It was just a few months ago - meaning this Spring when I was in good shape - when 9 minute miles felt kind of slow to me. The last few weeks on most of my runs, 9 minute miles is about as good as it gets. I can go faster, but not for very long. My reality is I ain't young no more. Not much comes easy - if it does, it sure does not come very fast.
I'm mostly okay with that however. Two reasons: 1) at least I can run, for which I am grateful. 2) Faster times and pace will (hopefully / eventually) come. I'm okay with just putting in miles now. Don't need to, don't want to add speed and miles at the same time - avoiding overcooking.
For the second week in a row, I have run 2 days in a row, sort of. Trying a trick on myself. Ran early Monday morning (7.5 miles at 9 min pace) and then again this evening - 6 miles with those 4 1/4 mile hill repeats again. Overall average was again 9 min miles. Spreading out the back to back days runs to more like a day and a half apart seemed to work out for me.
The hill repeats tonight were better than last Thursday. Taking the average from the 4 tonight and comparing to last week was 7 seconds faster average. Cool weather, it was also nearly completely dark, lightly raining and I had a bit of a nose bleed for a few miles.
By the time I got home inside I was a bit of a mess - took the wet shirt off and lay on the floor. My oldest daughter noticed a scar on my belly - from where I had my appendix taken out a few years back. "Daddy", she asked, "is that where they took out your independix?"
A little later, was tucking into bed my youngest daughter (she is 6) and I asked how her day was. Her immediate response - without blinking an eye, quote: "Drew (also 6) has a crush on me, but he was doing his homework so I just gave him a hug anyway". I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - or have words with this Drew kid at her school.
Bought a new tune for the ipod - catchy.