Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bike Path x2

I love that Brunswick has the bike path. It is an awesome resource for the community, and it gets a ton of use between walkers, bikers, dog walkers, runners, etc. However, just because it is a great thing does not meant that I love running on it ;) In fact, it is a complete last resort. When I am running on the bike path, you know things are bad and it is my only option.

With all the snow we received this week, it was decided that the bike path was the safest place for me to get in my run yesterday. So, I shoveled the car out and was out the door around 7:00 am, with the intent of getting in my 16 miles. Oh, and it was cold and extremely windy. Oh yes, it was going to be wonderful (insert heavy sarcasm here)! I realize that going in with a bad frame of mind is a good way to sabotage a run, but let's face the facts here, that's just how I was feeling.

So, can you guess where this is going? I was miserable. I was freezing. It was d*nm windy! I got in 6 miles by extending the run a ways out onto Old Bath Road, but I bailed when I got back to the car. I was not in a good head space and there was just no way I was going to finish this run. Why torture myself? So, I came home, got cleaned up and went to Frosty's with Sam and Ryan for donuts instead :) Ah, much better!

However, this still left 16 miles of unfinished business, so can you guess where I was this morning? Right. At the bike path. It was cold, only 1 degree, but the wind was negligible so overall, it felt warmer than yesterday. As I drove to the bike path, the sun was rising, a bright orange orb rising above the trees, turning the smoke from the chimneys a light pink and tinging the snow along the river with a golden glow. I felt much better headed out today, and was determined to get in the miles. I really want to stay on top of the long runs this training cycle, and that meant this one needed to get done.

I extended the "out" a fair amount by running 1.5 miles along Old Bath Road. It was early on Sunday morning so there was no traffic and the road had been cleared enough that it was decent running, even in the still slightly sloppy shoulder. Then, hedging my bets (I know myself), when I got back to the 1.5 mile marker along the bike path, I turned around and ran back up to the 2.5 mile marker. This would mean I had run 10 miles by the time I got back to the beginning of the path, giving me just one more out and back along the path to get my 16. I'm glad I did it this way, because by the time I reached the turn-around point on Old Bath Road at mile 13, the wind was beginning to whip and it was a bit of a miserable slog back to the car. I wanted to push the pace to get it over with, but there was simply no turn-over to do so.

I don't feel like I started out too fast - probably 8:45 pace overall for the first 10 miles - but with the slightly sloppy road miles, the flat, unchanging composition of the route, the pavement and the wind in the final miles, I definitely slowed down at the end, and didn't exactly get in a "fast" run on a route that might normally allow for such. Given the above components, I'm not sure today's run truly had much value other than the fact I got out and there and got it done. I'm hoping that counts for something anyway :)

16.0 miles - 2:21:50.

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