Goal: 3 miles @11:22
Actual: Asleep in bed. Pretty much all day.
Over my weekend of being sick, I'm pretty sure I logged as many hours asleep as awake. Clearly I needed it. Happily, I'm feeling back to normal.
Goal: 1 mi w/u, 3 mi @9:45, 1 mi c/d
Actual: w/u (10:23), 3 mi @9:46, c/d (14:26)
This tempo run felt like redemption for me after failing miserably at it last week on the treadmill. Last week I was nowhere near the goal pace; this time I was really close. The biggest hitch came during the cooldown mile, when my knee started hurting enough that I had to walk for a while. After a minute or two, the combination of sweaty clothes and 29 degree evening convinced me that running was the slightly less painful option, so I jog/hobbled the rest of the way home. By the next day, my knee was feeling ok.
Goal: 10 miles @11:22
Actual: 10 miles @13:38
Like I mentioned in my brief blog post on Saturday, I ran this one on snowy trails. I was awfully slow throughout.
Mile 1.1-18:53 (but I took lots of pictures)
Mile 2 - 11:26
Mile 3 - 13:54
Mile 4 - 15:14
Mile 5 - 10:33 (whoo hoo!)
Mile 6 - 13:30
Mile 7 - 14:01
Mile 8 - 10:14 (feeling strong)
Mile 9 - 14:32 (strong feeling's gone)
Mile 10 - (will this EVER end??) 14:03
Between taking pictures and feeling some knee strain in the first half of the run, I took quite a few walk breaks. I ran miles 5-9 with no stops, and then I walked again for part of mile 10. Miles 5 and 8 were both on the same stretch of trail...must've been a gentle downhill or something. If you can't tell from the splits, this run was hard for me.
Since it's a multi-use trail and pedestrians are asked to stay off the ski tracks, that meant running in the choppy snow in the center. For the first few miles, I really enjoyed the quiet beauty of the park and stopped to take lots of pictures. By about mile four, though, I was over the snow and longing for a nice, flattened path through the snow. I didn't have any problems with traction, though my ankles got a real workout in some areas with horse prints.
I've been trying to GU about 45 minutes to an hour into my long runs, so for this one I just figured I'd GU at the halfway point. I don't really think I need it for this length of run, but I'm figuring I'm going to on the longer ones. Plus, it gives me something to look forward to besides being finished. This particular GU had been tossed into my bag along with all my shampoo and lotion. So, after scraping it all into my mouth with my teeth, I noticed a weird aftertaste. And suddenly my mouth smelled kind of perfumey. And then I remembered that the GU packet had had a lotion booger (you know, the little dried up piece of lotion you need to get out of the way before you get the fresh lotion?) on it when I threw it into my jacket pocket. Yummy. On the plus side, my lips weren't dried out anymore and the time it took to figure out the mystery was a nice distraction from the run (dissociative runner).
Speaking of getting back to the hotel, as I left the park, Jeff sent me a text saying that N's match (you know, the whole reason we were in Chicago) was just starting. He wasn't in the first game. I managed to get to the gas station to pick up a soda, to the hotel, shower, change clothes, and back to the tournament venue in time to make it to the next game of the match. That may have been the fastest time of my day!
All in all, though it was hard, slow, cold, and snowy, I'm happy with my run. It feels good to get in double-digit miles again for the first time since November, and I'm glad to be back on track with my training.
Long run field trip
Since we were heading up to Chicago for a volleyball tournament, I had done a little research to find a nice trail area where I could do my long run. I was excited to find two great-sounding alternatives: Ryerson Woods and Half Day/Wright Woods Forest Preserves. I had pretty much decided on Ryerson Woods, but as I drove to drop everybody off at the tournament site, we passed the entrance to Half Day forest preserve. It was almost right across the street.
Half Day and Wright Woods are adjoining forest preserves. There are a number of trails ranging in length from .2 miles to a 2.7 mile loop, and the Des Plaines River Trail passes through the park as well. I saw several playgrounds and some nice sized pavilions. The bathrooms I saw had pit toilets, which aren't that great in the summer, but I sure like them in the winter if it means that bathrooms aren't closed for the season!Despite being right in town, the preserves weren't too busy. I saw one guy walking his dog, two hikers, and several cross-country skiiers, but the majority of the time I was completely alone on the trails.
The trails are very well marked. It would be really difficult to get lost here. They're nice and wide--in most areas, you could probably drive a small car along the trail. As far as I could tell, they seemed to be pretty level. There were some very slight hills, but nothing major. It definitely wasn't technical trail, but a nice place to get out in the woods and off of the roads.
I parked on the Half Day side but ran mostly on the Wright Woods side of the river. To get to Wright Woods, you cross a bridge over the Des Plaines River.
|Very pretty setting|
|Some Capt. Dan Wright history|
If you look at the trail link above, you can see a trail map for the preserves. I ran the red trail until it dead-ended at the yellow trail and then ran three loops of the yellow trail. Well, most of three loops. Enough to get me to ten miles and not much more. The trails were marked in .25 mile increments, which was nice...and believe me, I was looking for those little signs a lot the second half!
|One of the several skiers sharing the trails|
|Des Plaines River|
|There's a pond somewhere under that snow. Fishing is allowed at the park, too.|
|Nice, wide trail|
I wish I'd managed to get to Ryerson Woods, too, but these parks were a nice spot for my wintery run. They seem like a good place to get out among the trees, and a nice place to feel like you're away from it all while still being close to everything.