It was great!
This is the first long run where I haven't been fighting heat and humidity. I decided to do the supported long run through the Running Center, as I felt that I couldn't afford (mentally!) to have another bad one and there's no doubt it's a lot easier to stay focused and have a great run with a little infrastructure and a coach supervising. It worked out really well, and of course the weather cooperated...
I just did 12 miles, 3 x the 4.06 middle loop in the park - so that's 12.18 (my pod said 12.57, which is a level of inaccuracy I can live with - I will stop worrying about calibration).
I feel vaguely guilty that I didn't tack on 2 more miles and run home, but I stopped for water and a quick chat with Coach Mindy at the end of the third loop and my legs were already getting stiff - I jogged a few blocks, then turned off the stopwatch and popped into a deli and purchased an utterly delicious bottle of sparkling water which I drank as I walked home at a leisurely pace!
Speed was very pleasing to me - I felt fast and strong, and my huffing and puffing system was for once fully up to the job (though legs were getting tired by the end - you end up with different demands on the varying systems based on the weather situation).
1:49:49, which comes in at nine-minute miles - I think the pacing was actually a bit uneven, I had some quite zippy ones at the beginning and then settled in slower for the second half, but my pod laps are all split up unevenly so I can't be bothered to sort out all the data (I need to turn off the auto-lap function, it is wayward!).
Hmmmm, interesting, I wonder if it is possible that I will be able to resuscitate my abandoned dream goal of sub-4:00? Last fall I was running some fast times and felt very strong, and it seemed within reach - I had a very comfortable 1:54 half-marathon in Philadelphia, and a 51:something hilly 10K in the park, and I was optimistic about 2008. Then actual 2008 did not seem to be very beneficial for my running at all!
It is probably not wise, a 4:10 - 4:20 - 4:30 goal range might be more sensible, and a 12-mile run is a very different animal from a really long one. Probably I am just going to make a thorough and whole-hearted effort to hit a very strong 4:10 with slight negative splits...
There's another Running Center supported run in three weeks, and I've also registered for that, so I'll pay attention to pace then and think about what's going to suit me - I've got 16-20 on the schedule for that week, but I'd rather do the longer one if I can.
Next weekend is 16-18, and then the week after is a cutback week in mileage (6-8 only). Hmmmm, this weather is good for my morale, I hope I do not have any more really hot and humid Saturdays coming up...
Total mileage for week 9: 29
(Hmmmm, it is slightly low, now I really am sorry I didn't do 14 instead which would have tipped me into the 30s - but that is the way I will make myself crazy and get injured, so let us just stop thinking along those lines!)