Well, today's run made me think of one of those slogans: "Championships are won in the postseason, but earned in the offseason." That was pretty much the theme of my day--I want to run a BQ in May, and runs like today's will get me there.
I wanted to run faster today, but the conditions weren't conducive to that, yet I stuck it out and had a great run.
My Furgdon schedule called for a 15 miler at an 8:00/mile pace. I had mapped out a 10 mile loop (very hilly) and then a 5 mile loop (also hilly) in the Kettles--a very scenic but challenging area just outside of Plymouth. There wouldn't be much traffic outside of CC skiiers and the roads included some great training hills. I hoped to run the first 10 at the required pace (8 min miles) then pick it up for the last 5 miles, hopefully averaging 7 mins a mile. Then came the weather.
At about 29 degrees, it wasn't all that cold out (I know this is relative!) but there was a constant snow and slippery roads to complicate things. Less than two miles into the run, slipping with every step, I knew I wouldn't be hitting my goal pace. I finished the first loop (10 miles, 1:24, 8:24 pace) and got ready to head out for the second loop hoping to get under 8 mins a mile...
Unfortunately the roads had not improved (probably deteriorated) but despite that I got the last 5.1 miles done in 39:51! My last mile included two serious hills that I've attempted 4 times in the past but never been able to run completely to the top. Today I did! I'm gonna be a little sore, but I really loved every second of the run today, and it's really a shot in the arm moving forward in the training.
Some pictures from today:
Gotta love the Lafumas with the gaiters--comfortable feet all day! This angle was inspired by Keith In Training.
Just tire tracks and my footsteps...
Approaching the final hill. Sure doesn't look like much, but it is, especially without Yak Traks!
I meant to write a lot more about this run as it was fantastic. In retrospect, it seems impossible to really capture the moment in words. I guess I'll keep it as my own little gem, with the understanding that runners will know and have experienced what I've failed to explain here...
Week total: 40 miles