I missed my mid week workout and hadn't been on a run since Sunday. Working from home on Fridays provides an opportunity to get in a few miles in the morning. An early business call provided a scheduling challenge. Despite my chronic tendency to procrastinate before running, I managed to get out before 7:00 AM and was rewarded with a cloudy sky that kept the temperature down. The humidity was another story.
My running experiences have gone from being exciting efforts that occasionally produced performance breakthroughs to embarrassingly slow cookie cutter efforts. I've used the excuse that I have to watch my speed to prevent further issues with my lower back. Even I don't buy that anymore. I think it's come down to the fact that I've lost the will and the knack for running fast.
The thing is, I haven't consciously backed off on the throttle. Most of the runs I do today feel as difficult as the ones I did three years ago. The difference between now and then is measured in minutes per mile. Every time I go out for a run, I think about going to the track and running repeats. I don't have any hope of managing 52 second 200's as I've done in the past, but it would be great to break a nine minute mile once in a while.
I keep telling myself that increasing base past 6 miles will make it easier to maintain speed on shorter runs. I know from half marathon training that there's some truth to that. But I haven't felt the motivation to push beyond a certain perceived effort. The mind has to accept the challenge before the body can perform.