The weather was perfect, almost 40 degrees. Buddy and I had been out walking earlier and it was warm. I dumped the winter running gear and opted for hiking capris and light shirt. After stashing a pair of ice cleats in my hydration pack just in case, I took off to meet Rebecca. There were a few icy patches, but it was easy to run on packed snow and eventually clear roads. For the first time in a LONG time, I felt great. We ran every step up and continued to run except for a couple impromptu bathroom breaks. It was sunny and warm with spectacular views as Rebecca demonstrates below.
We'd look back thinking we were hearing voices of running group members but didn't ever see anyone. Thinking that Martin had been outvoted and they picked another route, we kept going.
Our plan was 12 miles, and with an added loop with yet another uphill, we surpassed our goal. Rebecca left me at mile 13; I picked Buddy up and ran another 1.5 and finally bonked.
What went right today? Maybe the 30 day shred is creating strength where I didn't have it before. Eliminating walk breaks from all my runs seems to have removed them from my mind. Overdressing in the past always wastes time removing layers. This time, I dressed to be cold and tied an emergency layer around my waist. I'd really focused on hydrating the day before. For the first 13 miles, I drank about 50 oz of water, and took a GU and saltstick every 45 minutes. My mini Luna bars were also a boost at the halfway and 13 mile points.
Most of all, though, it was going at my own pace. I psych myself out trying to keep up with others. Knowing the group could catch and pass us wasn't an issue at all. In fact, we were hoping they would just to see other people. Overall, the day was a huge confidence boost.