I don't speak German, but since Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is normally translated "A Little Night Music," and since laufen means run (I think), my title means A Little Night Run. German speakers, I welcome your corrections. Actually, now that I google my title, I find that I'm not at all original. No big surprise.
Anyway, tonight was a night for another frustrating long run. I feel like I'm on track in my training: I'm close to goal in intervals; I'm making progress on my tempo runs; and my easy runs have been at an acceptable pace. All three have definite room for improvement, but I'm getting there.
Long runs are another story. The ultimate goal, per my White Rock training plan, is to run my long runs at a pace of about 9 minutes/mile, with the last 4 or so miles at race pace, about 7:30. Tonight I started out OK. The first hour I ran mid-9s. The second, around 10. So after 2 hours, I was definitely in the sub-10 range. The next mile or two were a little slower, and I decided to pick it up on mile 15. I ran a blazing fast 8:50, aided by the first 1/2 mile being downhill. The next mile, not so fast: 10:59. After that, I got a little slower. The last 2-3 miles were a painful, slow walk home.
This has become my pattern for long runs: strong start, but seemingly not excessively fast, then a few miles of struggling but keeping an OK, if not optimal, pace, followed by a death march to the finish, as my friend Stuart would say. Now that I think of it, that's pretty much my pattern in races, too. So what I practice in training runs comes out in races. I don't know how to get out of that! I'd settle for even splits in my long runs now, but I'm far from that, much less negative splits! The good news: I still have 4 months until White Rock.