Seriously! The weather has taken a turn to the cooler side, and the leaves are changing in New England. I have one week till my half marathon, so I'm basically tapering. I used Runner's World's training tool on their website to come up with my training plan. It pretty much falls in line with Hal Higdon's intermediate training. What I like about the Runner's World tool is that it gives me paces to follow for each run... I don't ALWAYS follow them but I definitely do on my interval and tempo runs.
In any case, I decided I'd run 7 miles today and try to go as fast as I could. To hit sub-2 hours I need to maintain my pace around 9 minutes per mile for the whole race. I went over to a reservoir near me that has a 3.4 mile loop with a little extra distance required to get to the beginning of the loop from the parking lot. The loop is actually quite hilly! They have a bike lane, and there are portions where they have warning signs because the grade is steep. I started out fairly easy but I picked it up a notch almost immediately. The temperature helped a ton! It was about 55 degrees out (but sort of windy). It was one of those runs where you bound up the hills and don't dread them... love it! In the end, I finished two loops in just over an hour. Perfect! That was exactly what I needed!
Hope you had a happy and healthy weekend!