The bike path seemed the smartest and safest option for this morning's run, given the large snowbanks, uncleared sidewalks, slushy/icy shoulders on the roads and the no doubt way-too-tough for me to want to deal with trail conditions. So, I stayed safe and dry, but damn, if the bike path isn't b-o-r-i-n-g!
The plan called for 12 miles, which meant at least 2 out-and-backs on the path. The first 2.5 miles on the way out were fine, I felt good, the legs weren't cranky or even really creaky, the huge bruise that blossomed on my left calf from repeatedly kicking myself during the snowshoe race wasn't an issue, and it was a warm and sunny blue sky morning. I decided to do my extra mileage at the other end of the bike path along the road so that I would only have to do the out-and-back twice. The road was fairly busy but the shoulders were in OK condition, so I went an extra mile out, meaning I'd hit 7 miles back at my car.
On the return, I realized why things had seemed so rosy on the way out. The wind was in my face the whole way on the return trip, and I started arguing with myself about the merits of actually getting in 12 miles today. The good thing is that the "good side" won out, and I realized that honestly, this wasn't so bad, and that it wouldn't kill me to do another "lap" on the path.
Saw a bald eagle circling overhead, which made me smile. Ate a packet of Watermelon Gu Chomps, lovingly gifted to me by Meghan at Christmas - ewwww! Well now I know that Jolly Ranchers won't work for me as hard candy during a race, and that watermelon is not my favorite flavor :-)
Once back at my car, decided to do a short out-and-back on Water Street, so I'd only have to go to the 2 mile marker and back on the bike path. Head games, head games... Dropped my gloves (it was warm out!) and handheld at the car at mile 8 and hit the path again for the final four miles. I felt fairly strong, and knew I was running decently, so I decided to up the pace a bit for the final 2 miles. Turns out, upping the pace meant running 8:11 on the nose for both miles. Ha :-) So much for any sort of speed! The funny thing is that for the whole run, with miles splits ranging between 8:11 and 8:38, I had no issues aerobically; it was my legs that didn't want to turn over at the end and which were feeling the effects of 12 essentially flat miles on the pavement. I guess that should be no surprise. It did feel good to be able to run at a decent pace with no worries about ankles and roots and sinkholes, but I'll be happy to get back out on the trails tomorrow :-)
Seen on the run (January 18, 2017)
11 hours ago