3 1/2 miles to warm up
3 1/2 miles back to car, wear gloves, fuel up with shot blok, get rid of fuel belt. Using the little girls' room meant the agony of peeling away wet clothing with my frozen talons; so I just took off.
As I expected, the first 3 1/2 miles were hard because I was not warmed up. The next 3 1/2 miles were torture, because I was running into the wind. Whew! The areas without tree cover were the worst...little droplets of water felt like missiles on my face. I tried to picture my little brother fearlessly clambering up precarious cliffs in winter, in the face of much stronger winds. That helped. So did my new mantra, "I am made of sterner stuff".
The 4 middle miles in the park were a little easier. There were plenty of trees and the wind was not as nasty. The canal was overflowing in many spots and I was a little concerned that the park may be flooded before we completed the run.
The GU got my juices flowing again and I was ready to tackle the last 7 miles. Even so, I have never been happier to see the group...I definitely needed the company. I was told by the hardier runners that the towpath was in pretty good shape despite the rain, so we decided to tackle the towpath route. I ran with John, who though much faster than me, soldiered on beside me despite my occasional nudges to go on ahead and leave me in the dust. The pace was of course, a lot faster than I would have accomplished alone. The conversation kept me going and I noticed that we were running at 8:30 per mile, often less (a teeny bit faster than planned, as you can see). The amazing thing was, I was able to keep up my end of the conversation without any trouble. Granted, my teeth were chattering so it wasn't much of a conversation, but still, not too shabby, eh?
I slowed down a bit when I felt a little tug in my inner leg, near the ankle, but after a while, it was gone. I find the towpath tricky because of the pebbles on the path...some of them are large enough to do serious damage. Less impact overall due to the softer surface, but you could twist an ankle or get sore feet. The wind made the last 3 miles tough, but by that point, my mind felt stronger...less than a 5K to go!
We completed 18.30 miles in all...you'll never guess the time...2:35:07 (8:28 per mile)!!! What? What? What? (as Randy says on American Idol...OK, I am 35 and I watch that show!).
A little soreness in the knees and right shin but I feel A-OK after an ice bath, hot shower and plenty of nourishment.
Wallowing in my own filth
And I am of course, lolling about in compression socks now.
Last week's activity:
Total mileage: 43.30 miles
Monday: 750 yards swim and 4 mile recovery run (after half marathon)
Tuesday: 6 miles easy
Wednesday: spinning, core work
Thursday: 8 mile progression run (1:06)
Friday: 6 miles easy (including sprints)
Saturday: 18 miles (2:35:07)