Most people in Canada wouldn't be cheering about cooler weather -- but I certainly am!
Brian and I did our long runs yesterday -- 16 miles. I was targeting 8:20/mile or better, and Brian was looking for something in the 7:00/mile range. We compromised and ended up doing 8:10s for the first 11 miles, and then Brian shot ahead for the last 5 miles, so it worked well.
The biggest change from previous runs is that this was the first morning since I've started seriously training for the marathon that it was cold -- 48 F. (9 degrees C). What a difference! 10 miles into the run and I was just starting to put on a sweat -- but I also could feel a charlie-horse coming on in my left thigh.
Brian took off at about the 11 mile mark and, surprisingly, my pace didn't wane. In fact, it even picked up a bit -- hitting 8:06 for mile 12. While I could still feel the charlie-horse potential in my thigh, I was working it out by concentrating on keeping my legs 'loose' with each stride. Easier said than done when trying to keep a healthy pace, but it seemed to work.
Jenny came to check up on us at about 12.5 miles into the run -- and she came bearing grapes, water and a towel. I didn't need the water, but the towel was nice and the grapes were a pleasant surprise! I've had orange slices in a run before, but never grapes. They worked well and we may want to work some orange slices and grapes into my next 26 miler to Port Stanley and on the Corning run.
For my last two miles, I made the conscious decision to ramp it up to marathon pace. For mile 15, which incorporated a 50 foot increase in elevation, I was right on marathon pace. The last mile was relatively stable in elevation, and I was able to pull off a 7:44 pace.
Overall, I did 16 miles in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 23 seconds -- good enough for an 8:08/mile pace. 10 seconds per mile faster and 10 miles longer, and I'm going to Boston. Yesterday, I felt like I could do it!