Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slow Week but a Great Weekend

This last week I didn't run at all on the weekdays. I'd like to blame it on work, but the truth is I just didn't have the energy or motivation to get out of bed extra early. I know that everyone faces down times. I just have to accept that it happened and move forward from here with no guilt or shame. The good news is that the weekend was much different.

Saturday's group run was scheduled to be six miles, but I really wanted to get back into double digits. The group was meeting at the Fargodome at 6:30 a.m. I decided to run the six miles from my house to the dome and continue the rest of my run with the group. I wanted to take my time during the first leg of my run and planned on getting up to the dome just shortly before everyone else started showing up.

The first several miles went really well. I stopped after about four miles to eat a couple Gu packets. I love them when they are cold and the Gu is thick and chewy -- yummm. I was wearing my Nathan hydration pack in an effort to get used to running with this thing on my back. I stuffed the end of the hose down through the collar of my jacket to keep it from freezing. Taking frequent sips from it also helped. I met an oncoming runner while rounding a corner at NDSU and thought it might be Heather from the group. When I got to the dome parking lot I saw Heather's car and wasn't surprised that she would be putting in some extra miles.

I got to the dome a little earlier than planned and had to find a spot out of the wind in order to stay as warm as possible. I wanted some more fuel in me so I ate about half of a Powerbar as I waited. I was becoming quite chilled by the time everyone showed up. I'm not sure how many of us there were, but it seemed to be about fifteen. It felt good to get moving. Erin and I ran together for the entire distance. Jon joined us for a while before dropping back to run with Chris (from last years group) and her friend. Rick ran with us for the last several miles.

It was cold enough that we really didn't stick around to talk for long. Jon, Heather, and Maggie went out for an additional four miles. I was glad I had a chance to see Rick and wish him well before his big race this week. He is once again running the Arrowhead 135 Ultra Marathon. This race follows a trail from International Falls, MN to Tower, MN. He will be posting his progress on his blog Good Luck Rick!!! I can't wait to hear about this terrific adventure.

I thoroughly enjoyed my run Saturday morning. Erin was kind enough to give me a ride home and gave me some ideas about insulating the hose on my hydration pack. 
My hydration pack

This morning I went for a seven mile run. The weather was a crisp 4 below zero, but with no wind it actually felt quite comfortable. The sky was was the incredible shade of blue seen only on these cold winter days. There was just a dusting of snow on the roads and sidewalks which made for cushioned footing. My legs actually held up well even after yesterday's long run. It was another great morning.

I plan on cutting back next weekend to recover a little. I'm thinking about doing a marathon weekend in two weeks; maybe run thirteen miles on Saturday morning and thirteen on Sunday. Or maybe I'll run thirteen on Saturday morning, go out again that evening for five or six, and finish up on Sunday with the last seven or eight. I just want to put in twenty six miles over those two days. We'll see what happens.

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