I guess it is only January and we here in Chicago have a whole lotta winter still to come.
The good news is that my funny right hammy has jumped back on the bandwagon and after 1.75 days, 4 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds of rest, I was good as new. But who's keeping track ;) Funny how things just work out when you don't freak out and just let things be.
Geof and I headed out into the early morning blustery cold this past Saturday to crank out our long run. Since the north curve of the path is iced over again, we headed south with the wind at our backs and fully aware of the price we would be paying come turn-around time.
Hehehe, something like that
With a third solid long run under my belt, I'm finally ready to believe that an 8:30 mile is my new 'relaxed/easy' pace. We actually bested ourselves this time and cranked out an average 8:24 pace for 16 miles. Hey-oh! It was TOUGH running back north. That wind was brutally cold and at times felt like we were running in place it was so strong, but mostly just wicked cold.
I'm also now ready to believe that our new "energy consumption lifestyle" (I don't really like the word 'diet') has vastly improved our recovery times. It used to be that long runs left me feeling pretty meh the next day, but now I feel almost as though I didn't even lift a finger. It's amazing what a buttload of colorful fruits, veggies and naturally occurring amino acids can do for you :) Of course, I followed my own set of rules this time and rested on Sunday. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
Yesterday, Senorita Nature graced us with above-freezing temps, 33 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. And when the temperature gets above freezing around here, you know what that means folks?...everything freezes over!!
Ummmm, that doesn't make any sense.
Our entire route was littered with sneaky icey patches, out to get us and botch our run. The wet, icey-looking patches were actually just slush, and the dry, "safe" looking patches were actually ice. WTF, Mrs. Nature?! Now that was a frustrating run. I was hopping around like a numbskull, running scared, jumping into slush puddles where possible and trying my best to avoid the ice. It was useless. I ended up walking a large majority of our run, and my hopes of 8 miles turned into 4 miles realllllly quick. Grrrr. I'd have been better off on a *gasp* treadmill. But, the silver lining was that I didn't fall...and that I got home in relatively fine spirits. I made another deposit into my Character-Builder Bank :)
Today, we opted to skip the slip and head for the 'mills. It felt really, really good to open up the stride and just crank out a fast few miles. With the dry, re-circulated wind in my hair, sweat hanging on my brow and sticky mystery gunk from the treadmill touchscreen on my fingers, I was running! Ah, bliss :) I give this morning's run two thumbs up, and my iPod playlist an enthusiastic 4 thumbs up. It's the simple things in life.