Tempo run with Ted in the morning. Sleep in day - we ran at 7:15 AM. Warmed up to Geneva Road, and did the standard 10 mile tempo. I had too goals - stay with Ted as much as possible, and catch the 6:00 mile guy eventually. The trail was partially covered with snow, but a good part of it was dry. However, you did have to swerve from side to side to catch the good parts. Also, it was around 1F, so I had my standard 2.5 layers.
We ran together for the first 1.5 miles at 6:15 pace. Then stopped for a bio break, while Ted kept going. I started chasing him, and sped up to 5:45. It felt easier than I expected, and I felt some extra bounce in my stride. There are a couple of things I did different last week. Ted brought me some Synflex to try. It is a glucosamine-based supplement that is supposed to promote the growth of cartrilage. My hope is that it will improve the quality of my spinal disks and thus increase the resilience of the spine. I also changed my Pettibon exercise routine to walk around carrying a medicine ball above my head while wearing the headweights.
Hit 2.5 in 15:08, then caught Ted 0.5 miles later, along with the 6:00 guy. Decided to stay with Ted until we were 30 seconds behind the 6:00 guy. Ted was not feeling good - a bit sick, and a bit overtrained. We ran at 6:20 - 6:25 pace, and then slowed down to a 1:38 quarter. We were 28 seconds behind the 6:00 guy, and I decided it was time to take off. The road was covered with snow, so I fell behind even further - 30:32 (15:14) at 5 miles. That was bad news. So I pressed it a bit harder, and managed to not fall behind any further on the way back through the snowy section. Then with the same effort, I started closing the gap when the road was dry. 45:17 at the turnaround, 14:45 for 2.5. Now I was fully aware of the conditions of the trail and the difficulty of running 5:50 pace on it with all the clothes on, so I got down to business. Still 7 seconds to close with a mile to go, and it is uphill and covered with snow. Barely made it - 59:59.7, 14:42 on the last 2.5.
Ran back to Ted, finished with him, then we ran to my house. 13.7 for the run. Ran with the kids a short while later, and then went cross-country skiing with Benjamin at Sundance. This was his first time cross-country skiing, and my first time in 20 years. I did a few tempo stretches, all I could do was 9:00 mile pace putting in 6:00 mile running effort. However, I believe, cross-country skiing is exactly what I need for my back. It bends it and stretches it in a way that feels just right when I lean forward and push off with both arms. I remember that in the past I felt cross-country skiing made me run with better form. I need to find a time and cost-effective way to do it as often as possible. If anybody knows of a good place to buy a pair of boots and skis, please post a comment or send me an e-mail.