To get 17 in today, I had to add a loop to the end of my usual long run. The normal run ends at the west end of Purdue's campus, so the loop took me well into campus before heading back home. As I approached campus, I was surprised to hear Purdue's Bell Tower running out song after song at 8am on a Saturday morning in August. The tunes were great; all the Purdue songs I learned when I was a freshman:
Ever faithful, ever true,
thus we raise our song anew,
Of the days we've spent with you,
All Hail, our own, Purdue and others. But why?
Then I remembered: today was commencement for the summer session. So, it made me smile to run around the campus Gretchen and I met on and subsequently put two sons through. And all that 4/4 marching music is great to run with.
Man, I enjoy long runs. The temperature moderated to a "frosty" 68 when I walked out the door just before 7 and was only 80 when I returned. I had some fairly even splits:
9 46, 9 39, 9 48, 9 46, 9 51.
9 27, 9 43, 9 28, 10 11, 9 51,
10 00*, 9 36, 9 52, 9 46, 10 08,
9 35, 9 22.
And managed to finish strong over the last two miles. Plus, * one of my 10 minute miles came as I had a chance to walk with long-time friends Dick and Marilyn as they were on the trail picking up trash. Dick did a nice service for me by NOT picking up the Gatorade I thought I had hidden pretty well. He knew I usually ran long on Saturday mornings and he said "It looked to be too purposefully placed behind that post to just be trash." We laughed and I thanked him for assisting in my continued hydration efforts.
I felt good at the end of the run. Could have easily gone farther, which is how I want to feel. Tomorrow, I do 8 miles at my still-undetermined "marathon pace." But I'm thinking I'll settle it at 9:20 on the Garmin. We'll see tomorrow. Eight weeks till Portland...it's feeling good.