To be honest, I really had no intentions of running this long. My goal was to run a max of 16 miles as that was the plan with Katie who is training to destroy the Grandma Marathon. However, we had such an amazing group of people to run with that I just went with the flow and ran the two loops. I can honestly say that I feel good. I am not sore and don't feel worn out at all. I kept the pace nice and easy and just enjoyed the wonderful opportunity of being able to run with amazing people.
We headed out at 4:30 am and it was not bad. There was five of us at 4:30 - Katie, Chad, John, Rick, and myself. We headed towards the bike path where the wind does not affect you much. It was very slippery as all the slush and snow from yesterday froze. We slipped and slided at various spots especially headed downhill on the bike path. We did survive with no injuries or major spills.
We completed the first 90 minute loop completing right around 9 miles. We kept the pace easy to warm up properly and just work on building time on our feet. We headed back to the meet up spot and was joined by Phil, Brian, John, and Curt. It was amazing to have 9 of us out running. We commented about really how special it is to have this many people devoted to their fitness and willing to wake up early in the morning to get some running in. When we were out in the middle of nowhere it was cool to see all of us running with the corn fields on our sides. It would have been a very cool picture. We did get some good pictures.
One of the pictures(I will post when John gets them uploaded on his blog) is the group at the Indiana ave. street sign. We have tried to get tot his street a few other times on our loops, but always came up short. Today we made it to the street sign and made it in about 42 minutes. We were rocking. The best part was that it felt easy. We have always aimed for this sign because I am a Hoosier and from the great state of Indiana. We finally made it and while there snapped a picture and Byrne had us take our gloves off for a little exercise in making our hands grow bigger(yes, I did come home and have my wife and kids do it and they were all amazed despite Amanda thinking I was playing a joke on her)!!!!!
We headed back to wrap up the run and the wind was howling. It always amazes me how you can go without noticing wind and then turning around and realizing how strong the winds really are. This run the group started to spread. Chad and Brian took off and behind them was Katie and John. I was behind them solo and the Leadville guys and Phil brought up the back. Despite running solo I really enjoyed it. I visualized myself running my Ironman thinking pace, hydration stops, mental toughness cues that I could use, etc. It is good to start to slowly form a plan. The plan will change more once the weather breaks, but it is good to start thinking about things.
We all finished strong and knocked out 18 miles. It was a good run. I felt good. My hips and feet felt tight at the end, but that was it. I felt great mentally. It was a needed run. Maybe not needed to get in 18 miles, but mentally to know I can run 18 and feel good afterwards. I have been working hard these last few weeks really training strong and hard. I feel good. I feel very good. Things are slowly coming together. I have a long way to go to be where I want to be in terms of my goals, but I made progress each day. No matter how small the progress as long as progress is being made it helps. This is a long journey of training. It is easy to get frustrated when you don't see immediate improvements. We live in a society of NOW and wanting things to change instantly. This does not work when it comes to fitness. You have to chip away at things. This is what I am doing. I have a big weekend of training left with a mild week next week and then major recovery week on the beach the following week before transitioning my training to race specific workouts for my Olympic Triathlon.
Here is the run breakdown
After the run I headed to Hy-Vee for donuts for the kids. I walked out with the following:
I did however splurge on one donut hole. This little guy kept calling my name so I had to take care of him. I am proud to say I stayed the course. Happy kids, happy wife, and one happy guy who rose early to GET IT DONE!
Have a great weekend and thanks to the 8 individuals that ran this morning. Without you guys this training would be twice as hard.