Normally, my tempos follow a particular pattern. The early miles feel hard. I start to settle into the effort during the middle miles. Then, I either finish feeling good or just finish.
On Tuesday, I didn't feel that I was having a particular good day. For a reason, I cannot explain; I just didn't feel like my normal self.
My breathing felt more labored than usual. I churned through the early miles, but I never really felt like I was settling into it.
Finally, I hit 7 miles of my 8 mile tempo and I just let up. At first, I was just going to run it on in to the finish. However, after about 10 seconds, I thought "let's just relax and push it little". Getting a little more in when I didn't feel like it couldn't hurt could it. My legs suddenly felt relaxed, and my breathing settled down. My gait finally felt nice and smooth.
This last mile just seemed to fly by. The final mile split was 6:03 and was the fastest of the entire workout.
At the time, I had no explanation to why I was able to run faster. I had certainly shown no signs that I would. My actions certainly wouldn't have led me to believe this last mile would be faster.
Somewhere embedded in this story, there is a moral to it. I am sure of it. Sometimes, we try too hard and are frustrated because our efforts are not meeting our expectations. Maybe the best suggestion that I can make is to count to 10, relax, and give it another try.