I wasn't trying for a PR this morning; it just sort of happened. On the docket was a 6-mile tempo run, at roughly a 7:30 pace. On Wednesdays we normally have a group run, so I was hoping I'd interest someone in running a little faster than usual. But when I showed up at the CVS after a 1.39 mile warm-up run, only Chad and Chas were there, and they were planning a 12-miler. So I'd be heading out by myself.
I took off at what felt like a good pace, but after a quarter-mile or so I noticed I was running at a 6:45 pace, quite a bit faster than my plan. I eased up a bit and finished Mile 1 in 7:13. I felt good, wasn't even breathing hard, so I decided to try to maintain that pace for Mile 2, which has a moderate hill. It was a cool morning, probably cooler than it's been all summer, and it was still dark at 6:15 or so as I headed up the hill. In the distance, I heard someone yell "Dave!" Could it be Chad and Chas? Had they decided to do a tempo after all? I looked up and down the road but didn't see anyone. "Dave!" the voice shouted again. It was definitely behind me, so I turned around and headed back down the hill. Within a few yards I could see Rodney, running up the hill at breakneck speed. Apparently he had seen Chad and Chas running the other direction and they told him he'd have to run fast to catch me. I turned around and started back up the hill with Rodney, who was breathing quite hard. We ended up finishing Mile 2 in 7:31.
Then about a half mile into Mile 3, Rodney said he'd need to stop for a bathroom break. He said he'd try to catch up to me again, but I shouldn't wait on him. So I kept going, finishing the mile in 7:00, and passing Jeff going the other way. Mile 4, with an uphill finish, went by in 7:09. If I could keep this up for uphill Mile 5, I'd have a pretty good run. About halfway through the mile I passed Todd and Dave running the opposite way and they joked that I was going too fast. Mile 5's split was 7:07 -- I was speeding up!
Mile 6 starts with an uphill as well, and I struggled to maintain that same pace, but as I crested the hill I could feel my legs moving faster. Almost home! I finished Mile 6 in 6:55. I wasn't sure how far I had backtracked to meet Rodney but I figured I had less than a half-mile left at this point. I didn't want to go into an all-out sprint but figured I could at least pick up the pace a little. I finished up what turned out to be the final .46 miles at a 6:38 pace.
That's a 7:07 average pace for 6.46 miles, actually faster than my 10K PR pace. I think I could have run the loop even faster because I wasn't going especially hard for the first few miles. I guess all the warm-weather training this summer helped, and now that things are starting to cool off, I'm hopeful that there will be a lot more PRs.
Details of today's run are below: