Today I was scheduled to run 14. Based on last weeks run I figured it would take 2.5 hrs. Last week's run was pretty flat, this week would be on the hills of Duluth.
Total time: 2:05:18 I am very pleased! Ran the first six alone, then met a friend for the last eight. The route included: uphill from my house to Skyline (first mile), then some more hills on Skyline to Observation Rd to Arlington (and even more uphill running, this time into the wind), then onto Orange St (where there is the coolest 40 ft tall ice structure, naturally occurring due to an artesian spring - I will try to get pictures soon), then worked my way back to Skyline and the meeting place. Headed west from there for another 4 miles before turning around and heading back. Finished with a nice two block descent where I got to practice my downhill running.
Skyline is a great place to run. Built on an ancient beach (Glacial Lake Duluth) it is relatively flat. Relative being the key word. There are some decent hills mixed in. My friend loves to charge hills, me... lets just say hill climbing is not my strength. He would charge the hills, I would putter my way up, eventually catching up and continuing the interrupted conversation.
Lots to see on the run: snowshoe hares, other runners, walkers, bicyclists, three deer crossing just in front of us (if a fourth or fifth had appeared there may have been a news story about runners hit by deer), and kids hanging out at the overlooks.
The weather was great for a long run: low 40's at my house, sunny, the breeze was not too annoying - well except on that one long uphill where I was running directly into it ;->
I am not a huge fan of running in warm weather - why would I be, I live in northern Minnesota. Though, having said that, am looking forward to running in a few less layers and not having my hands swell due to cold (in the summer it is due to heat, so guess I will just get used to swollen hands).
Other stats from today's run:
Average heart rate: 161
Peak heart rate: 174
Minimum heart rate: 93 (turned my watch on after descending stairs from my house)
My goal is to stay in the 142-162 heart rate zone. How did I do? 52.22 minutes in zone. Apparently I am really bad at staying in the target zone ;-> Maybe it is all the hills?
Overall the run felt great, though it was getting tough near the end to keep tackling the hills. But no walking today and only two stops: fix an overly tight shoe (couldn't feel my toes) and the obligatory bathroom stop (always happens in the first few miles when I am wearing a pack - why I choose wooded routes).
Blister on my left foot is no worse, so I am reserving judgement about the blue pads in my shoes. Hard to judge since I had a blister there to begin with. Feet were not as sore, so that is a positive.
Got home to the family cooking dinner: Thai Fish Cakes (made with Lake Superior Herring) and Split Pea Fritters, washed down with an Enlightened Black Ale. Yum!
Ended the evening visiting with my daughter and her boyfriend. Great way to spend a Sunday!