Yesterday was our first Speed Work day. Brian was scheduled to do 6 miles of tempo runs at better than a 7:00/mile pace, so he met me at the end of my driveway and we ran down to the speed work area together, about a mile away.
The chart said I was to do 6 miles of runs including 2 miles at a 7:08 pace, separated by a 1/2 mile of jogging. After about 2 miles of warm up, I started into the speed work. This is the first time thus far that I've actually felt like I'm pushing -- at least by the end of the second mile. I ended up doing the miles in 7:00 each, so just a bit faster than expected. But looking down the chart to Week 10, I'm expected to do 4 miles at a 6:51/mile pace. I can tell already that this pace is going to be pushing me close to my limits. Brian did his 6 mile tempo run at a 6:45 pace or better, so I guess I better just grit my teeth and do it!
Another thing that happened today that was interesting (to me, at least). I came back from the run and I was actually about a half pound lighter than my target weight -- the first time that has happened in about 9 months. Chatting with Jed and Brian after our long run last weekend and they both said that as we get into the higher mileage weeks, the weight will start to fall off. I don't know about that for me, since I have an incredible ability to pack away the groceries, as it were, but if I can keep myself to my goal weight (183 lbs) or lower, I'll be pretty happy. I guess it would be good to be a bit lighter for Marathon Day -- maybe 175 -- but I'm not do anything different to get there. It wouldn't be good to go into a marathon after starving myself to get down to some theoretical goal weight.
Today was an 'easy run' day -- the chart called for 7 miles at a 9:02 pace. I ended up doing 7.16 miles, targeting an 8:30 pace and ending up doing an 8:19 pace. My pace was pretty consistent, though, ranging from 8:17 to 8:25 for the first 6 miles, and then I ran at just what I felt was comfortably 'easy' and did the 7th mile in 8:14. Much faster than I should be, according to the chart, but I feel better about my run when I step it up a bit, without breathing hard at the end.
All in all, a good couple of running days!