I awoke early today in order to complete my run while the majority of the house continued to sleep. Fortunately, my plan worked out perfectly.
The first 4 miles were completed in 35:49 (average pace = 8:57). Granted, about 1 mile of this portion is downhill (Yes! I'll have to return in this direction when I come home... as described below). Although I was a little tight/sore in the upper body from the previous 2 days of weight training/CrossFit, I felt good. It was great to be out there running with very few autos. I was able to listen to and enjoy the birds chirping... I even heard a few owls hooting nearby. :)
The next 3 miles were completed in 27:32 (average pace = 9:10). I started to slow down a bit here but the last half of these 3 were in unfamiliar territory. I enjoyed the scenery and also had to wait briefly for traffic in order to cross the street a couple of times. When I reached the 7 mile mark, I stopped; I stopped my watch, too. This was the plan when I left - run just 7 miles and then come home. I took a few minutes here to stretch as my back was feeling tight. I rehydrated and walked as I ate a gel packet. I then resumed my pace or at least attempted. I actually brought along my Camelback this time around so there were no worries about water-nappers. :)
The next 3 miles were completed in 28:10 (ap = 9:28). A little slower but I was feeling a little fatigued. I've noticed that I always lag a little in the middle. Perhaps I should experiment more with gels? I hit the split/lap button on the Garmin as I started the uphill climb just after the 10 mile mark. This next 1.52 miles took 16:22 minutes (ap = 10:44). Dramatically slower.... but entirely an uphill climb. So, I am pleased with my effort. At the end of my climb, I stopped briefly to rehydrate once again.
I then hit the split button on the Garmin with the intention of finishing the remaining distance to home, 2+ miles, at a faster pace than I started. In other words, a fast finish. I soon came upon another runner who was seemingly out for a Sunday morning leisurely jog (she was dragging her hand along the chain link fence around the elementary school and had moments before walked about 1/2 block). Having her in my sight helped me to maintain pace despite my fatigue. I finished the 2.1 miles in 17:26 (ap = 8:19). Nearly 40 seconds faster than the first 4 miles. Very cool.
After a cold soak in the bath, we ate a light breakfast (cereal) and went to the movies. The princess wanted to see Ratatouille. I'll save my review for another post. :)
ORN: 13.62 miles completed in 2:05:22 (average pace 9:12).