I really don't like to run when it is less than 15 degrees out. Call me a wimp, but my muscles often feel cold and sluggish when the temperature is lower than fifteen. I waited until this afternoon for today's long run, thinking it would warm up in the nice bright sunshine. And it did! It went from minus 10 degrees to 10 above. That was as high as it was going to go, so I layered up and headed out.
I started with a hilly loop down Spec Pond Road and through South Hiram. My plan was to stop at my house when I completed this loop for a bathroom break, a drink and a snack. Inevitably, I have to take a pee break on these long runs and I found out yesterday that the four foot snow banks on the side of the road are not conducive to this. So a pit stop at home was part of today's plan.
I felt great on this loop. Yes it was cold, but I was moving fast and smooth anyway. Even the hills felt good! What a difference from the last two weeks' long runs. As I neared my house at the end of the loop I started making a plan in my head as if I was pulling into an aid station in a hundred miler... "use the bathroom, grab a banana and a glass of juice, check to see if the space heater has thawed the pipes in the cellar yet, put a dry shirt and gloves on, check the online pedometer to see how long that loop was and how much farther I have to run to get my 19 miles in." I hadn't run that loop in a long time and had forgotten how long it is. The G-map pedometer told me it was 13 miles when I checked. I did all those tasks on my mental list in less than five minutes and was out the door.
I was cold starting out again because the sun was sinking low in the sky. That was OK because it made me want to run fast. I had to get 3 miles of faster paced running in during this run. I ran hard for the three miles out Spec Pond Rd and then turned and jogged back home. I didn't have a lot left when I returned home, but I was able to run strong and feel good for the whole run.