It was sunny today and most of the snow from the last storm has melted already. I left work at lunch and decided to go for a long run instead of going up on the hill. I've owed myself a long run for about three weeks now, but I've been putting it off to go snowboarding and didn't make the two hour mark while in Moab. In that respect, I'm a couple of long runs behind in my training schedule.
It's definitely wet and slushy out and I ran alongside the bike path in the snow, so I wore my Salomon Gore-Tex shoes and trail gaiters, to keep my feet somewhat dry. Running in the snow made my trip more challenging and forced me to slow down. I have a bad habit of running too fast when I'm on road surfaces and I wanted to make sure I got in the full two hours.
From the house, I ran from the start of the bike trail to it's end on the west side of town. I crossed over the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge (it's the real name of the bridge!) over to 20 Mile Rd. and back towards town. For a little extra challenge, I went up the back side of Howelsen Hill and ran in the snow down through where the snow park was. The run gained and loss a couple hundred vertical here but was otherwise only very slightly hilly. I was able to maintain an even pace throughout the run but started to really feel it in the last miles. I did a good job of conciously monitoring my foot strike (mid-foot, baby. no heel striking!), arm swing, body position (a little forward lean) and breathing. My tempo was even and I felt very relaxed. I'm glad I carried a water bottle and came home with it nearly empty. As I quickened my pace to finish, I finally glanced at my watch, thinking to myself, "That HAD to be 2 hours!", and it read back 1:51. Damn, I gotta run another nine minutes! :) I slowed my pace and continued around the neighborhood and around Whistler Park to make up the extra time. Finally stopped at 2:00.17, a little over 12 miles plus the trip around the block, pace about 9:15/mile, my first two hour run of 2010 in the books.
Legs are a little pissed at me this evening. Knees and calves, a little sore, but should be fine tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will either go for a short, easy run or rest altogether, if the soreness persists.