The weather channel has been threatening snow for this morning since Sunday, but when I woke up the sky was merely overcast and the ground was dry. I had sort of been looking forward to a run in the elements. I've only had one snowy (actually it was sleet, in October) run and there was a wild quality to it that I very much enjoyed. But really, I'm not complaining. I have also been meaning to try out my second pair of running tights (reebok play dry tights) but haven't found a day cold enough to do so. A quick check of the weather indicated that today was the perfect day, 35 degrees as I was heading out. I opted for a short sleeve tech t-shirt instead of my normal tank. This seemed to be the perfect combo. In fact, it was quite chilly outside. And the wind was out of control, gusting to well over 20 miles an hour. It took a solid 2 miles for me to feel warm, and break a sweat. Usually after 5 minutes I'm there. I really wanted to run 5 solid miles between 8:15 an 8:30. This is the pace that I would like to aim for on the flats and down hills of the course this weekend and wanted to get a feel for my turnover and stride at that pace. With the wind holding any kind of steady pace was difficult - into the wind it was hard enough to stay upright and moving forward, with the tailwind it was hard not to fly forward much too fast. You can see from my splits (8:19, 7:58, 7:50, 8:18, 8:30) the two miles where I had the glorious tailwind. At mile three I tried out my prospective race fuel, GUSHERS!!! I've never had gushers before, but they had a good mix of pure suger and other carbs, and were cheap and gelatin-free. Turns out they are pretty awesome. No cramps or GI upset after taking them. Easy to down 90 cal package in 2 mouthfuls and the liquid inside each gusher helped with the chewing and swallowing. In fact, I didn't have my handheld with me and had no problem getting them down. Did I mention the delicious candy taste?!? :-)
Somewhere around mile 3.5 of the tempo run, a girl blew past me (I didn't hear her until then as I had my ipod blaring - Disturbed, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin) and I had to put my ego to the side and just let her go (she looked to be going sub 7:30, and that is simply not me). I planned the tempo section so I finished as I approached the .7 mile hill leading back to my house. Usually I trudge up this hill and watch my last mile split crash and burn. Today I turned the corner onto this hill and that headwind hit me full boar. I shortened up my stride (a lot) and just kept my head down. After cresting the hill, stopping my watch and grabbing my knees (you know, the usual) for a minute or so I went back around the block at what was supposed to be a 9:30 pace but ended up closer to 9:00 for another 1.3 miles. Got home and did some stretching. Finally a good run!!! Lots of mixed up variables today - new tights, new fuel, no handheld, unexpected weather conditions. I definitely think tights could be a good idea for race day, I'm surprised to say. Now I'm going to have to do some serious thinking about my handheld. It was awesome not to have that weight to carry. Maybe I'll convince James to bring me water at strategic locations throughout the course. I'll have to look into that.
2 miles warm up
5 miles tempo 8:19, 7:58, 7:50, 8:18, 8:30
2 miles easy hill .7 mile 6:06 (8:45) into strong headwind, 1.3 miles @ 9:00
15 minutes stretching