I was planning to run about 8 min/mi pace today and take it easy.
Yesterday, I read the article about the Pawback method of running which was sent to me by Coach Jim "MadDog" Duguay. He had suggested that this method of running might be helpful to me once my injury healed.
Today at mile 2, I was thinking about my form and thought I would try picking up my legs more. The article mentioned picking up the thighs with the shin being level to the ground as the thigh is driven forward approximately 45 degrees to the horizontal. I agree that I tend to shuffle more when I run and was really noticing today that I don't pick up my feet much. I actually thought this was a good thing.
As soon as I start picking up my thighs today, I immediately increased my speed. I lifted the shins and also stood up straighter. Something seemed to click and I was able to continue this motion without much additional effort. I started to pull ahead of everyone around me enjoying my new pace. I kept thinking "pawback" in my mind although I'm sure I was not following this technique at all. Either way, maybe I've finally found a running mantra. Those things never really worked for me before.
I caught up to speedster James K. at the turn around and passed him. He passed me again about 2 miles later, but I kept him in my sight for the rest of the run. The left quad started to get a little fatigued but not too bad. I felt pretty relaxed for most of the run.
I set a 38 sec PR for this course running 7.8 mi in 54:39. I hope it wasn't a fluke. I had a great run on Tuesday as well, but effort was much harder for me than today. This run was so relaxed and easier than the sub-7 pace miles I ran on Tuesday. I'm definitely going to be thinking "pawback" on future runs.
M1 - 8:51
M2 - 7:01
M3 - 6:46
M4 - 6:40
M5 - 6:29
M6 - 6:50
M7 - 6:36
M7.8 - 5:25
Avg. Pace: 7:01/mi
Found another article that mentions the Pawback by Coach Al Lyman
Running Better: A Basic Guide to Help You Run Faster and Stay Injury Free. This looks like good stuff!