I was able to get out for a 7 mile run on Sunday at Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View. It was cold out, but I generally like running in the cold so it was nice. I started off a little slower than I wanted (about a 9 min pace the first 1/2 mile), then I went too fast until mile 3. My hands were cold (and I did not have gloves) so I pulled my long sleeve shirt over my hands (and over Garmin). I would check my pace at the mile markers and knew I was going to be in trouble down the road once I saw my pace. I was going about a 7:30 min a mile pace for miles 2 and 3. Way too fast.
I was really getting tired in miles 4 and 5 . But, I thought about all of the people running races on Sunday (especially those running marathons) and knew that I could get through these last few miles when others were pushing themselves so hard. I wanted to finish at an 8:30 pace. With about a 1/2 a mile left, I check Garmin and my pace was 8:32. I kicked up the speed and was about to finished my 7 miles at 8:29. I was tired, but felt really good.
It's very interesting to be running without a race coming up. In 2008 when I re-started running, I was training for a marathon and then after my injury layoff I started running in preparation for another marathon. So, this is really the first time, I'm running, just to run. With the baby coming soon, I don't want to plan a major race until mid-year (looks like maybe San Diego). I had a work Holiday party on Sunday and someone asked me what are you training for. And, I said nothing. Just running to run. It feels great.