Not that I'm complaining. I mean, I'm a big boy. I can choose to not succumb to peer pressure and run my own pace. When Coach (Brian), Heather Marr and I took off this morning from Tim Horton's in Lucan, my goal was 8 miles (12.5k) at an 8:30/mile pace. Brian was to do 16 miles today, so he joined us for the first 8 miles along the Coursey North route and then went off on his own to do another 8.
Brian's target overall was 8:00/mile or slightly better. Heather just wanted to run! No GPS -- I don't even think she was wearing a watch. So as we're in the middle of our first mile, I'm saying "Oops, we're a bit fast." At the end of the first mile, my GPS says we did it in 7:52. Okay, our typical fast start. Now we have to slow down a bit. Next mile, my GPS says 7:26. Well, but that was on a downhill grade. We're starting to head uphill a bit, so our pace will slow a bit. Which it did on the next mile -- to a 7:40 pace!
At this point, I gave up trying to slow down. We were all feeling strong and the weather was a perfect summer running temperature -- about 64 degrees F. (17 degrees C.). Besides, I was running with my coach, and he wasn't telling me to slow down so what the heck. We'll just enjoy the run.
Then came the Fallon Road hill. Mile 6 started with a 1/6 of a mile downhill run with a net elevation drop of 50 feet (seems like more). But then at the bottom, we immediately start climbing and over the next 1/4 mile we climb a net 90 foot elevation increase (seems like a lot more). I could certainly feel the burning in my thighs as we hit the crest of the hill -- all the while saying to myself, "I love hills, I love hills". Even still, our pace for that mile was 8:16 -- but at least it was closer to the 8:30 I had set as the goal at the start of the run.
For mile 7, we passed by Biddulph Public School at the corner of Fallon and Saintsbury and our pace as we approached Lucan still hadn't recovered to our pre-Fallon hill level -- 8:03. But now Heather could taste the end of the run and we all quickened the pace. We finished the last leg in a pace of 7:27 -- good enough for an average pace for the entire run of 7:47/mile (4:52/k).
Brian continue off to do the same loop again since he enjoyed that loop so much!
A good pace -- perhaps too good -- but we all felt good. And it was great running with Brian and Heather to make the effort all the more enjoyable.
The cool weather helped today, I'm sure. Just need to be able to hold that pace for a bit more than 3 times today's distance and I'll be heading to Boston. No sweat. :-)