Just like last monday, my schedule today called for 70-minutes total running, which included a 20-minute warmup, 30-minutes at 7:15 pace, and a 20-minute cool down. The temperatures at 6am this morning were in the low 70s with ridiculous humidity.
Nathan and I met in the parking lot of the Forest Home Church on Old Natchez Trace in Franklin. Old Natchez is one of my favorite places to run in the area, but we try to avoid it on weekdays during the school year because of traffic. We completed our 20-minute warmup on a loop, which included Old Natchez, Montpier Dr, and Natchez Dr. with an average pace around 8:30 per mile. This loop actually took us 21-minutes to complete, so we just took one minute off of the cool down run at the end.
For the tempo portion we ran 15-minutes out and back on Old Natchez Trace, Old Hillsboro Road, and Del Rio Pike. We didn’t start off together because Nathan wanted to run a progressive tempo, while I was looking for even splits. When we did this workout last week, I felt really good, but today I felt even better. I tried to focus on staying smooth with my stride and keeping my breathing under control. As a result my average heart rate for the tempo section was 160 today versus 164 last week, even with the higher temps, nasty humidity, and slightly more undulating terrain.
Just like last week the only thing I really had to fight was the urge to run faster than 7:15. My time for the first 2-miles was 14:29, which was 1-second ahead of pace. After making the turn around I felt a little less comfortable during the third mile, which was strange since it was slightly downhill. However, things felt great during the fourth mile. Nathan was in front of me for the second half of the tempo, and I never gained an inch on him. As a matter of fact he gained a little on me. Nathan has been looking really strong the past two weeks.
For the 30-minutes I completed just over 4-miles, and my Garmin showed an average pace of 7:14 (a fraction too fast overall). Nathan also had a good effort with an identical 7:14 average pace.
After grabbing a quick drink, we finished with a 19-minute cool down using some of the same roads we did during our warmup. As we were talking about the tempo portion, Nathan said that near the end he caught him self singing “Frosty the Snowman,” which seemed to fit his stride perfectly. I said that this must be a subconscience longing for cooler temperatures, and then told a story about how Kate used to sing it as “Kroty the Knowman” before she could pronounce “F” and “S” properly.
Our final total was just under 9-miles completed at 7:55-min pace with warmup and cool down. Great run, and great way to start off Memorial Day!