I am not sure if it was the fact that we had 30 degrees and no wind on our last run Thursday or just being spoiled by a very mild winter, but this morning was COLD! I got up at 3:55 to get my usual long run breakfast of waffles and coffee and while trying to wake up I checked the weather to see the following weather report. I think by the time we actually started running that it was even colder. I have ran in 3 degree weather before and was never this cold. Maybe I was just being a wimp this morning, but I chilled.
I met up with the tough Leadville guys John and Rick. It has been amazing following their training journey. They are at the halfway point in their training and it really is impressive how they have stayed dedicated to GETTING IT DONE. Their weekly stair workouts, treadmill workouts(you have never seen such a tough incline workout), and weekend long runs require them to DIG DEEP. This is the motto of John to get him through. It is great how all of us who are pushing ourselves to new heights have developed our own mantras to get us through. I have read time and time again how powerful having a phrase or key word is while in training. If you want to read about the incredible training of John B. and pretty his training partner Rick then head on over to his blog and follow. You won't be disappointed. John is one of the finest examples of a hard worker, father, husband, and just overall good friend and person. Rick is just the same in earning the great remarks and what you read on the blog of John is usually the same for Rick.
Another great person who ran with us this morning and is also another great source of motivation and inspiration is Chad. He brings that no bull wrestler mentality to the group. His trifecta training three days a week and always willing to push a little bit harder is great to have during the long runs, the pool workouts, and bike rides. He too embodies the same as John and Rick with being a great person, father, husband, teacher, and great, great friend. Chad also has his own mantra of I CAN and be sure to follow his blog as well.
Last, but not least I cannot forget Katie. She is one of the CRAZIES who joins us each Tuesday and Thursday and also the long runs. She is an amazing runner having knocked out the Boston Marathon and working hard on some new goals for the 2012 year with some big road races. She has to be one of the most positive people to be around and she too is an amazing wife, teacher, and friend.
We were joined by another St. Ambrose student who I met for the first time and I know that during the last part of the run they were joined by Dave who has a mile long list of running accomplishments.
In the end we had a nice group of runners for 4:30 am on a Saturday. As I mentioned it was cold. I could not find my regular running gloves and hat. I usually wear a full Under Armor ski mask along with a wind resistant stocking cap on top. My running stocking cap has gone missing about three days ago. My gloves and ski mask were found in my car still wet and sweaty from my Thursday run. I guess I forgot to bring them in to dry. I had to quickly find new gear and was out the door. Once we got moving it was not too bad. We ran at a nice easy pace which was nice. My body was not ready to push real hard on the long run. My goal was 12 miles. I did not want to run more being a big training week and still having a long ride on the bike and potential big swim workout to fit in. I had to stay the course and not overdo things and risk injury.
We made the first 90 minute loop completing about 9.26 miles. We had stopped as normal to refuel and for some to change gear. During that little pause I think my bone marrow started to freeze. As we headed out to finish our 12 miles and for the John, Rick, and Dave to run another 90 minute loop I was freezing. The wind was super nasty. At one point I swear my face was going to fall off. Yes, a bit dramatic, but I was not quite ready for the wind. We finished strong getting in our 12 miles. We ran a nice pace of 9:19. It was great to have the run done as the sun was rising. We had 12 done before 7 am.
I grabbed a cup of Joe with Chad at Starbucks, snagged some donuts for the kids, and was off to enjoy the rest of the day with the family. I am not going to lie when Ava fell asleep for her afternoon nap I crashed for a good 90 minute power nap. I feel good and ready now.
Lastly, I earned my wristband from John. He had these made to keep him focused and to spread the word about Digging Deep. The logo is the old logo from Leadville which he likes better than the new one. I just had to show it off as it will be a great reminder during runs like this when you have to DIG DEEP and find ways to GET IT DONE! Have a great weekend.