Palmer Divide. Wind blows stiff out of the north. These speed trainers, the Brooks T5, serve me well. I think about how long I've had them...nearly a year. They'll probably do me well 'til Spring. A few more seconds to tighten the laces, and then I go.
First lap is aggressive. It's a method that works well for me...start hard and settle into pace. The mile will average between 6:00-6:55 if cards are played right. Something about knowing when to hold and fold.
Second lap my heartbeat slows a little. It's good to run hard but relax enough so the struggle's there but can hardly be felt.
Third lap...distraction. Winds and unseasonable warmth of the day create a paintbrush sky of red-purple and aqua-blue. Making my next turn at 6:40 pace I can see the Spanish Peaks to the south and Ramparts to the west. Home is where you never get tired of what is seen around you.
Fourth lap. Light is about done for today, and so am I. A glance at the watch reveals a mile that took six minutes and fifty-five seconds to run. I'll take that.