First 5 miles I was cruising along, cold, but felt OK. Reined in the speed a little bit to keep it over 8:30. I didn't want to burn out early. By 5 miles my hands and arms stopped being cold. I headed over to the beach for the last 12 miles. Started to get a little drizzle, but it was merely refreshing. By mile 8 the speed had picked up to close to 8 minute pace. Still felt good, so I decided to keep it there the rest of the way.
On the way back, the rain came back pretty heavy for the last 6 miles, and the wind picked up, but it was bearable. I was tired, but still able to push the pace a little and stay on track. By the end I still had some energy and felt pretty darn good! 18.2 miles done, and I had the feeling that 26.2 was not really that far away! Much better than I felt last year at this time when I ran 18 and bonked hard.
Splits: 8:59, 8:50, 8:45, 8:37, 8:25, 8:36, 8:24, 8:18 - First 8 miles averaged 8:37
7:54, 8:02, 8:08, 8:10, 8:09, 8:20, 8:08, 8:14, 8:15, 8:11 - Last ten averaged 8:09!
Total - 18.2 miles at 8:22 pace
Afterward, the pain came with very creaky joints and muscles, not to mention chafing, but after a glorious hot shower, some food, ibuprofen and rest, I'm feeling a whole lot better. My mileage chart is ahead of last year, my pacing is better, all systems are go!
Now I have to go to Indianapolis tomorrow for 4 days, which will make it tough to stay on track with my 4 runs a week goal. I figure I will need to run twice in the cold and dark (or maybe a hotel treadmill - God forbid).