So I fell off the wagon. After a very crappy run Tuesday before last, I didn't run for 9 days, due to work and motorcycling. I'm not going to go into long explanations. The short story is that I preferred sleep to exercise and that I was forced into making that choice. But now I'm back on the wagon and picking up on training again.
I wasn't sure I'd be able to do the full 10 miles the plan called for today, but I did get it done. The first three SUUUUUUCKED. As usual. The first mile, in fact, was so slow and so awkward I wondered if I should cut the day's mileage in half. But by the time I was well into the third mile, I began to feel warmed up. I did not tackle the big hills with gusto, I'm afraid; just dealt with them best I could. I kept in mind that this is Long Slow Distance run and that when one's short run speed is little better than one's long run speed, some walking may be called for in order to last the entire distance.
However, I managed to cut the amount of walking down gradually as the run progressed and had a couple of really good miles, especially between 5.5 and 6.5 and the last mile of the run.
It was warm and humid today, with few breezes, but was nicely overcast and not outright hot. It was humid enough that my sweat did not evaporate, but not so humid I couldn't breathe, so I was in just that narrow window. I remembered to bring hydration and filled up at water fountains frequently.
The last stretch home - the "dessert mile" was very hard to run. I struggled through it and used the downhills as best I could. The last half mile, especially, was a battle to keep my legs moving and not slow to a walk. But when approaching my last intersection, where I usually end my run before the light, the light changed and the walk sign changed to the white walking man outline, beckoning me across the intersection and as far as I needed to hear the voice announce a full 10 miles. And I finished strong. As hard as that last 1.7 miles from park to home was, once the voice announced 9 miles and the time, I felt that a good effort could get me home under the 2 hour mark. I pushed hard and managed a sub-two. More training like this and I should do very well at the Queens Half in September. (Which reminds me, I need to get signed up for the Staten Island Half right away.)
So here it is, my definitive 10-mile route; EXACTLY 10 miles from my house to the park, around twice, and back home:
For the record, here are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday's runs. Not quite up to the training plan, but at least it got me back on the wagon.
Get back on that wagon; extremely difficult. Very sore from the motorcycle ride still and very tired from mounting IMPACT. 2 miles near my house; not bad, just too short.