Nothing quite as satisfying as getting in a nice little 8-mile run before work on a weekday. :) Certainly brings a different feeling when folks say "good morning" at the office to know that I've already been up for 4 hours. Especially because I thought the knee was going to screw me up for the week, it felt really good to get a nice, easy, comfortable run in.
Of course, because I'm far from speedy, doing an 8-mile run on a school/work day entails waking up at half-past-ridiculous. I set out my shorts, tank and socks last night, and the shoes were in the bathroom next to the tub where I'd left them yesterday morning. I charged the Garmin last night, as well as the iPod (last week, the Shuffle went dead two songs into a 10-miler! Bah!), so I was loaded for bear with all the essential gear.
I knew I was doing a route near the parks, with water stops from the park fountains at 2, 3.5, 4.5, and 6 miles, so there was no need for the belt pack. I'm getting to not really like the belt pack, which is sad, since I've run so many miles with that, and I really do need it on longer runs, especially in the humidity. But there was no humidity today, oh no, and in fact, it was downright chilly. Heading out at 4:45 AM, I was actually cold until I got into a groove about half a mile in. In the car on the way to school nearly three hours later it was still only 62 degrees, so I imagine it was at least that if not colder when I was out and about. Which sounds great, but when it was 80+ at 6:00 AM less than a week ago, it's not easy to transition.
So, it was a nice, uneventful run. I saw lots of folks over in the park, near the cinder horse path. I very rarely see other runners in my 'hood; lots of folks are walking their various dogs, but few runners. So that was kind of nice -- you can tell the cooler weather is bringing folks out of the woodwork. I never felt like my HR was out of range, but I didn't have my HR monitor on so I can't really tell. I just know it wasn't a hard run. The legs felt fine, except for some twinging on the bruised knee at the outset. The shins are all better now, and the new shoes are broken in nicely after 17 miles in three days. Here are today's splits:
Mile 1 - 10:54
Mile 2 - 11:11
Mile 3 - 10:30
Mile 4 - 10:45
Mile 5 - 10:49
Mile 6 - 10:44
Mile 7 - 10:25
Mile 8 - 10:08
Total Time: 1:25:29
Average Pace: 10:41
Calories burned: 1079
For comparison sakes, here's the summary from Saturday's 8-miler (way more humidity, later in the day, slightly different route):
Total Time: 1:24:24 ~1:00 faster than today
Average Pace: 10:33 ~9 seconds/mile faster than today
Calories burned: 1109 ~30 calories more than today
So I don't know what that means, except that obviously, I was just a bit slower today. I didn't really push myself, I just ran, without much regard to pace or speed. I just ran. In any case, I enjoyed the morning and the weather and my ability to move without pain. And isn't that what's it all about?