I was happy to see when I got up that the freezing rain did not come through the night after all. So I geared up and headed out for my 20 miler. It was still icy in several areas but it was better than yesterday.
Things started out fine and felt very good for the first 9-10 miles even if it was a bit slow. At that point I started hydrating and fueling. I also tried a hit of spirulina algae to see how that would go (experimenting to see how something like EnergyBits would work for me).
Things went well for another few miles and then I had a choice to make around mile 13. I could continue my 4.4 mile loops around the neighborhood to finish up which would leave me a weird out and back at the end on one of the iciest paths. Or I could take a turn and head out on a country road that would give me my remaining 7 miles in one long out and back with no ice. I decided on the country road and I got about a 1/4 mile down the road when my mind went kind of dark.
It had gotten kind of cloudy and dull out and the country road just runs along farmers’ fields that are nothing but dirt and snow right now. Basically I was about to start a long dreary out and back and my mind rebelled and I felt like I shut down.
So I turned around and walked for a bit and fueled a bit more (and had a bit more spirulina algae) and then was able to start running again. At this point I finished up all the fuel I had with me and I was close to my house (around 14.5 miles in now) where I had left a bit more fuel accessible in the garage just in case. I took a quick pit stop for about 5 minutes to refill my fuel bottle and refocus and got moving again.
I did another loop around the neighborhood and at mile 17.7 I had the same choice to make that I did around mile 13 – continue the short loops and have to do an icy out and back or head out on the country road. I think I had to prove something to myself so I headed down the country road for a mile and was able to hold off the darkness. It probably helped the sun had come back out.
Once I hit 18.7 I turned back around and headed towards home – hit the driveway at 20.1 miles.
So it was definitely a slow run due to the ice and I can see I need to fuel more earlier than I started to fuel today but I still feel relatively positive about the run in general. I got it done without injury (or falling like yesterday) which is a positive as well.
I am glad I got this one in the bag – I was hoping to better understand where I was for outdoor running that this run really tells me. When I had clear patches I was up above 6.6 mph easily most of the time but as soon as there was ice I was done around 5 mph – so I don’t really know where I stand after the winter spent on the treadmill. I can’t help but get the feeling that I have lost something but I can’t be sure how much if I did. With 5 weeks until my first race of the season (Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon) it would be nice to have a better idea where I am but I still have time that if the weather turns I can figure it out…hopefully with enough time to focus on any problem areas.