As I continue to recover from the Big Sur Marathon, I've done a couple runs now at faster than recovery pace, but nothing I could consider "fast." This morning, the plan was to actually do a tempo run, of sorts. I didn't want to kill myself, but I definitely wanted to push the pace.
I got up at 5:30, so I'd have enough time to eat a banana and do an easy 1.3-mile warm-up into town. At the CVS were Chad, Jeff, and Adam. The last time I ran with Adam, we did the loop at a 7:20 pace -- quite a bit faster than I wanted to go today. I asked him if he was okay with a 7:45 pace, and he said that sounded good, so the four of us took off. Adam and I quickly pulled away from ultra-runners Chad and Jeff, for whom a 6.3 mile run is a warm-up for their warm-up.
By the way, Jeff is going to be doing a 24-hour (!) run to benefit Batten Disease research in June. Check out his web site, and give generously. If you're in the Davidson area on June 4 or 5 you can join him and run a few laps, or even get him to run a portion of the event in a silly costume: "If you want to come by and pay for me to run with a rubber chicken on my head this will be your lucky day."
Adam and I started off quickly, with a couple 7:22 miles on some mostly downhill segments. Then the uphill came, and with it the rain. On the hills, we slowed to about a 7:50 pace. Concord Road added an extra challenge: Dozens of branches weighted down with rain made running on the sidewalk an obstacle course. You could run in the street, but then you risked getting hit by a car in the dark morning rain. We ended up settling for the sidewalk, dodging branches as we went. I don't have a good recording of the whole run, but I think we averaged about a 7:40 pace, maybe a bit faster.
After the run, Adam needed to take off right away, so I waited for Chad and Jeff. Since I was soaked to the bone, Chad let me borrow a shirt and Jeff bought me a cup of coffee. I ended up leaving the GPS on in the coffee shop and messing up my recording, but for what it's worth, here's the record of today's run: