LAST WEEK'S LONG RUN
Lynette and I went down to the Twin Cities last weekend to vivit some of the family. We had a great time and enjoyed seeing everyone. I missed the Saturday morning group run, so I had to do it solo on Sunday after we got home. I had mapped out an eight mile loop starting and ending at our house that I would run twice. I figured I could refill my water bottle and use the bathroom halfway through the run.
The weather was sunny and cool -- perfect for running. Everything was going great until I got to about the six mile mark. The road I had planned on using to get back home was completely blocked with an earthen dike. Fargo is preparing for some serious flooding this spring. I had two choices. I could make my way to the next road that would get me home, but I would have to run along a very busy street with no shoulder. My other choice was to turn around retrace my steps. I chose to turn around which meant I would get back home with less than half of my run left.
As I made my way home I did some zigging and zagging through some neighborhoods to add on some more miles. This left me with only 3 1/2 miles left after a quick stop at the house. These last miles were BRUTAL. I ran rather aimlessly around my neighborhood just trying to get the miles in. I kept looking at my GPS to track my progress which was painfully slow. My legs felt heavy, and it seemed that parts of my feet were numb. I finally shuffled my way through the sixteen miles. I've never been so grateful to be done with a run.
THIS WEEK'S RUNNING
I missed a couple of my weekday runs due to a week of very long days at work. I really need to start getting up at four in the morning again so that I am sure to get these runs in. Tuesday evening was the only night I ran, and it was great! The weather was gorgeous. I started at a nice easy pace and picked it up after a mile. The last six miles were the fastest I have ever run. It was a great morale booster.
Saturday morning was the eighteen mile group run (nine miles out and back) in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. We got to D.L. a little after six. It was really foggy and quite cold. I worried that I was underdressed for the weather. I was wearing just a base layer plus a light second layer both top and bottom. Unlike everyone else I didn't have a cap or gloves. I warmed up once we got running and found that my choice in clothing was perfect. I heard many of the others complaining about being too hot beacuse they were wearing too many layers.
Rick was kind enough to set up an aid station at the 4 1/2 mile mark, so we were able to get some water, Powerade and gels. There was an unattended aid staion at the turnaround point at nine miles. The coaches encourage all of us to carry some liquid and refuel often. These stations make it very easy to stay on top of hydration.
Erin started her run from the first aid station. She is recovering from an ankle injury and ran twelve miles. Her husband, Jon, started with the group but stopped at the aid station around thirteen miles. His foot has been hurting since last weekend when he ran thirty miles to celebrate his thirtieth birthday. They both have races coming up, so they were smart to scale back their traing a little in order to heal. The rest of our group made it all eighteen miles. The last two miles were fairly difficult, and I was glad when the run was over.
It is so much more enjoyable running with the group. There are seven of us that make up the back of the pack. We talk, joke, and laugh our way through the miles. I noticed that my legs would move on auto pilot while my brain was occupied by conversation making the miles really fly by.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of distances we will be running over the final six weeks. I was told the longest run will be twenty-two miles. I imagine this will happen the first part of May allowing for a couple weeks of tapering before the race. It's only two weeks until I run my first half-marathon and just six weeks until the Fargo marathon. I'm getting really excited!
Last but not least I want to say a huge "thank you" to Lynette. She has been so supportive through this whole ordeal. I hadn't realized just how time consuming the training was going to be when I started. Many mornings I roll out of bed at four which has to disturb her sleep. Other days I run in the evening which is time away from her. As the long runs are becoming more time consuming every week. I could not have come this far without her encouragement and support.