Monday, July 30, 2007

From 0 to 60...

I spent the last 6 days at Keene State Cross Country camp. I was a counselor and coach for 51 high school campers. The week was packed with running, swimming, conditioning, and lectures. My own running was jump started back into existence with my little training camp. The week looked like this:

Saturday: raced the Bill Luti 5mile road race, total of 7 miles for the day with warmup and cooldown. I finished in 5th place among women in 31:28. I was happy, since 6:30 pace was my goal and I hit 6:20s.
Sunday: 3miles
Monday: 3miles AM, 3miles PM
Tuesday: 4miles at 6AM, 3.5 more miles at 7:15AM, then 3.5 miles PM
Wednesday: 6miles at 6AM, 3miles at 7:15AM, 4 miles PM with fartlek on cross country course
Thursday: 6miles at 6AM, 2miles at 7:15Am, 5.5miles PM with 1xDeath Hill
Friday: 7mile at 6:30AM, 1.5miles with sprint work at 9AM
I typically don't calculate a weekly training block to run from Saturday to Friday, but since I hadn't been running in, like, 6 weeks and I did my first run in the race on Saturday, I decided to add up the miles for the week starting with the race. So I ran 100k in 7 days. That impressed me since the highest mileage week I ever did in college was maybe 45.

I hadn't really been back to Keene since I moved out in 1999, and I hadn't run there since I graduated. There is something about being back on campus, being back on my old training loops, that stirred my love of running. These were the trails where I became a serious athlete. This was where it all began. Running with my college coach, racking up the miles... nostalgic doesn't even begin to describe it. I never planned on adding the morning runs, in fact, I had my bike with me with the intention of getting an hour or so in every morning before the kids' first run.

But even though I began my cycling career there, I equate Keene with running. And living on campus in the dorms made me feel like I was back in college again. So I ran. I had to get up every morning at 4:45, stumble two blocks down the street to Cumby's for coffee, then back to the dorm. Pete and I would head out for 4-6 miles on the trails at 6, before the campers got up. We'd be back by 6:45, ready to wake them and head our on run number 2. After morning session, lunch, and afternoon session, we did our afternoon workout. Then back to the dorm for a quick change and some easy swimming to relax the legs. Then on to dinner, then evening games like volleyball or capture the flag...then back to the dorm for movies (Showdown, Run Like Hell), then bed. I basically immersed myself in running for the past 6 days

I think I may have inadvertently cancelled the rest of my cycling season. The bike doesn't really interest me at the moment.

100K weeks, however, seems damn appealing.

I should be ready for Reach the Beach. And a fall marathon is starting to seem more like a reality than a dream.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The True Locomotive

In Steve’s blog entry a few weeks back he referred to me as a locomotive on the track. And, while I appreciate his compliment, I know that there was only one “Locomotive”. He is my running idol and his name was Emil Zatopek.

Emil Zatopek was born in 1922 in Czechoslovakia. He started running at age 18 when he was ordered to participate in a race by the sports coach at the shoe factory in which he worked. A mere four years later he held the Czech national records for the 2k, 3k & 5k distance.

In 1952, at the Helsinki Olympic Games, Emil did the impossible. He won the 5k, 10k & marathon in the span of 8 days, breaking the Olympic records for all three in the process. And, the marathon was his first ever! At one point, he held every world record from the 5k up to the 30k and had won something like 40 consecutive 10k races.

Zatopek was not known for his gracefulness. His running form was not considered to be a very efficient style at the time. His head would roll, face contorted with effort, while his torso swung from side to side. He often wheezed and panted audibly while running, which earned him his nickname.

But, what Emil lacked in style he more than made up for in heart and courage. He just plain trained (and raced) harder than anyone else was willing (or able) to do. In the winter he would run through the snow in heavy army boots. And, when the snow melted, he was known to do as many as 80 - 400 meter repeats in one track session.

Here are a few of my favorite Zatopek quotes:

"Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.”

"If you want to win something, run the 100 meters. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon."

"I was not talented enough to run and smile at the same time."

"It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."

Sometimes, when I'm having a difficult time getting motivated for a run, I just think of how hard he worked at becoming such a great runner. And, that run usually ends up being my best workout of the week. If I could be one iota of the runner that Emil Zatopek was, I’d be pretty happy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Real Men Blow Chunks

Ok. So, last week the running club I belong to (The Gate City Striders) held it annual "Ultimate Workout". The "UW" typically occurs during a break between the two halves of our track season and consists of 4 distances (400, 800, 1 mile & 2mile). Each participant runs these back to back with about 6-8 minutes rest in between. It's sort of like "Survivor" for runners. And, the key to success is to not run any one of the four "all out" since the competition is age-graded and each distance is worth 25% of your total score. Of course, in my case, knowing the key and using the key are two very different things!

The first event was the 400. And, to say I was psyched up wouldn't even begin to describe what I was feeling. I used to run track in high school, and since I was the slowest runner on my team, track meets were not my favorite places to be. Being lapped repeatedly in the mile will do that to a person. However, we were 20 years removed from that time & place. And, this was my first track meet since I graduated. Let's just say I was slightly eager for a bit of personal redemption.

So, the race starts and I bolt to the front. Up on my toes and leaning into the first turn. Down the back stretch I feel like I'm flying. This is why I run. This feeling right now. I take the far turn and I can't hear anyone behind me. In fact I can't hear anything at all. I'm all alone. I start down the front stretch and I can just make out the clock at the finish. 45 ... 46 ... 47. My legs are starting to get heavy as I race toward the line. It is at this point that I start to feel like I'm floating above the track watching the race unfold before me. The clock gets blurry as I get closer. What does it say?!?! I dig down for one more moment and then it's all over. I collapse on the curve and look down at my watch. 1:00.9 - a personal best 400 by 5 seconds. So much for not going all out.

Five minutes later they announce it's time for the 800. What?!?! My heart rate isn't even close to normal levels. It feels like I'm still running, for crying out loud! So I reluctantly amble up to the line. And, as the race starts I think to myself, "this is going to be a long night".

I survived the 800 in 2:31. And, started to feel a little more like myself during the mile which I finished in 5:32. For the two mile I chased the lead runner as hard as I could but never closed the gap. My time of 12:03 would have easily surpassed my best high school mark. But, as I crossed the line, all I could think about was lying down. I got to the infield and proceeded to get violently ill. Oh yeah. I remember this feeling. This sucks.

After I recovered, I sat back (in a different spot) and reflected on my evening. One first, two seconds, a third and one exorcism. Not bad for a nights work. As I staggered back to my car preparing to head on home, I thanked God that this "Ultimate Workout" was finally over.

I can't wait until the next one!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fryer Tuck Route

I work in Tewksbury, MA at the corner of Route 495 and 133. I'm a Software Engineer who sits on his fat a*s all day writing Linux code. I try to take a break everyday at lunch to get out and run a few miles. I found some nice running routes around here ranging in distance between 4 and 8 miles. The hills aren't too bad, but I wish there were more of them. I used to work in Greenville, NH and the hills around Mason were my training ground for about 2 years. There were also some gorgeous, isolated trails around that area where you could run completely n*ked if you wanted and no one would know. I wouldn't know anything about that though since I'm the shy, reserved type of person. :) But I decided that I wanted to change gears in my career so I took a job down here in Tewksbury.

One of my favorite routes is something I call the Fryer Tuck route. It's a 7.7 mile route that includes 3 good hills and some nice, quiet neighborhoods. It's a far cry from the isolated trails in Greenville, but at least I'm out running and not being run off the road too many times by a Soccer mom balancing a phone in one hand and a coffee cup in the other. Right smack in the middle of this course is a Francsiscan Monestary. Attached to the monestary is a very large and old Retreat house. The monestery is a modest building with a large fence surrounding the compound. The larger Retreat house is surrounded by wide open fields. Once in a while I see Fryer Tuck walking around the grounds. Actually, I don't know if it really is Fryer Tuck. I don't even know if the person is a male or female. It's a human (I assume) in a brown robe with a rope tied around the middle and they sometimes have their hood on. They remind me of those sand people in the original Star Wars, but much, much larger. And fatter.

Running gives me plenty of time to think and I think a lot about this place. I wonder what God must think of these people, walling themselves off from the rest of society, not contributing to the common good by not paying taxes, living off the donations of hard working people, not facing the stresses and challenges of life like the rest of us. They don't need to deal with job deadlines, nasty bosses, kids issues like drugs, s*x and rebellion. I'm not sure if this is what God intended for us. I believe that humans grow, both physically and spiritually, through hardship and struggle. From what I can see of the Fransiscan Monestery, these people don't have much hardship. The Retreat house makes me laugh every time. What do these people have to retreat from? My retreat is usually 10 minutes alone in the bathroom reading my Runners World. I can't imagine putting life on hold to retreat away. It's just not possible. Do I want to? Sure! I want to do a lot of things that just aren't possible. I think everyone does.

So I run past the Monestery and the little gift shop and the beautiful grounds as I continue on my run. I soon forget all about Fryer Tuck, until the next time I run this route.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Too much of a good thing

I've read somewhere that running is good for you. So lots and lots of good, hard running must be even better. Right? Wrong. I don't know why I keep relearning this lesson. Any idiot can run themselves into the ground. Trust me on this one. I'm the king of doing that. But proper training consists of knowing what kind of workouts to do, at what intensity, and most importantly, when to back off and let your body absorb all the hard work. It's that last part that I struggle with. Running involves a certain amount of masochism as we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. This creates a mindset that if we're not working hard during our workouts, then we're not running properly.

Last week was the Fourth of July holiday and a few of us on the team decided to run the Sparkler 5K in Merrimack. The day before the race I went out for an easy 5 miler and it was a total disaster. I couldn't run for more than 5 minutes without my legs burning and my body feeling just terrible. I decided to do a walk/run instead. But what a horrible feeling. I've always taken great pride in my ability to run and it's totally demoralizing to be walking like that. There wasn't much else to do other than ponder why my body felt like it did. There are 2 likely reasons. The first, and least likely, is that something very bad is going on in my body. The second, and more likely reason, is that I'm beating up my body and not giving it sufficient time to recover.

For the past year I've studied as much as I can about training and how to do it properly. I know the importance of rest. I know that the body does not get stronger during hard workouts. It gets stronger during recovery. Proper training is based on the simple principle that improvement is gained from repeated cycles of stress/recover, stress/recover. Too much stress leads to burnout and/or injury. Too much rest leads to an erosion of fitness. Finding that balance is the key to a successful training program.

After the Sparkler, I decided to take 2 complete rest days. No biking, no swimming and no running. On the 3rd day I ran an easy 5 miles and I felt great! I've since run 5 miles on the tmill and I successfully ran my 7.7 mile Fryer Tuck route (I'll describe the Fryer Tuck route in another post) on a very hot day and I felt strong. I forced myself to go slow, but still averaged 7:30 pace. That's a good sign. I plan to give myself a little more time to recover, then I'll reintroduce the more intense workouts, but with sufficient rest to avoid the downward spiral of overtraining this time.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Summertime Blues

Since I raced on Wednesday the 4th (my usual speed work day) I decided to do my track workout on Friday instead. I was slightly concerned going into this one because I had gotten a little lightheaded from the heat and humidity during my previous days run. But, my schedule said "6 x 1,200". So, I decided I was going to at least give it a try.

The training program called for these to be done at my current 5m pace(1:30/400, or 4:30/1200) with 1/2 rest (2:15). It looked to be the perfect workout to help me prepare for my next race in 2 weeks (Bill Luti - 5 Miler - July 21st). So, my goal for this workout was to target 1:28/400 with no lap higher than 1:30 (or lower than 1:26) and see if I could make it through without falling on my face.

It was about 85 degrees with what felt like 100% humidity as I started my warm-up. 2 easy miles then right into the workout. First set: 1:29, 1:27, 1:27 - 4:23 (felt OK, boy it's hot). Second Set: 1:27, 1:29, 1:27 - 4:23 (sweating profusely, shirt comes off). Third Set: 1:27, 1:27, 1:29 - 4:23 (well, at least I'm consistent). Fourth Set: 1:31 (damn) 1:26, 1:27 - 4:24 (oops, spoke too soon). Fifth Set: 1:30, 1:30, 1:25 - 4:25 (that one was all over the place) Sixth & Final Set: 1:30, 1:28, 1:28 - 4:26 (that one was a grinder). 2 miles cool-down and I set off to sweat in my car for the ride back to the office. AC is a wonderful thing.

74 miles for this week and the heat is definitely getting the better of me. It's only July 6th and I'm already looking forward to the end of summer and the cooler weather. What's wrong with me?!?! I guess I must be a runner.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Stealth Training at its Best

This isn't for those with a weak stomach.

As I have let it know I want to get back into shape, and run some decent times. I am not going to break 60mins for 10m or 17m for 5k this year, but I want to get some decent times and run a whole lot better then I did at RTB'06 and Cigna'06.

My "stealth" training has been going ok. I few track work outs, some 6:30-6:40 5 mile runs, and consitently 4 days a week. Shooting to get to 5 days per week in late July.

So I sign up of Lutti, I sign up for Cigna, because you have to race if you want to run fast. Now I know better then going to Luti with out a race or 2 under my belt. I show up to the Monday Night Mine Falls race. I feel good, excited to be at a race a little nervous, a little worried because I couldn't find a CD with "Antelope" on it the is morning

Mike W. has a look of happy surprise at seeing me. Steve Wolfe is helping out. John Greene, who really is much faster then he lets on, is there. Mark W. sneaks in before the start. Plus I see a few other Striders I haven't seen in a while.

I do 2 easy miles with John G for a warmup. This is a bit longer then I like to warm up, but what the heck.

I start the race feeling ok. Go out in 5:57 -- this is on dirt so pretty good. Rae and Steve D
are on the trails and notice me. That isn't good.

Before the 2 mile mark I get the dreaded intestinal cramps. 6:33 for mile 2. will be happy if I can keep this up. Trying to determine if it is the powerbar doing it to me, or the lobster and beer from the day before.

By mile 3 I am in misery, looking for places to go, thinking maybe I can hold it, though it doesn't seem likely . John Greene, he is getting faster, passes me. Mile 3 7:06

Ok now it is about getting to the finish line and the porto-potty, before it is too late. Before mile 4 some one else passes me. I am thinking that is one less person that will see me going if I can't make it. Mile 4 7:19.

I am not sure what I am doing is running, I think it is about survival. I look at my watch it says 30 mins , I can last 4 more mins... NOPE. Duck into the woods. OK there isn't much privacy on this part of the trail. I spend the next several minutes hoping no one will see me. At least 2 people pass, no one waves. Realize that my car keys are on Mikes bumper, I will have to finish the race. Look at my watch it say 35m. I cause undeserved harm to several small oak trees and ferns. Wash my hands.

Get back on the trail, get to the finish line Mike yells 38:11. There was really no need for Mike to yell my time. Maybe I will say no to him next time he asked me to run a relay race in the winter. Mile 5 11:15

Grab my keys and glasses and run straight to the car.

Back On My Feet

I had to take a little hiatus from running the past week for some bike racing. I love bike racing, but it really is an entirely different type of sport. The training for distance running and cycling is similar, but on race day things are radically different. For one thing, we wear radios in big races. Our team director is either in a car following us in the caravan, or she is on the side of the road watching the race unfold, all the while giving us directions. Bike racing is seldom about the strongest person winning the race, and is more often than not about strategy and tactics. If you ever wondered what a bike race was like, let me translate it into a running race scenario:

Imagine you are doing 4 races in 4 days. The first day is a 5k run, and you do it individually. Runners line up and start in 30second intervals. You have no idea how you are doing until they post results. Sure, maybe you passed 4 people on your run, but someone who started 10minutes ahead of you may have gone faster. You are racing a clock, only you don't know what a good time on that course is. So it's an all out 100% effort to the finish. Time trials are the most similar events to running race. Same type of effort, only there is no one around to gauge your effort.

Day 2 is kind of like a 10k or maybe a 1/2m. Except we are doing 11 laps of a 5k loop with a steep ass climb. But this is a bike we are not always going 100%. Oh no, in fact, on alternative laps there are points up for grabs. So imagine running along for maybe 5minutes at a training pace (say, 7:30min/mile). Then suddenly you do an all out 100m sprint effort, then relax and go back to your 7:30s. Repeat for like, 5 more laps. And then on the last lap, everyone starts pushing and shoving and trying to get to the front, and then you do one more 100m sprint. Except this time it is for the finish. And people are stopping and walking right in front of you as you sprint for the line, and you have to basically go around them. Oh, and during this entire experience you have a voice in your ear from a teammate asking you to go to the front and set a faster 7:00 min/mile pace so she can draft off you.

Day 3 is the marathon-esque day. Six laps, 11miles per lap. One hill that isn't exactly comfy. Again, you are radioed, but today you have to do one specific thing, and that is to follow around the person who is currently leading the race. The first hour or so is easy, 8min pace. You are relaxed. Then you see two people sprint away from the group - they suddenly dropped to 5:45 pace, but the group doesn't feel the need to follow. You hear instructions on the radio not to speed up. This goes on for a while. Eventually other people start yelling at you because the two fast runners are way out of sight, and your legs are expected to drop to 5:45 pace to help bring them back. But the voice in your ear is telling you not to do that. Then the pace drops, the pack starts running 6:30s again, but not fast enough to catch the sub 6min people (who are now 3minutes ahead of you). At about the two and a half hour point of the race, you are told from the voice in your ear to do some 100m sprints. But then after you do that, you are told to just do some steady tempo for as long as you can go - so now you are running 6:15 and starting to come unglued, and there are still another 5miles left in the race. If you were running a marathon you would never dream of dropping to your 5k pace at the 20mile mark, but you are being asked to do this. And you have to. So you do. And at about the 23mile mark of the race, you pop, blow up, come unglued, and slow to about 9min miles. Game over, you watch the pack run away from you. Then your shoe comes untied as you near the last mile. Oh, what a wonderful world.

Day 4 is the easy day - it's a lot like running a 10k on the track. Ok, so it's a race that is an hour long, and you do 28 laps on a 1k loop, but imagine racing a 10k and only running 10k pace on some laps, and then running your 1 mile race pace every 5th lap. Oh, and on those laps you have to sprint the last 50meters every time. This race is fast /slow/fast/slow. Imagine also that you have people stepping on your foot and elbowing you in every turn, and oocasionally people fall down near you and you have to avoid them. Great fun.

The reason I like bike racing is because it is exciting. It is also very unpredictable and can be frustrating. I like running because it is pure, unadulterated.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A word of advice ...

... for anyone reading this who is new to the sport of running.

If the town you are running in has names for its hills then they are probably pretty big ones! And, if those hills also happen to have cell phone, radio or television towers on top of them, then you're in for one heck of a grueling run.

I know this because on Saturday morning I joined up with the "Breakfast Club" (a weekly training group made up of members of my running club - The Gate City Striders - We decided to meet in Mason, NH. Run a few miles together and have a nice breakfast at Parkers Maple Barn -

Let's just say that after 12 hilly Mason miles, I more than earned those 2 scrambled eggs, 3 strips of bacon, 2 pieces of thick texas toast, pile of home fries and Blueberry pancakes with Homemade maple syrup. Yum.

The lying B*stard!

Last Friday, June 30th, was another of my "let's see how painful we can make this workout" sessions. I don't know why I pick Fridays to beat myself up so badly. I think it's the thought of the weekend coming up and the weekends are a time to rest and recover. But weekends are the only time where there is a a big enough block of time to get in some really good workouts so I should be resting on Friday in preparation for the big training sessions. But Fridays are close enough to the weekends to make them a part of the weekend so I suppose training hard on Friday night actually makes sense.

The plan was to do a 10+ mile run at a moderate pace, then immediately jump on the bike for a good 15 mile ride. This training session is in prep for the Wildman Biathlon ( coming up on August 11th. Normally, brick sessions are done in bike/run order. But the Wildman is a run/bike/hill-run so I wanted to see what it was like coming off a run onto the bike.

My 10 mile run starts off with some minor rollers, but then around mile 3 the hills get a little more serious. I hate runs that are flat. I think it's like kissing someone that doesn't know how to kiss. You go through the motions, but you can't wait for it to be over and then you leave feeling less than satisified. So I always try to find a course that knows how to kiss. I know plenty of them so that's not really an issue. :) The course I chose was basically an out and back with a little dogleg that added a few extra hills. My pace was around 7:10 or so which was reasonable. The plan was to run a strong pace without going too crazy. In retrospect, I might try to drop the pace to sub-7's next time to make it a bit more challenging and emulate racing conditions are little more closely.

I finish the run feeling pretty good. My legs are a little wobbly coming in and that's perfect. I keep my shorts on, but change into my biking jersey, shoes, helmet, glasses, gloves (God, running is so much easier. You're basically n*ked except for shorts and running shoes). I grab my prefilled water bottle, some hammer gel and I'm off on my ride. I take it fairly easy intially, running through system checks to see how things are going. I down a bottle of propel that I threw in the back of my biking jersey and I eat some gatorade jelly beans that I had in my desk drawer for about a year. I looked for an expiration date but didn't see one so I was good to go.

The ride goes pretty good, except for 2 things. One is that I'm really tired and beat up from the run. I now understand why triathlons are done in the order they are. Least stress to the body (swimming) to the most stressful (running). The second thing that seems to be wrong is that my bike computer is lying to me. I don't understand how I can be going down hill with the chain in the big ring in the front and the small ring in the back, my cadence is good, but my speed is only 17 MPH??? Whisky Tango Foxtrot?!?!? NFW! I'm working too hard and feeling owies and this lying b*stard has the nerve to tell me that I'm only going 17 MPH?!? It then jumps up to around 34, which seems reasonable. I know that I might have the pickup in the wrong location, or perhaps the magnet has come loose and needs to be repositioned, but I hate that bike computer anyway and I've been eyeing this nicer one at the bike store so this is the perfect excuse to deep-6 the thing.

I arrive back home and I'm not feeling 100%. That was a tough workout. I take some ibuprophen before going to bed that night. I rarely have to take pain killers after a workout, but this was a tough one. I also banged my knee when I almost fell off my bike, and I strained my calf muscle as I made a valiant attempt to save whatever dignity I had remaining. My last thought before passing out for the night was that I really, really s*ck on the bike and I'm going to get my butt handed to me come August 11th. :) I need to do more of those I think, but with the lying b*stard retired in a deep hole somewhere and my sparkling new bike computer feeding me praise and telling me how awesome my riding is. I expect to pay extra for those features. :)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Man, I hate that one ...

My primary running focus these days (besides not embarrassing myself at RTB) is my training for the Clarence DeMar Marathon in the Fall. The goal for my "lucky" thirteenth marathon is to break 3 hours for the first time and hopefully better Lance Armstong's time in the process. Speaking of which, I'm working on getting Joannie Benoit to come run Clarence with me so she can elbow other runners out of the way, grab my gatorade , and whisper encouraging words in the final few miles. Her people have yet to get back to me. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Anyway, of the three core workouts I do for my marathon training (speed, tempo & long) the one I look forward to the least is, without a doubt, the tempo run. I don't know why, there is just something about it that causes me dread. Maybe, it's because I do it at lunchtime on Fridays after a long week of work, during the hottest time of day, on a hilly course. Or, maybe, it's simply because it just hurts more than any of my other workouts. Speedwork is fun for me. I think getting out on the track and running with 50 or 60 of my teamates is a blast. It's sort of like a race, but much more enjoyable. And, the distances are short enough (400's, 800's, 1200's, etc.) that by the time it really starts to hurt, you get to stop and jog. Long runs are also easy for me. I'm not blessed with a lot of speed, but I can run all day without a problem. I just dial in my pace and I'm set. Tempo runs are, by far, the hardest for me. So, it's no surprise that I like enjoy them the least. However, it's the Tempo run above all others that I find to be the true barometer of my running fitness.

This weeks Tempo run was scheduled for 8 miles in total. 1 mile of warm-up going right into 6 miles at Tempo pace, and then 1 mile of cool down. In order to psyche myself up for this one I tried to emphasize the positive. It's been a month since my last race, so my legs should feel fresh ... I'm down to 184 pounds, so I should feel lighter... The weather has cooled from earlier in the week, so it should feel easier, etc. The goal for this workout was to run a controlled 6:10 avg. pace during the tempo section with no mile of it (including the uphill sections) in over 6:20. I chose 6:10 because it was just slightly slower than the 6:08 pace I averaged the last time I ran this 8 mile tempo run, just before the New Bedford Half.

My first mile was 7:16 (nice & easy). Then I picked it up for the first of my tempo miles. Mile 2 was 6:11 (not bad considering the hill in the middle). Mile 3 was 6:16 (mostly up). Mile 4 was 6:01 (mostly down and feeling ok still). Mile 5 was 6:14 (up & down and starting to fall apart a bit). Mile 6 was 6:26 (mostly up and fighting the urge to make this a 4 mile tempo). Mile 7 was 6:12 (mostly down and I just couldn't get my legs to turn over). Mile 8 was 7:29 (a flat and wobbly jog back).

My totals were: 8 miles in 52:05 for a 6:30 average overall pace. 6 tempo miles in 37:20 for a 6:13 average tempo pace (or 3 sec/mile slower than my goal).
I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't meet my pre-workout goals. But, all in all, it's not too bad for this point in the training. I had hoped to take advantage of the cooler temperature, but I didn't. Maybe next time it will be hailing, or something, and I won't have to do the workout at all. Man, I hate that one...