The first two miles were hard (it was already 90 degrees when I started and I was feeling tight and sore), then the middle four miles felt great, and then the last two miles were hard again. Here's what I learned from the day.
1) I tried out Clif Shot gel for the first time. I'm a big fan of Clif products as a rule, so I had been wanting to try this anyway, but it's also what will be offered at the Women's Half that I'm doing. A win! It tasted good and I had no tummy troubles afterwards.
2) Early last year I had bought a Nathan hand-held bottle, looking for something lighter than what I was using.
3) About halfway through my run I came close to a water fountain and questioned whether I should stop, take a drink, and fill up my bottle. I still had 1/2 a bottle left so I didn't and continued on. Note to self: if you're asking the question, the answer is YES.
4) Same thing with the walk breaks. Take them early, on schedule, and you might be able to skip some at the end. Skip them early (especially in this heat) and you're almost guaranteed to have to take extra later on.
So, not an easy run, but a good one. I finished strong, and felt of good mind throughout. These first long runs of the season are about learning what you need to do (training the mind) as much as about training the body to run long, so, success!