This weeks group run was 10 miles from the downtown Y. The route took us north along the marathon route and a bit past the dome to get our distance in. This week Rick was kind enough to mark the route ahead of time so we wouldn't get lost like the previous week. A couple of miles into the run a pack formed with Kris, Maria, Rick, Erin and myself. Our pack held together for the rest of the run and we were joined on the way back by Eric and Mark. I love when a good sized pack forms. As you run you tend to speed up and slow down periodically. The natural pace variations within the group causes people to drift within the group, giving you the opportunity to talk with different people as you run. The conditions were cold but the roads were mainly dry after the warm up the week before. When we got back to the Y I stopped to use the bathroom and headed out for my bonus miles. Erin drove home from the Y, but I had planned to run the 8.5 miles home to get in a little extra. Starting out on my own I quickly found a comfortable pace and headed in the general direction of home. I hadn't really thought about what route I would take until now so I passed the time by thinking of different ways to get home. I had managed to stay on top of fueling and hydration so far and was feeling good 13 miles into my run. I decided I'd head over to the Old Milwaukee Trail again as that route worked well last week. As I neared mile 15 I began to feel fatigued. I focused on drinking more and had a few shot blocks and some endurolytes. I let myself do some walking, but tried to limit it to short periods. The run was starting to get unpleasant, but my goal was to push through the ugliness and finish strong. I felt like my pace was slowing down, but in reality it was speeding up as I went. I started to think of what I wanted to eat when I was done and remembered Stewarts Deli had beer cheese soup today. I decided that we'd hit up the deli and I'd get soup and my normal sandwich with a few additions; bacon, pepper jack cheese, and more bacon. Thinking about the upcoming meal I finished the run very strong. Without digging into my past logs too much I'm confident this is the fastest I'd ever covered this particular distance. I was tired and a little sore, but the sandwich afterward made it all worth while.
Sundays Gear Test
Friday night Erin and I went shopping for some new gear. I had one a few challenges on The Daily Mile and had some Visa gift cards to use up. We wound up each getting a Sugoi jacket made with their firewall fabric. We were both excited to try them out, but thought Saturdays long run would be a poor time to try out something new. Sunday morning was 8° with the wind around 20 mph out of the N. Not the most fun to be running in, but great weather to test out gear in. Leaving the house I didn't have a route or goal distance in mind. I figured I'd see how things went after doing 18 the previous day and how warm I was able to stay. After a mile or two I decided that I'd shoot for a 10 mile run. That would get me to 51 miles for the week, the same amount as the previous 2 weeks. The route I chose had me running into the wind for the first half of the run. The wind was strong enough that I could feel it slow my pace, it felt like running up a hill all the way until the turn around point. The jacket was supposed to be wind proof, but it felt like some of the wind was making it through. I was a little under dressed, but still in the range where things were tolerable. After I turned around I warmed up somewhat and went a little faster. I fell behind on fueling and hydration and started to drag with 3 miles left, it wasn't unpleasant, but I could tell the legs didn't have as much in them as on my way out. At that point I drank what I could and pushed through the remaining distance. When I got home I passed on sitting in the snowbank, I was cold enough already and was eager to get out of the wind. The morning ended with a hot shower, a nap, and then brunch at WF Maxwells. Not a bad way to end the weekend.
Today is the end of the third week of my biggest loser competition. I've been making steady progress and I'm down a total of 11 pounds so far. It hasn't been easy, but I've also been able to be a indulge a few times a week because of the large amount of running I've been doing. This week I'd like to really focus on eating well and see if I can make it without having any "bad" meals. I'm not necessarily cutting down on calories from previous weeks, just looking to avoid the feeling of 'I could have done better' when I'm done eating a meal.