William Wallace and I headed out together, and it was a terrific morning for a long run. There wasn't a hot sun - it was cloudy - and the temperature was in the 20 degrees C range (70-ish degrees F). We had a heavy downpour yesterday and in the night so I put my older shoes on in expectation of getting my feet wet in puddles (didn't happen). I was very grateful for the lack of heat and humidity for this run. :)
I am very, very happy with this run, and my reasons for being happy with it have nothing to do with PBs (in fact, I was 2 minutes slower than in past runs):
Happy Reason #1:
I looked forward to this run. :) I really like not feeling overwhelmed by the distance I see on my training schedule. I didn't feel any pressure about this one at all. I headed out as if it was a regular run (even though it is clearly not a regular run for me). :) This is a very sweet feeling. I'm in awe of runners who run this distance regularly so, for me, it's very cool. :)
Happy Reason #2
This is connected to the reason I've stated above, but I am feeling very jazzed about running this distance a minimum of three times by now (I'm including the 22.5 km from last weekend in this equation). I walked/ran a 20 km distance once last year before my half marathon.* This year, I am three weeks away from my first half marathon of the year, and I am feeling the difference. I enjoy seeing this much improvement in both my ability to run this distance without needing walk breaks, and my ability to do this by July/August of this year. :)
*For clarification, I am not saying this as if this was a 'bad' thing ... I was following a first time/half marathon plan that was focused 'solely' on starting/finishing a half marathon (it was a PR just to finish). I'm still very proud/pleased that I did this. :)
Happy Reason #3
I didn't have my Garmin set to anything but 'Distance." I ran according to how I felt and checked my Garmin occasionally to see where I was at with my 'mental' breakdown of the LSD into four, equal parts. My desire was to run consistent splits and to be able to feel this consistency. I followed my training book's advice - go out slower, take longer to warm up, keep in mind that this is no longer "the" run of the week, but one of three specific runs of the week. It was good advice. :)
Happy Reason #4
While running, I "felt" that my third 5 km section was faster than the previous two. I was excited by the prospect of checking my splits and seeing a faster pace during this third section of my run.
Happy Reason #5
I knew I would start feeling more sluggish at the end of my run; this was expected since my body is still learning to adjust to this distance. However, I was hoping for a sense that this 'sluggishness' would still feel stronger than in my previous LSDs at this distance. I'm pleased with how I pushed myself through it at the end.
First 5 km:
7:45, 7:44, 7:37, 7:34, 7:29
Second 5 km:
7:32, 7:33, 7:31, 7:40, 7:42
Third 5 km:
7:37, 7:24, 7:22, 7:28, 7:40
Final 5 km:
7:23, 7:38, 7:29, 7:43, 7:42
Early to bed tonight because I am pooped after this. No run tomorrow because it's rest day, and then more-than-likely my hill workout on Tuesday.