Without any fresh snowfall in the last couple of weeks, the roads are clear enough to venture outside for my long run. After doing my last two long runs on the treadmill I was very relieved to be able to run outside today. If there's no other option I will do my training on a treadmill - even my long runs. And I have done a three-hour run on the treadmill before.
But if possible, I will always opt to run outside. I can deal with a chilly -7 degrees, which it is today, especially because it is also sunny and dry. Wearing two dry-fit long-sleeve tops, tights and shorts with fleece gloves and a hat, I warm up quickly. I've brought one energy bar and one caffeine gel, as well as a bottle of water.
It is so nice to run outside. I do my usual out-and-back trick. Mentally I only think about running 1 hour and 20 minutes one way. Then I turn around and run the same way back, which gives me the nice feeling that I am on the home stretch.
The first 2 hours and 10 minutes I am fine. But the final 30 minutes don't feel so smooth. Luckily I have no other option than to complete my run if I want to get home. (Not that I would have cut it short anyway, but it saves me from thinking about the possibility.)
Unfortunately most of that final 25 minutes is uphill - argh. I just grid my teeth, try to relax my tight and sore muscles as much as I can and stay focused.
That hot shower is around the corner, around the corner, past that little uphill. I am so sore when I finish, more than I expected - and I think the cold has a lot to do with it. Even though I feel warm enough, my muscles are affected by the freezing temperatures.
It feels so good to stop and I am pleased to see the clock showing 2hrs 40mins. It astonishes me every time that long runs can feel so tough, as if you have never run that distance before, even though I have done so - and further - many many times before.
After a long hot shower and some food I feel much, much better. I hope I can run outside again next week because I will also have to do an easy 30min run in the afternoon, following a morning session of 2hr 40min.