Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finally feel like I am ready...

There is no way to sugar-coat this. The run today was very difficult. The weather brought a snow storm in last night. When I went out this morning there were several inches of snow on the ground and the temperature with windchill was -5. The wind was blowing around 15-25 miles per hour. I woke up 5:30 but delayed going out until 7 in the hopes that some sunlight might make the sidewalks easier to see. Even as light as it was starting become, the first mile was very difficult to run. There had been no plowing done by the University (which as a paying student really annoyed me). I couldn't get my feet above the snow so I was my own mini-snow plow. I should send a bill to all the places that I made trails.

After about mile 2 I decided to just run in the street for the most-part and take my chances. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people (at least during the first loop around town) attempted to move over a little so I didn't have to run in the snow mounds along the sides of the road. From time to time I did have to plow through snow in the street, but overall it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Around mile 5 I started to get a little bit of a decent rhythm. Don't get me wrong, the whole run was a lot slower than I wanted for my biggest training run. Considering the condions, I was very pleased to have completed it.

I got another pleasant boost when I passed a group of runners. I am guessing they are the local running club. I think there were 12-14 total. They were also running in the street, but on the other side. A few members gave me a wave as I waved to them, and that always makes me feel good. I would pass them again around mile 9.5.

I had left my water about a mile and a third in. By the time I had made my loop, the top was frozen, as were most of the contents. I decided to walk and work on getting the top unfrozen so I could drink some water and take the first half of my gel. I ended up walking about a quarter of a mile and in hindsight, this was probably the best decision I made this morning. It enabled be to get more fluids and some energy, that I really needed.

The second loop around went a lot slower. The snow had started to turn to mush, and there was a big increase in traffic. Most of these drivers were not as courteous as the ones an hour and a half earlier. I ended up trudging through quite a bit of snow. The back end of the loop felt like it took forever. Once I was at the top of the hill (around 14.8 in) things started to fall into place.....

At the top of the hill, there was finally some areas of UW property that had been cleared, so I was able to back to the much safer sidewalks. I picked up the pace a little bit and trudged on. When I got back to my water, what was left was pretty much a big ice cube. I got a couple more sips out of it and took the rest of the gel (which tasted really good....weird) and continued on.

I decided to take my lap around campus to get the mileage more in-sync with the route I had been taking. There were very little people out and about considering it was homecoming. There were some cars driving on the paths around campus, which I will admit kind of made me angry. You could see they were sidewalks and not streets. Not sure what that was all about, they were not UW vehicles and it was hard to move out of their way. But enough complaining....

The start of my final three miles was almost slow-motion Sean. The toll of all the snow caught up to me in a hurry. The sidewalks were about 70% clear and that helped push me along. By the top of my hill I was going at a solid clip. (Side note...I must say I have had great luck since I started running with never falling...I just don't seem to slip much).  By 18.5 I was a bit slower but still humming along....

I always try to finish strong, and this was no different. I kept pushing and pushing as fast as the ground would let me. Had to pull back a little on the downhills to make sure I stayed vertical but still gave a solid effort into the homestetch.

By the time I got home the watch said 19.83 miles. I figured this was 20, because I had forgotten to start it up again at a light four blocks back at one point. 3 hours and 42 minutes. While this is a bit slower than I wanted, it gives me great confidence of hitting some time goals I have set for myself in New York.     I feel very sore, but have gained a ton of confidence today.    I pushed when I could have quit, and didn't give stop when my body begged me to do so. New York won't be easy,   but I feel like I am ready....   

3 comments:

  1. YAY!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!

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  2. Fantastic, Sean. Great effort in less than ideal conditions. Good for the body, good for the mind & soul. You are ready for a great race! Still thinking of Denver this weekend? Looks like a perfect race morning. I'm bummed to be sitting this year out...

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