Today I was scheduled to do an 'easy run' of 7 miles at an 8:51 pace. The schedule had stepped up the pace a bit from the 9:02 that I was ignoring before, so I figured I'd step up my pace to target an 8:21 pace (5:13 per kilometre). And since I bailed on a full 8 miles yesterday, doing more than 7 miles today wouldn't hurt either. But this time, I started earlier in the morning -- around 7:15 -- when it was cooler (65 degrees F. or 17 degrees C.).
As usual when I'm running alone, I couldn't keep my pace in check. My strategy was to slow down if I saw a pace faster than 8:00/mile on my GPS, and speed up if I saw it slower than 8:20. But in each of my first 4 miles all ended up slightly faster than 8:00/mile, and only my 7th mile did I come close to 8:20. For the last leg of my run - 0.83 of a mile - I stepped it up a bit to target faster than marathon pace, and ended up doing it at a 7:33 pace. Overall, my pace for the 7.83 miles (12.5k) was 7:56/mile -- just a hair faster than my target marathon pace.
Yes, I know. Not good. I need to take the easy runs easier. But after my dismal run yesterday, it felt good to get a run in that I could consider an 'easy' pace, yet still be running at a marathon pace overall. I felt like I could run that pace for hours -- and I'll have to soon enough!