First of all, proof that I did actually out kick someone. This is the finish of the Maine Running Company Turkey Trot:
That's worth $5 at Hannaford right there! Photo from Maine Running Photos.
With my recent string of races, it's been feeling a bit strange to post an entry without a race report. But that doesn't mean things haven't been going well, and this week, I put in a solid week of training.
I have to admit that I was pretty sore after Hell. Those trails are way to hard to try to run fast on them. And, on Monday, the feeling on my run could be best be described as creaky. Tuesday was better, and then my life schedule dictated that Wednesday would be a day off.
Wednesday night it rained. A lot. And, Thursday was your typical December day with temps in the mid 60's. Huh? It was tough to make the mental leap to wearing just shorts and a t-shirt. So, between the temperature and the numerous a deep puddles along the powerline trail, I had a really fun run. It was so wet in fact, that I didn't even look muddy...just wet.
Friday ended up being a hectic day between work and the chaos of having an 8-week old baby. I didn't have a chance to run until late. And, late this time of year means dark. With limited options, I decided on marking the official start of winter with a run on the bike path. I only run on the bike path in winter (because it's plowed) and hadn't been out there since February. It also a good option in the dark because I don't have to worry about cars. It's not exactly lighted really, so I brought my headlamp, which most likely needs new batteries because it did a less than stellar job of illuminating the paved path. According to my "training plan," Friday was a day for a tempo run, so within minutes I went from staying inside and not running at all, to just sneaking in a short run, to running kind of hard. I was glad I stuck to the plan, but I was less than thrilled with my results. I'm going to blame it on the dark, but based on my recent results and goals plugged into McMillan, I was slower than I would have liked for the effort. Although, I was trying to not go too hard and keep the suffering in check, since that would defeat the purpose of the tempo run. Of course, this smacks of what I think my biggest strength is: suffering. I'm a good sufferer, so if I was trying not to suffer then why would I be impressed? Either way, I do think the darkness was a factor as I had trouble pacing myself. My hope was to run between 6:50 and 7:00 for each of the three miles. My splits were: 7:29, 7:11 and 6:52. So, not bad, but, like I said, it felt harder than I would have liked.
On Saturday, my original plan was to run with the crew at Bradbury, but after a enjoyable night of limited sleep thanks to the Little Lady, I involuntarily opted to sleep in. When I woke up with 5 minutes to get to Bradbury, I thought rolling over and snoring some more was a good option. I did get out for a short run later in the day and was pleased to see that all the parts felt good after the previous evening's festivities.
Today, we woke to about 4 inches of new snow on the ground, and that made my run plans that much more awesome. My plan was to hit the trails of the Cathance River Preserve, and I didn't waver from them. I was breaking trail most of the way, although I was both pleased and excited to see that a pair of folks had been walking down by the river. I couldn't blame them, as it was beautiful. Snow makes everything better, and today was no exception. Of course, snow also make everything more slippery, so the footing was tricky but fun. I stayed upright the entire time despite a couple close calls. It was definitely one of those "this is why I run" kind of runs. I think the loop is about 6.5 miles (possibly longer) and looking back through my training log, I was pleased to see that I was only a couple minutes slower for the loop than during other times I've run it. Final time was 1:05:09, which is right about 10:00 per mile, which I'm pretty happy with for that terrain in the snow. I just wish I'd brought my camera.