without much effort. I didn’t shut down today. And what was better was the fact that I didn’t have to try to convince my mind that I could actually increase the pace after finishing the last hill. The totals were 3.01 miles in 20:26 which averages to a 6:47/mile pace.

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