Sunday Long Run and Pond Hockey

First up, Pond Hockey Championships were today.  And Pond Hockey is alive and well in Minnesota.  I noticed more people at the lakes but didn't really have any problems.  Other than the traffic jam of cars trying to get off the road around the lake to leave.  Sucks to be you people.  It was good to even run by this for a couple of days.  I was particularly struck by the number of hotel shuttles going back and forth to the lake.  I did not realize the extent of people coming from all over to hang out on the lake and play hockey.  Cool!

I planned on doing my long run today, since the rest of the week looks pretty dismal for weather.  I needed 9 miles and wasn't sure exactly how to work that out.  I'd considered heading over to Lake Calhoun and Harriet, but the 2.5 miles of sidewalks between here and there can be pretty dicey. I also thought about going along the river but my experience with not-so-plowed routes yesterday had me questioning that decision.  Ultimately I decided to heat over to Lake Nokomis and do a second lap around the lake itself.  That route would give me the most distance on reliably plowed trails. 

The plan was to warm up, run at least a mile around Lake Hiawatha, then move on to 5:00, 1:30 intervals for the rest of the run.  I had a brief fail where my shoe came untied and interrupted my 'mile' so I adjusted a bit, and still ran a mile without stopping.  The streak continues.  The golf course and Lake Hiawatha were lovely.  And someone had at least tried to plow the rest of the path around the Lake.  It wasn't as wide nor as flat as it should've been but I recognized and appreciated the effort.

Lake Nokomis was a bit packed.  The cars trying to drive around for parking were off the hook.  There were tons of people out.  Walkers, dog walkers, runners, bikers, and hockey fans.  The hockey fans were actually pretty respectful of the people on the trail.  They really only intersected with us a couple times, crossing to get on and off the lake.  It was somewhere around the end of the first lap on the lake that my stomach went into rebellion.  Towards the end of the second lap I finally had a successful negotiation with my stomach.  I felt noticeably better after that, until I got tired from not bringing enough food.  Sigh.  True story: my pace was about five seconds slower than the pace for yesterdays run, despite the additional walking and the two stops.  So I've got that going for me.

I haven't felt much like going out for a long run, just running, so I'm happy that I have this interval plan to work with.  My next race is in April and if I don't get in some good long runs I will likely use the interval plan for the race itself.  (It's my first trail run so my goal is to finish without falling down too many times.)  It's been hard to get in long runs, and also mid distance runs outside because of the weather and snow.  My weeks tend to be one or two longer runs with a bunch of one and two mile runs in the middle.  Nothing to really build up an aerobic base or endurance.  We'll see if I can face the track a few more times this next week to get in some four and five mile runs.

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