so this week was a cutback week, in more ways than one. Not only was the "long run" only supposed to be 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back, but I also cut back one of my weekday runs and cut the distance of the other two to 4 miles each. Between the general fatigue becoming very apparent and fighting off a cold, I felt like I couldn't keep to the full schedule this week. I was hopped up on Benadryl and Sudafed for most of the work week, and I just went with the signals I was getting from my body. We were supposed to take our resting heart rate for three days this week and figure out our averages, but I didn't even bother, knowing that it would be elevated from my body fighting off stuff. I'll have to be sure to get it done as soon as I bounce back.
Today we met at the usual spot and headed out for 30 minutes on the trails. we averaged a little slower than 10-minute miles, and despite feeling that I might have to hang back from the group because of my lingering cough and shortness of breath, I found myself leading the pack. It seemed like the cold air was just what I needed to open up everything. Of course, I was glad to have my gloves with me, even though I ended up stripping off my jacket and hat by mile 2. We found that coach had set out water just before mile 3, so we stopped for a minute before moving on for the last five minutes of the out section. I really wished I'd had a camera to capture the steam rising off everyone's heads at the stop -- it was still cold enough out to condense our breath, but warm enough that we were sweating pretty well. It was just a sight to behold, all of us with little clouds emanating from us.
We went on a little further, and then headed back. We decided to go back through the streets, mostly because we were certain our group pace leader would make us do hill repeats at the end if we came back on the trail (she later admitted at Starbucks for our "cooldown" that she probably would have, so we made the right choice). That route didn't have the big hill at the end, but made up for it with more gradual, steady inclines throughout. I found it harder to stay at the front of the group, but kept to paces around 10:30 nonetheless. The weather was perfect, and it was just a nice, relaxed run. Because we got done so early, we all had time to meet up at 'bucks around the corner for coffee and hot chocolate instead of rushing off in eight different directions like usual. That was probably the most fun I've had in this whole experience, just sitting around and talking about races, training, triathlon, and other stuff. Just fun, and a great way to wrap up the morning.
I'll have splits later -- the Garmin is waayyy over there in the car and not easily accessible right now. For now, it's time to cut open the fresh pineapple I brought home from the grocery store. I have no idea if it's pineapple season anywhere in this hemisphere, but it looked might appealing and I couldn't pass it up.