It doesn't take a lot to get me fired up about training, but sometimes the timing is just right. Like two summers ago it was a combination of Jim Johnson's blog and Bob Wiles' explanation of how many extra miles a year he could get by adding morning runs.
Now, reading about Eric MacKnight's 11 mile run at 5:50-something pace has been stuck in my mind. Today, we got home from church a little late (11:30) and Ben had a piano recital at 1:00, so the window was small for a ten-mile run.
Normally, I know that if I give myself 70 minutes to cover my 10 mile loop (which is closer to 10 and a quarter miles), I usually can finish faster than that, but today, by the time I got out the door, it was 11:46, and I knew that I would have to be closer to 60 minutes to have time to shower and run across the street to Ben's recital.
I went through mile one in 6:01, and felt good. The first mile is mostly uphill and tends to be one of my slower ones, so that is a quick start. The two-mile split was 11:51, and then the next few miles are pretty flat. Mile 3 was 17:34 (5:43). Mile 4 was 23:26 (5:52). Mile 5 (a little under halfway) was 29:10 (5:44). Mile 6 was 34:58 (5:48). The last four plus miles home are a series of little hills, with more ups than downs, and I have to work a little harder to maintain pace. I have run this loop many times, though, and usually knowing that I am closing in on the homestead makes it easier to keep dropping the pace.
Came through 7 miles in 40:43 (5:45), 8 miles in 46:23 (5:40), 9 miles in 52:04 (5:41).
10-mile split was 57:35 (5:31). Finished up in 58:37 for 10.22. Pretty sure this is the fastest 10-mile training run I've ever done (5:44 pace for 10.22). Sometimes it's nice not having enough time to "enjoy" your run.
This was in the fastwitches.
Oh yeah, and with about a half mile left 'til home, a woman went by me on her bike and said "fifteen miles per hour"; I appreciated the inaccurate encouragement and gasped a "not quite, but, thanks!"
Then I tried to imagine that I was running the last quarter mile of a fall marathon in 60 seconds. I'll settle for the last .2 in 60 seconds.