Twelve miles with seven miles at tempo pace were on today's schedule. Actually, a 15 miler was on today's schedule and 12 / 7 was on Thursday's schedule. But I slept late and realized that I didn't have time to get 15 miles done before 7:00 AM. I seriously thought about doing 12 miles at long run pace. That would have been easy and pleasant. I still had that thought when I hit the road at 5:20 AM. When my watch hit 3 miles, though, I decided to just do it.
I did mix it up a bit and do the tempo miles on the roads instead of on the track. That time of day there is very little traffic in the neighborhoods where I'm running. It worked out well as I only had one stop for traffic. Running that fast in the dark does disturb dogs a little more, though. There was more barking than usual and I had to squirt a couple back with my water bottle.
I ran 7 miles at a 6:36 overall pace. After the first mile at 6:37, I spent most of the rest of the run talking myself out of quitting. When I hit mile 6 with a 6:35 average pace, I wouldn't have quit early for $100. It's funny how a distance runner's mind works. I kept telling myself, "Running until you're tired doesn't make you a better runner. Running AFTER you're tired makes you a better runner."
Why do I like this suffering so much?