Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 I felt like I hit the wall. I was no longer running in the shade and the sun was sucking all of the energy out of me. I contemplated trying to push harder to maintain my pace but then I thought it would be better to listen to my body and do the last mile as a warm down.
I really have no idea how I ran sub-9 based on how I felt. I was sure I was running close to 10 min/mile! This run really shows just how far I have come in the last year too. This was the fifth time that I have done a seven mile run and was my fastest by more than five minutes! Last fall when I was training for the Baltimore Half Marathon I ran seven miles in 1:17:36 for an 11:05 pace. Today I finished in 1:03:36 with a 9:05 pace.
A couple months ago a 9:05 pace only existed during my hard or fast runs. I had run sub-9 before during hard runs but I never imagined I would be doing an easy longish (for me) run so close to a pace that starts with an eight. I think this is just the beginning though. I took almost two months off from running so I could focus on improving my cycling and because I was burned out from half marathon training. Now after my break I'm running significantly faster? I'll take it!