I had a good week of running last week, but am having trouble maintaining momentum this week. I had every intention of going for a 10-15 mile (It's allegedly step-back week in my training program -- 10 miles in Beginner and 12 in Advanced, but I didn't feel I was consistent enough over the holidays to have earned a step back) run on Saturday, but with some snow showers predicted and a late night out, I decided not to drive to Maryland and just run here.
After an awful night of sleep, I got up at 7:00, saw snow falling pretty quickly, and decided to delay until late morning to see if there was any accumulation. I did go out around 11:30, but after seeing that shoulders and sidewalks were covered and the snow falling hard at times, I decided to call it off.
Going for my long run on Sunday was not an option due to a bad decision by a friend and I to attend an Eagles playoff game with standing room only tickets. If the Eagles had converted on their final drive and won the game, I would say that it would have been worth standing in the freezing wind for six hours and not being to feel my feet anymore, but instead it was just a long, cold, mostly miserable day. I may write up an Eagles post-mortem in a week or two if I feel up to it, but that's well outside the scope of this blog anyway.
As a result of sacrificing a day of running at the temple of futility, though, I had to get my long run in on Monday. As the weather got colder and the days got shorter, I got worse at getting up to run before work. Because of my new night-running gear, running after work has become a good option for me, but I didn't that I would be able to do 10+ miles at night, so lunch it was. The flexibility to take a midday run is one of the nice things about working from home, and so I started work early and worked late to justify a long run. I got a nice, fast 10.5 miles in in just over an hour and a half. I pushed hard for a 1:30 10-mile after I saw that I was at 7 miles at 1:04, about 4 minutes faster than usual on this course, but the hilly 8th mile slowed me down too much, leaving me with a 1:33 10-miles and 5 extra minutes to go the extra half-mile back to my car. I'm debating if and what to run tomorrow -- track workout is scheduled in the evening but another winter storm is on its way.
I definitely think the frustrations of my wasted Sunday afternoon, the worry over missed runs as my race approaches, and and increasing pressure at work all contributed to my a faster pace than usual today. If that's the case, I'll be either ready for an ultramarathon or have defeated Usain Bolt by the end of Orioles season.