Well, at least it was supposed to be "easy". I was targeting 8:20/mile. But as soon as I got out onto the road, I saw the rest of my family about a kilometre away on their 6-miler. "Maybe I can catch them and run with them for a bit", I thought to myself so I picked up the pace a bit.
Two-and-a-half miles later, I'd caught them -- having done about 7:40/mile to catch them. So much for "easy" so far. I ran with my wife, Jenny, and my daughters, Karen and Tori, for about three-quarters of a mile at about a 10:00/mile pace -- but then our routes diverged.
So I picked up the pace a bit -- first to an 8:30/mile pace, then to a 8:06 pace. By the end of the eighth mile, I noticed that -- between my original fast pace on this run and my better-than-target pace for the past couple of miles -- I was only a minute off marathon pace overall -- running 8:10's on average. So I pushed it a bit more for the last 3 miles, hitting 7:57, 7:59 and 7:26. The first two of those miles were both slightly uphill and on loose gravel. Every step I took I was being careful not to roll an ankle or do something stupid that would prevent me from running Corning.
Overall, I was 8:03/mile for the run. I felt very strong at the end and while I was tired and sweaty, it wasn't nearly as bad as several of the runs I had done during July and August -- mostly due to the cooler weather.
This weekend a bunch of us from the Shamrock Running Club are doing the Terry Fox Run in London, Ontario. Both "coach" Brian Watson and I are doing 12 miles, and I think others are doing longer runs there as well. This won't be a race -- just a long run -- but I suspect our pace will be something close to marathon pace. No sweat! :-)