Tonight, I went out for a key tempo run: 7 miles at half-marathon pace during a 12-mile run. Originally, the run was supposed to be this morning. But I did 15 miles yesterday morning, and it wiped me out. I haven't gotten enough sleep this week. (Madonna is partially to blame. Don't ask.) Last night, I realized I needed some extra rest. With an off day Friday, I could switch over to evening running. Today, I felt a cold coming on and was just low energy all day, despite sleeping over nine hours. Going out for the run, I wasn't too confident. Then a funny thing happened: after a four mile warmup, I started the tempo run, and it felt pretty good. Even though I run a fair amount and typically finish in the top 1 percent, I don't consider myself fast. I'm into distances; speed is relative. Tonight I felt fast, passing people on bikes and startling more than a couple rollerbladers. The first mile or so was north from Battery Park to the Nike Runner Station. I judged my splits based off the Nike Runner Station guidelines. I don't think these are totally accurate -- or I didn't see Christopher Street in the dark. Regardless, I had one super fast mile (5:43), followed by a slow mile (6:45). The next two were easy to judge because they were by city blocks. Both came in around 6:10. The net result: I ran the seven miles under 6:30, closer to 6:15. Did it hurt? Yeah. At the end, I felt queasy, dehydrated (temp was at 70) and my heart rate was pretty elevated. Still, it's another sign of progress. I'm pretty good with where I am right now. I'll do 70 miles this week. More important, I feel like I'm hitting my tempo runs. I put off a half marathon this weekend for a bunch of reasons. I wasn't ready for another race just two weeks after the 18-miler. I'm going to look around for a half marathon in the next couple weekends. That's when I'll know for sure how ready I am. Seven weeks out, I'm doing what I wanted to do with training. I really believe the race will take care of itself if I do the right things to prepare.
12 miles, 1:22