After getting up to 10 miles on my long runs, I have hit the reset switch and am now back at 6 miles for my long runs. I didn't run as fast as my 10 milers either.
I didn't start with a warmup this workout, because I had my girlfriend pacing me on her bike. She stayed slow enough for me to keep up with her, which was very nice. I say this because a cyclist could very easily push the pace and send a runner into anaerobic activity in no time flat.
My left ankle has hurt since Friday. No particular reason. My GF felt my ankle and thinks that I am missing some cartilage. Could be, but I don't really want to know that. It was still a little sore when I started today's run, but it felt normal by the time I hit 2 miles.
Everything felt nice and smooth through 3 miles. That's when I had to start thinking about pushing myself to maintain my pace. I would say that I probably was running in the high 8's for most of the run. Somewhere between that point and mile 5, my GF says to me, "Let me see that gazelle stride you talk about." Of course, I start pushing off harder and lifting my thighs as I drive my knees forward. I picked it up and ran sub-6 minute pace for about a quarter mile and was out of breath in no time. I told her to wait as I slowed down, but kept motivated enough to go back to my previous pace.
I yelled out when we had 1 mile left, because I have that marked in my head (from too many runs to count). When we hit about half mile left, she tells me that we're close and I need to pick it up a little. I really like that about her. She knew exactly when to push me. When we finished up, I was spent. The temperature was high 70's when the sun was going down. Felt great!