We all have our own pace - having over 30 years of running expirence (wow that's getting scary) I can pretty much nail my pace without looking at a watch. It really doesn't matter if I am in or out of shape, I just know in my head how far I've gone and how far I am from finishing a run. Some of you most likely are saying, "What's wrong with that? I wish I could pace myself like that." But really this ability can be counterproductive when I'm doing a tempo run or trying to push myself harder through some 'pick-ups' during a run. I tend to hold a little back on these runs becuase I know in my head I'm on my target pace when it would be more productive to my running growth (ie improvement) to beat my target pace for that run. Tempo runs are usually the thorn in my side.
In addition I tend to improve in leaps, like my 2 mile PB from the other night when I don't make any assumptions on what my pace will be before a run. That way I tend to push myself just a little harder than the pacing voice that is talking in my head. I just wonder if I didn't have this pacing ability would I be a better runner in the long run?
A prime example of what I'm talking about is from my long run from about a week ago. I estimated to Beth that I was going to take 2 hours to finish over at her parents house, 9.5 miles later and 1:59:14 (Yeah :46 second off from my estimate.) I crossed the finish feeling pretty good. My overall pace was crappy but maybe if I couldn't pace myself so well I could have improved on this time. Would running this training run faster make me a better runner? Personally, for this example since this was a new distance I was pleased with my time. And that's when I have to be careful, I have to plan exactly how fast I want to push myself before I leave the house.
I'm currently on a 7 day running streak again. If it hadn't been for the rain and my hip during this month I think I'd be looking at 28 straight days. Still I have to be pleased with my month.
BTW yesterday I mentioned I wanted to run my 4 mile training run at a 9:50 pace...... I did it at a 9:53 pace. Pretty damm close.