I had a good run yesterday--I did 6 miles on Grant's Trail at an 8:14 pace. A few weeks ago, I was blown away to do a 4 miler at a 8:09 pace...so this is a great pace for 6 miles.
I'm not really sure why my times are getting better all of the sudden, but I have a few theories.
Disclaimer: My theories are not based on anything.
I started increasing my calories... when we got back from vacation, I was really feeling the holiday bloat, so I limited my calories to between 1200-1300/daily. Since I dropped that poundage, I've upped them to between 1800-2000/daily. I don't really eat fast food, so usually this is a pretty high volume of food. Maybe my body is feeling a little better fueled than it was?
I'm stable in my cross-training as well... I started doing a boot camp twice a week in January and I think it took my body a little while to adjust to the different type of exercise. I had been "just" running for quite a while, and was SORE for the first few weeks. Maybe I finally built some muscles up?
At any rate, I'm going to accept this speeding up joyfully. I've never really done the tempo/fartlek/interval type training for races, but maybe this increase is what I need to motivate me. I'm debating whether I'm going to run another marathon in the fall or try to be really good at a half in the fall.
Of course, really good is relative.