A.M. Today was my last run as a young man. I am turning 40 tomorrow and will become a master. Started the run late today due to the ward cleanup that did not finish until after 10:30 AM. But it was actually good because it was raining earlier, but then it stopped. So I did 3 with Joseph and Jenny, then 1 with Jacob, 2 with Sarah, and 0.5 with William. Benjamin did 8 and Julia did 2 at grandparent's house. After I was done with the slow portion of the run I decided to do something that I have not felt I was ready for in a long time but it seemed to just be falling into my plate given a relatively slow pace in the first 6.5 and the need to finish the run in some reasonable time. Well, the pace was not that slow - Jenny and Joseph averaged under 8:20 on a hilly course , Jacob ran 8:00 pace on the same hilly course, Sarah averaged sub-10:00 and so did William. But it still justified an extra effort in the remaining 13.5 of the long run. So I decided to run 6.75 out from the house into the Provo Canyon, and then back. This not a happy course for a tempo run for sure, and the distance was long. So I said fight for sub-6:00 average, but realize it might not happen and do not get depressed if so.
Fortunately, I somehow managed to dip under 6:00 average finishing the run in 1:20:58. My split for my 3 mile Provo Canyon course going up was 18:02. At the turnaround my time was 40;53. With that I was getting quite encouraged about gapping the 6:00 guy by a minute on the way back, but I forgot about two things. One, it was 1 pm already, and the wind had turned around becoming an odd cross wind which was friendlier when you ran up than when you ran down. Two, running 6:00 pace up the canyon took some juice out of me. So coming back I was running sub-6:00, but only marginally. The 3 mile stretch down was only 17:41. Nevertheless, it was enough to build enough gap before the final half mile uphill that I did not lose it all, and ended up 2 seconds ahead of my virtual nemesis.
I am quite encouraged by this run. Whenever I can hold sub-6:00 for 13 or longer at the end of a 20 miler even on a flat course with no wind, that is a big positive, but it is particularly positive when there is no net elevation drop, there is a lot of climbing, and we add head wind into the picture. I attribute the success to my recent discovery of vertical leg press which I have been doing faithfully 3 times a week.