This morning I headed out dark and early for probably the hardest and most important workout of the run in to Richmond. On tap was a 12 mile AT tempo. I was having to do it alone and wanted it to go well to keep the confidence high so the adrenaline was pumping a little as I got going this morning. I made myself get up at 3:30 to grab some breakfast so that I could practice for race day. I also took a couple of gus to practice getting them down at race pace.
I had set up a 2.75 mile loop which was generally flat and fast but had a grinding low grade ascent near the end of each loop, trying to simulate the terrain at Richmond. It was dark and I couldn't see much but there wasn't much traffic so I pretty much had the roads to myself.
I was conscious in the first mile of not looking at my watch as I wanted to get into a groove early on at a pace close to what I would hope to run at Richmond and I wanted that pace to feel familiar and easy. So I was happy to hit the first mile in 5:55. However, at this point I wasn't feeling all that great, I seemed to be needing to work quite hard, and when I went through mile 2 in 6:10 (uphill) I was a little concerned. However as I gradually woke up and the legs warmed up I got into a good rhythm and soon was knocking the miles off between 5:45 and 5:50. I eventually finished the 12 miles in 1:09:39 with a significant negative split and felt pretty fresh at the end.
After a day of sitting at work, the legs were definitely tightening though. It was nice to go and get a massage after work and get some of the kinks out. As I sit here Friday night I can definitely feel the effects of the workout. Tomorrow is a nice and easy day and looking forward to a good group for our 20 miler on Sunday.
Hooray for weekends- I am determined to do a bunch of stuff with the kids this weekend. My focus has been pretty intense on training the last few weeks and it is important to keep everything in perspective and not let that dominate your life.