Was up at 6 a.m. but not out the door until 7. Today would be a great day, I thought, as I was about five steps out the front door. It was breezy, the sun was just starting to heat up the waterfront, and it was, dare I say it, cool. Yes, it felt like the cool that ushers in fall's full arrival. Perfect.
Today was my pace run. The idea, as they say, is to teach your body your racing gear. Now, in my running life, I've learned my gears. There's the warmup gear, in which I probably run a kilometre at 5:45. There's the tempo gear, which I would run at 4:20. There's the 800 interval gear (4:10), my 'i'm comfortable but kinda trying gear' (5:00), my long run gear (5:30), my half-marathon racing gear (4:30). Then there's the 'i'm recovering after a night of drinking' gear (5:00 to 6:00)
Well, in this marathon, I've selected a pace of 4:45 (for my American friends, that's about 7:38 miles). Instead of warming up to it, I streched well, and just launched into the run, aiming to take to the pace quickly. It felt good. I tried various pacing tricks to teach myself to memorize what it feels like, the rhythm of my foot steps on the ground, I would first count up to four with every foot step, then resorted to counting one for every two footsteps. I tried breathing in tune with my strides. I focused on my arm movement and tried to keep upright.
Then the km splits passed, one by one. And on every split, I'd look down at my Garmin, and there it was: 4:48, 4:45, 4:42, 4:44, 4:47, :4:42, 4:41... etc.. It was amazing. Even with downhills and uphills, flats and turns, I was still hitting my splits. I stopped looking all the time at my Garmin to get my pace, because I was getting the hang of it, I was learning my gears... I think they call that listening to your body.
Anyways, I ran 13K (8 miles) and decided to compare it to my 8 miler I ran earlier this week at a slow pace...
Tomorrow's the 26K run (16 miles). I'm looking forward to it..