I set out for a 2:40 run yesterday. Despite the fact that last week the temperatures climbed into the 80s and I did plenty of running and even biking outside, it was supposed to snow early Saturday morning. I recalled the last snowy run I did in January, where it was in the 20s, windy, and we already had several inches, and I got worried. Then I realized, it was much warmer (mid 30s) and only flurries were expected and counted my blessings it wasn't going to be rain! I was out late the night before visiting with a friend, but my lovely cat woke me up at 530 anyway, so I was ready to start my run at 630. I headed out on the (paved) trail, and the first two miles just felt awful. I felt like I was dragging even though it was (slightly) downhill, and my fingers were cold which made me nervous. I told myself if they didn't warm up by the time I got back to my car (4.5 ish miles) I would stop at the car and get warmer gloves. Still, I felt sluggish and wondered how I was going to fill out the time! I told myself, don't think of it by miles, just think of it in chunks- just get back to the car and see how you feel. So, I did just that. Before I knew it I was at the turnaround heading back towards my car. I got to the car and felt the need to use the bathroom, but bribed myself to wait until about 8 o'clock, when the running group I had randomly bumped into on St Patrick's day would be starting their run. I looked at the time and calculated how far I should go forward on the trail before turning around to make sure I could run the last hour with them.
A little ways down the longer half of the trail, I started to feel great. Do I really have to turn around now or can I keep going? I turned around with just one mile to go, but knew that while it would be cool to do the entire length before heading back, it was more important for me to meet up with the other runners. At this point the snow had picked up a bit (only really flurries though) but I was warmed up and felt fine. I headed back towards the car again and still felt great! When I got back to the parking lot, I spotted the girl I met the last time- she was early and I said I was just running to the bathroom. I headed up to the Dunkin Donuts, then back and she said she'd run a little extra and we headed back on the trail. We did an extra 10 or so minutes in the opposite direction before turning around, past the cars again, and on to the 10k portion of the trail (that I had come close to finishing previously) and headed on. We didn't see anyone else from the run group, but they had probably already left. When we were a ways down we saw them coming back, and continued on our way to the actual end of the trail. We turned around and headed back- it was basically all downhill from here and the snow had basically stopped! Despite chatting constantly about running and triathlons, we were holding a pretty steady clip (faster even then I felt like I *should* be going, but I figured if we were able to chat it couldn't hurt!) and got back to the cars with 45 seconds to go- which we finished in the parking lot. I totally negative split this long run, finishing 17.44 miles in the alotted time.
We went to the dunkin donuts to meet up with the rest of the runners over some food and beverage and sat for a little while before heading home. I was super tired (mostly I think from not getting enough sleep) but I was so happy that I did the larger portion of the run before the other runners got there- I think it really helped make it go by quickly.
I sat around and relaxed for the rest of the morning before heading to my very first massage- I had bought a groupon and the day of a long run seemed like an appropriate time to use it. She did a good job, and I could really tell what my trouble spots were (shoulder, neck, calves) but after the massage, my calves in particular feel great!
Today I have a rest day, which I am using to do all sorts of free time things like knit, bake, cook, read and work on my recipe book. I just finished watching the Spirit of the Marathon, which I had received as a gift from my old officemate, and hadn't had time to watch. I got inspired to watch it based on TTT's post on FB about it- and it was truly inspirational. Not only did it make me super eager to get to my own marathon, but it also made me want to sign up for a Chicago marathon in the near future (and made me incredibly homesick!) Yay for running! Only 5 weeks to go!