Monday I ran 8 miles in 1:10 and today I ran 6.67 in 1:00. What's great about both of those runs? First, they are both longer than 5 miles, and second they are both under a sub 10 mile. Finally, I'm back.
What changed? Well first last week I was on a business trip in Arkansas. It was hot, and my hotel was on a busy road. That mean no outdoor running. I used it as an opportunity to do what I never do at home, do something different. One day I did speed work on an indoor track. I did 4 x 800, 4 x 400 and 6 x 200, the next day I used this funky treadmill type thing that went up to a super high incline. I did a pre-programmed extreme hill workout. The last day I had to be at the airport very early, so I tried to see how fast I could do a 5k on the treadmill. 23:22. By doing shorter, different workouts I was really able to amp up the intensity.
Then, over the weekend I took 2 days off from running and biked instead. Monday morning I was still in Maine (what a treat!), so I sat down for 10 minutes with my Mom with a cup of coffee and hunk of bread instead of heading straight out the door as usual. The 8 miles around the island felt like a breeze. Even with the extremely hilly terrain, I was still flying. I don't know if it was my happiness to be running by the ocean away from traffic, or the fact that I ate something before going but I felt great. Same thing this morning, my legs felt pretty dead (I've been doing a lot of squats and leg work with weights) but every time I looked down at my Garmin I was at a 9:30 or better pace. We'll see if I can keep it up once the humidity comes back!