I'm not sure why, but 10 miles seems to be where it becomes a real mental game for me. I was already nervous about the run last night. That's not a good sign.
But I broke it down logically. It's simple really. All I need is a good night's sleep, appropriate fuel, some fast tempo music, and a charged up Garmin. Eat appropriately, dress appropriately, & show up at the meeting spot on time. Find an easy/sustainable pace. Run for 5 miles. Turn around. And run back. Believe in yourself. Believe in your training.
The sleep was good (not great, but good enough). My ipod was charged. My Garmin was charged. I figured out what to wear. Had time to eat. Got there on time. Running partner was there already. We decided to head out early, assuming some of the others would catch up with us anyway. And so we were off.
It helped that he was a bit tired and didn't feel like pushing the pace at all. It helped that we had stories to tell that kept our minds occupied most of the way. It helped that the weather was quite pleasant actually.
I kept waiting for the point in the run where it begins to suck. That point never came. We stayed fairly steady the whole way. Picked up the pace just a bit at the end and finished strong. Overall pace was 10:47, final mile was 10:24.
Next week the schedule calls for twelve. You know what? I think I can do this.