I ran 5 miles this morning with a few friends on the Chisholm Trail in Plano. It had been a while since I had run there, and I had forgotten what a nice trail it is - well-maintained, a nice amount of running traffic, casual cyclists so less risk of bike-and-pedestrian accidents, lots of people walking dogs enjoying the morning, and well-shaded woody areas.
I was really happy with the final result - I ran 5 miles straight with NO walk breaks, and at what I would consider breakneck speed. We ran the first three miles right at a slight sub 11:30 pace. And then picked up the pace in the last two miles to run 11:02 and 11:03, respectively. Including a kick at the end for the last 30 seconds to really ramp up the pace - I didn't think I had it in me but was able to get it done.
Average pace of 11:18. Which is below the 11:30 pace I will need to break a 2 1/2 hour half marathon!
Sad moment: on the road right by the trail at one point, we came upon a duckling who had been run over badly and it must have been right before we got there (his little legs were still kicking). The saddest part was another 8 ducklings and mommy and daddy ducks standing there looking at it like "I don't think he's going to get up." I cried for the next minute of the run. That just killed me, and I made us run on the other side of the creek (the less-shaded side) on the "back" portion of the run so I wouldn't have to see that again.
This run and a couple runs recently have been creating a dialogue in my head about self-motivation... but that's for a future post.