Hopefully this blog won't turn into something where I write about every workout, and how crazy or insane they are, but I really felt that today's very difficult/crazy/stupid? run deserved some attention!
When the week started, I had the best intentions for the upcoming long run on Saturday. I got back from my ski trip, got my diet back on track (I will give the diet specifics AFTER I have decided I am happy with how it is going), rocked my workout on Thurs, swam on Friday, and took the kids to the pool Friday night. I woke up Saturday morning to freezing cold and snowing outside. A friend of mine from college put on his facebook page a while back, "don't run more miles than the temperature is degrees". I read it and hoped I would never run into that situation. Alas, today my schedule called for 17 miles, and the high for Brighton, where I was planning to run, called for it to be 17 degrees from 2pm-4pm. Perfect, except that it will take me longer than 2 hours to do that. Thankfully, I had gotten a call from Cristina, who is an extremely fast runner and triathlete who has really helped me get going in the tri world, and she was up for running with me today (we had talked about it last night). I love it that she is not scared of a 17 mile run in the freezing cold and isn't on a set training plan. I hope to be like that someday.
We meet up around 2 and tried to figure out if what we were wearing was enough, too much, or what. I had brought a ton of clothes with me, including gym clothes if I felt the need to bail and run inside. I opted to wear a Mountain Hardwear N2S Gore Windstopper tight and top, with a fleece over top, as well as my Asics Gelnots (their version of Gore) jacket overtop, hat, earwarmers, visor (instead of sunglasses to keep the snow out of my eyes), and fleece gloves. I totally forgot about my compression socks until I was in the car. I can't believe with all the stuff I had, I forgot those, but it was mostly because I had opted for my thickest non-hiking Smartwool socks. I had fleece pants on too in the car, but I took them off to run. It would have been too much, as I was roasting in the car.
We got off to a FAST start, like last week, because Cristina is crazy fast, only this time I knew we needed to slow down. I was feeling tired (partially due to the new diet limiting my carbs somewhat), the snow was falling and starting to cover the path, making it just a tad slick/squishy, and I was feeling rather warm. We ran 6 miles before taking a bathroom stop, where I realized I was probably getting dehydrated somewhat, but enjoyed the warmth of the building. We ran back to where the cars were and the other bathroom, and I just felt beat. The wind was blowing snow on the path, and my legs felt heavy. I could feel how my tights (which only have some stretch to them to make them windproof), were fighting me too as they stretchy panels were not wanting to stay over my knees since my large calves were pulling them down. I wanted to be done. I had brought a flask of Hammer Gel with me, which had gotten really thick, and I took some at 5 miles, and then a bit more at 8, because I worried I didn't have enough at 5 but figured I was going to be done at the car, a little under 12, so I didn't worry too much about taking too much more. I thought I needed to go to the bathroom again, but perhaps it was just my body/mind wanting an excuse to stop, so we hung out in the bathroom by the cars for a bit, and then Cristina tells me she is going to do the full 17. She has what she calls an issue with doing less than what she set out to do, even though she didn't really plan to go 17 anyway. I walked with her back to the junction where the cars were one way, the path continued the other, and I told her I was done. Then she said "see you later", and I realized that I couldn't let her finish my 17 mile run that I had planned, and my head just got back into the game (for the most part). I had some more gel. It was tough, but we gritted out another 5.5 miles to get to the full 17. Our pace was BAD, and in any other conditions, Cristina would have been really mad at herself for being that slow. Instead, we were just happy to have beat mother nature. I am so grateful to her for sticking it out with me and giving me that push to get in my miles. I had just read this week on my friend and former teammate Meredith's blog about things she was using to motivate her, and it pepped me up a bit. She had written, "you will quit and no one will care, but you will always remember". I am glad I followed through, and was not a quitter.
It was 16 degrees according to the car when I got in at the end. I wish I would have known the windchill. The "realfeel" had it at 0degrees. I also realized that I had way too much gel left over. I should have had a lot more of it, and probably grabbed some water when we passed the cars. Those two things would have gone a long way to make this run less bad. I do know that since next week is a step-down week, if it is like today next Saturday, I will likely just be doing 10 on a treadmill and calling it good. The kids didn't get to do anything terribly exciting today, so that was a bit of a bummer for me. In the summer, we used to do all sorts of adventures while Ryan was riding before I ran, or I would run at the same time he rode so we would do cool stuff in the afternoons on Saturdays. Not today, we didn't even go to the grocery store to get 2% milk for Soren, and he had to drink skim today. It was just too cold to take them out for something that small. We did have a nice family dinner out, though, once I was finally all showered and warmed up.
Here is a picture of Cristina and I from the much warmer end of summer at a casual run for Martha Stewart's show moving on TV (hence the spoons)