Yesterday I bit the bullet and signed up for my first race since Bath, the Bloomsday 12K in Spokane on May 3. Bath seemed to be the bottom of my winter decline, as things (running) have improved immensely in the month since then, especially (for some reason) since the start of spring.
Now I do have to make sure I get a few longer runs in before then. The race is about 7½ miles long and I haven't run more than 6½ miles or so at one time for a couple of weeks. Two, hopefully three 8-10 milers should do the trick. I don't think it's been long enough for me to have lost all my distance endurance.
I'm feeling pretty good about my speed. I've been consistently doing a 9:30 to 10:15 pace (sometimes faster), and if I can run about a minute (or even 30 seconds) per mile faster in a race, which I have historically done (even in Bath, it's just that my base training pace was so slow), then I will be very happy. If I run the same pace as I have been these past weeks, I'd be okay with that too, if not thrilled.
This morning I did some simple speed work with one-mile pick-ups. I did two miles at warm-up pace (10:50, then an inexplicable 9:15*), one mile faster (9:20), a mile recovery (9:57), another mile faster (9:23), and the last mile or so recovery (9:43, then .15 at 9:54 pace). I decided to shut off the Garmin at exactly 1 hour, which was 6.15 miles, and walk the rest of the way home. In retrospect I wish I'd just run the other tenth of a mile so I could have compared the average pace of today's run over the 6.25 miles with yesterday's progression-type run. I suspect that the average pace would have been about the same, despite the different pattern of running. (Today's average pace was 9:45, but probably would have been a second or two slower if I'd finished up the full 6.25.)
*For a while I have been questioning the accuracy of Garmin for this second mile in my typical run. It always seems too fast for the type of running I am doing, which is usually still warm-up. My pattern is to run 1.5 miles, pause the Garmin and stop for a potty break, then restart the Garmin when I resume. It's usually the second half of mile 2 that seems unusually quick. I suppose I could be running extra fast after the bathroom break, but it just seems odd!