It's nice being able to say that! Over the last five years, one of the things I missed about running long was to just be able to go out and run 10 miles if I felt like it. If I'm in shape, a 10-miler can take about 90 minutes (or less) so it's a bit of work but you aren't out there for all that long.
So I'm glad to be back to that point again. Today was the first step back week in our taper, so our 20-miler from a week ago shrunk down to 12 (I ran 12.4) and next week will be eight. Crazy to think that after three 1/2 months of training we only have 30 miles left to run before race day -- and half of those come in our 6-miler Wednesday and our "long" run next Saturday.
Because Matt had a big meet today (his school hosted their own Charger Classic; He was 12th in his race and his team finished second in their division) I couldn't get together with the CARA group and had to push the run to Sunday.
No big deal because the weather was perfect! It got pretty hot yesterday (80-plus degrees) but it rained almost all night and was about 52 degrees when I got started. I wanted to get up around six and get out by about seven, but had trouble sleeping last night and didn't make it out of bed until 6:30. I set out my drinks, came back and was on my way.
I felt good from the start, but I wasn't sure where I was at since I wasn't wearing my watch, but when I reached the 4-mile mark I looked across the way at a bank and it said I'd been out about 44 minutes (oh, and it was 54 degrees). Really? I didn't seem to be working that hard and I was running 11-minute miles. Nice!
Up to that point I didn't feel like I had been pushing that hard, so the competitive part of me decided to take over. So I picked up the pace. I took a Gu at four miles, Powerade at five and a Gu at around eight. When I got back to my drink spot at around nine miles, I was still feeling good, so I finished the rest of my Powerade and kept going.
In the end, I guess I ran my half-marathon pace. Yeah, LOL. I had no clue. I guess I'm deducting that given that I probably only could've gone another mile or two at that pace. By the last couple of miles the clouds have given way to a perfectly sunny day, so I was glad I got the early start.
Judging by when I looked at the clock when I left and when I scurried in the house to check when I was done, I finished in about two hours, 15 minutes. Yep, even with stops to drink and cross streets I ran 10:53 pace!
Kind of blown away by that, it kind of came out of nowhere, sort of like my 11-miler back in July. But hey, confidence builders are great, aren't they? Not only that, as I mentioned in my post the other day, I was pretty focused as well.
The extended forecast so far predicts this kind of day on race day, so I have this in my back pocket. I'm feeling so confident that if we get this kind of weather I can run comfortably at a 12-minute pace. Just gotta keep crossing my fingers!