I have to give myself mad props for this workout as it was one of the best workouts I've done all year. The weather was really nice out - 67 degrees, humidity was below 40%, though it was a little breezy at times. My schedule called for 13 miles today, but I had to run before work or at lunch and I didn't have time to do more than 11.5 at lunch. I could have run in the morning, but I typically don't hit great times when I start my run before 6:00 am unless I do an extended warmup so I ran at lunch. I did a 2.5 mile warmup then started my tempo run. I ran on a 3.25 mile loop that had 1/4 mile markers every quarter. My total time for the 8 miles was 46:02 which is a 5:45 average pace. That is a faster pace than I ran for the 10 mile 10 for Texas race in November and I definitely had enough in the tank today that I could have kept going longer at the end of the workout. I ran 57:45 in the 10 for Texas race which worked out to a 5:47 pace. If I had knocked out two more 5:50 miles, I would have had a 10 mile PR during a training run wearing regular running shoes. Oh well, maybe some other day.
My splits today were 5:54, 5:52, 5:47, 5:46, 5:44, 5:40, 5:39, 5:38. I went into the workout wanting to average 5:50 or better and I wanted to keep the workout as a tempo workout and not start hammering it out as fast as I can go. One way I can judge on whether I am running a tempo pace is monitoring my breathing and making sure that my breathing is under control and I'm not just gasping for air because I'm running too hard. I felt controlled the whole run and could have run at least one more mile at the same pace. I was tempted to hammer the last mile because I was feeling good and see if I could get close to 5:20, but that wouldn't really serve much of a purpose and it would just wear me out more. I'm planning on running the 4 mile race at Memorial Park this weekend and I don't need to wear myself out any more for it. After the workout was over, I did a 1 mile cooldown. One thing I noticed during the run is that I must have been running the wrong way around the loop. Whenever the breeze picked up, it was always a headwind blowing in my face and I noticed it when I was running both east and west at different points and for some reason I never seemed to feel a tailwind. Maybe I was just running so quick I'm making my own headwind and outrunning the wind so I don't get a tail wind at my back.
I feel really good about the shape I'm in right now. I feel like I'm running faster and having better workouts now than I did before the Houston marathon. I've lost about 4 lbs this spring since the Houston marathon and I'm within about 5 lbs of what I weighed when I was running in college. Carrying less weight is definitely an advantage in marathon running. I'm not intentionally trying to lose weight, but with the high mileage and cutting back on some of my unhealthy habits, it has gradually been happening. I'm drinking a lot fewer cokes than I was last year and I'm working on eating healthier snacks whenever I get the munchies. I feel good about Boston and I'm hoping to run the race smart enough where I have something left in the tank to pick up the pace and run low 6:00 pace or better the last 4 or 5 miles after Heartbreak Hill.