Scheduled rest day
Average Pace: 8:45
Average Pace: 8:50
Average Pace: 9:04
60:00 on trainer
I planned to run 4 miles on Thursday, but I woke up with an awful sinus headache. I've been dancing with a sinus infection for about a week, and Thursday and Friday brought the worst of it. I think it is gone for good now. I had a bad headache and just felt pretty "blah" on Thursday and Friday, so I used them both as rest days in order to be in good shape for Saturday 's long run.
Friday was a long day for both of us, so Chad and I decided to stay home, order pizza, and watch "Waiting for Guffman" which was in from Netflix. "Waiting for Guffman" is so funny, and is the 2nd (counting "Spinal Tap" as the first) of Christopher Guest's mock-umentary style movies. If you haven't seen it (or "A Mighty Wind" or "Best in Show") I highly recommend them!
I wasn't sure how my 16 mile run would go. Most of my running group was at a retreat, so I knew I would be alone for all of the run. But I was kind of looking forward to running alone, because I knew it would be great mental training for this week's 18 mile run. I am going out of town on Saturday with friends to visit the Raborns (yes!! I am so excited!!) so I am going to do my 18 mile run on Friday morning.
I headed out the door at 7:30 am to falling snow, which had blanketed streets and sidewalks. I immediately started thinking thoughts like "maybe this isn't safe, maybe I should only do 4 today and then do 16 tomorrow when its clear, my feet are going to get soaking wet, this is going to be miserable" and etc. I decided that I would do 4 miles, and then figure out what I was going to do. As I got going, I realized that it wasn't bad at all! The snow stopped after about thirty minutes, and the fresh snow on the sidewalks actually provided a nice soft layer that wasn't slick at all. I pushed aside thoughts of quitting and postponing the run, and I settled in for a two and a half hour run through the streets of Nicholasville.
I had a good idea of what an 8 mile loop would be, so I did that first and it ended up being 8.66 miles. For my second loop, I cut out one part of the first loop to try to get closer to 8 miles even, but then I realized I would be short on my second loop. I didn't want to get to my house and then have to keep running, so I added in a loop around Lake Mingo, a local park. This brought me to 7.86 miles for second loop, and a total of 16.52 miles for the run.
This run was great preparation for my 18 miler on Friday. I plan to do the 8.66 mile loop twice, and then add in a little at the end to bring me to 18 total. Mentally, it wasn't a challenging run at all. For the first 2 hours I listened to podcasts (Zen and the Art of Triathlon and the SimplyStu Triathlon Podcast) and then for the last 30 minutes I listened to my running playlist. I was also captivated by how beautiful it was outside. My first loop was really nice, because there wasn't much traffic out and the snow was fresh and clean. On my second loop, cars were spraying salt and dirty snow from the road up onto the sidewalks, so that wasn't quite as pretty.
One thing that was really funny was that I was able to see all kinds of different tracks in the snow. I saw bird tracks, raccoon tracks, cat and dog tracks, and even a shopping cart track. There is a man who walks up and down Main St. pushing a shopping cart, and he had paved the way before me. The funniest part was that he must have had an open bag of cheese popcorn in his cart, because there was a trail of cheese popcorn in between the shopping cart tracks for about a mile. I started thinking of Hansel and Gretel, but with Cheester Cheetah playing the part of Hansel.
The other interesting thing about doing two loops in the snow is that on my second loop I could see my footprints from my first loop. I tried to replicate my stride and land in my tracks, but I just couldn't do it. I could really tell that my legs were looser on the second loop and that my stride was longer. It was pretty interesting!
The streets and sidewalks were a little slushier on my second loop, and there were several times where one or both of my feet would be totally submerged in an icy puddle. My socks, Thorlo Experias, were absolutely amazing, and dried almost instantly. I thought that cold wet feet would be a major issue on this run, but these socks defied the odds and kept my feet warm and dry. They were totally worth the $13 I paid for them at Run Wild in Alexandria.
My knees bothered me a tiny bit during the run, but they were very sore afterwards. I need to start icing them after runs, which will hopefully help with some of the soreness. I felt great after finishing - I was tired, but I felt like I could easily run another 4 or 6 miles. I think having access to my trainer during this training season has really helped with my aerobic fitness, which has helped to improve my endurance. In March I am going to get back into the pool, so I think that will help as well. After the run, I drank a PB&J (1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 frozen banana, strawberry yogurt, few ounces of 1% milk) recovery smoothie and ate an apple.
This morning my knees were still pretty sore, so I put in an hour of fairly easy spinning on the trainer. This really helped to alleviate some of the soreness. We've had a pretty quiet day - church this morning, then a trip to Goodwill to drop off a ton of donations (I've already got spring cleaning fever!) and now we are watching the Olympics and are going to make some potato soup later. A nice end to a quiet weekend!
On a non-training note, I would really appreciate your prayers for my grandmother. She is having some stomach/kidney issues, and is going to be getting a second opinion on her diagnosis tomorrow. Her name is Nell, but we all call her Mimi. She is my dad's mom, and one of the funniest people that I know. We all love her so much and I hate that she is in pain. If you are the praying type, I hope that you will send up an extra one today for Mimi.