Anyway, I among those videos I found this video on Jeff Galloway's magic mile. In it, he suggests that you slow way down for your long runs. There is some simple, yet fancy math that helps you to determine what your pace should be and I was surprised at just how slow he suggest you run.
This morning I had one of my longest runs ever scheduled. That's right folks, I have made it all the way back to 7 miles after I was injured last March. I was a little worried about running it because my calf muscles have been really tight the last couple of days, but I figured that maybe if I applied the rules of the magic mile, the slower pace would help me avoid injury.
When I started running I actually found myself "running" even slower than my magic mile goal pace. This was not good. But I pushed through. Just over half way through my run I ran through a local 5 k. I came up on the back of the pack and started breezing past people. It was really fun to run in a group for a little while and even more fun to be passing people. (This is a new thing for me, and it probably gives me more pleasure than it should :) )
I finished my 7 miles in 1:24. That averaged out to be a 12 minute mile pace - my precise goal pace for my run. I honestly thought that I had completely botched my run starting out so slowly, and not exactly feeling speedy the whole time, but everything evened out in the end! I guess there really is something to be said for slow and steady!
I have this quote on my wall and I think that it applies very well to situations like this when we are out doing something great but aren't convinced that we are actually doing very much at all: