I got an early start yesterday morning, running in a cool fog for the first 2.5 hours of my run. It was just above the freezing mark when I started, but by the time I'd finished running, it was warm and sunny and just beautiful outside. All in all, yesterday was one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen - clear, sunny, warm, and Vermont is bright with the colors of autumn. The state is full of tourists who are enjoying some amazing weather.
My run started off slowly, maybe because of the early start or the cool weather or maybe I was still tired from Thursday's run. About 7 miles into the run, I made a pit stop and filled my water bottle, and after the short break, my pace increased with no real change in my level of effort. I felt pretty good for the rest of the run, although I did fade a little bit in the last two miles.
I ran the last 11 miles only 24 seconds slower than the first 11, so my splits were pretty even. I was 2.5 minutes slower than my 22 miler two weeks ago, but I'm not too concerned about the time difference. In the 6 days before yesterday, I'd run 19 miles at sub-8 pace, so I'm sure I was a bit tired.
Today is a rest day, and tomorrow is a leg day at the gym. On Tuesday, I'll do 10 repeats of 800 meters. After that, I'll take a few slower days before next Saturday's 24 miler. That will be my last long run before my marathon, which is now only 4 weeks away.
I finished my run yesterday in time to see all of my son's soccer game. Regretfully, despite playing a solid game, they lost 3-0 to Montpelier. They have really struggled to score all year, and by late in the game yesterday, they were clearly frustrated. My son got called for a push, which he told me after the game he thought was a terrible call. I told him that I had to disagree; he'd clearly pushed the other boy. Two of his teammates got yellow cards in the final minutes of the game - one for a verbal infraction and one for a fairly violent push. They've clearly improved over the course of the season, but they're still a step behind most of the teams they play. Our school is in a division with mostly bigger schools (by our athletic director's choice), and losing most of the time gets old for boys who are working hard. I'd like to say there are some good life lessons in there somewhere, but I also understand the frustration of working hard and not achieving your goals, so I also empathize with the boys.