As my mileage increases, I'm finding that the shorter runs are easier psychologically but still challenging physically. I used to run 3-4 miles on a regular basis. Now 5 miles is a short run, and I don't flinch at the thought of churning out 5 or even 6.
But for some reason, I thought that since I'd already done an 8-mile run, the 5-miler would be easy. Turns out I was wrong on that one. Well, the last half of the 5-miler wasn't too bad, but the first 2 or 3 miles hurt more than I expected it to. Maybe I just needed to warm up more.
A big part of the discomfort no doubt can be attributed to the fact that I was running alone - my running buddy Steve is sidelined with some major foot pain, so it looks like I'm on my own for the final 4 weeks leading up to the big race (he's heading out to Europe for 3 weeks on 5 Sept, so I was going to be solo soon anyway). The iPod helps, but it's not the same as having Steve there.
But, I still had a nice strong finish (thanks to GN'R rocking out in my earphones) and am looking forward to my next long run - 9 miles this weekend!