A.M. Long run. Cold morning. The temperature was 12F at the start at 6:00 AM. Wore racing flats for a change. My feel felt like they have missed the feel of the ground.
Started with Ted, Jeff, and Tyler. Tyler's ankle started hurting, so he turned around after 0.2 to be safe. Talked about politics the first 6 miles. Averaged barely under 7:30 - 44:38. The road conditions were good - very little ice or snow, mostly dry ground.
Dropped Ted off, continued with Jeff. We gradually progressed from 7:30 pace to sub-6:30. Passed a large group of runners. One of them acted liked he wanted to challenge us. I encouraged him, but he was only kidding. This got my adrenaline flowing a bit, and the pace dipped under 6:20. It felt good. We gradually closed on the 7:00 guy, and passed him about 11.52 into the run. Jeff pressed the pace a bit afterwards. I needed to go to the bathroom bad, but figured the quicker we ran the quicker I'd get there, so I just toughed it out. Our last two quarters were 1:29 and 1:25, the 6 mile stretch in 38:47, and 1:23:25 at 12 miles.
Dropped Jeff off, went to the bathroom, prayed with the family, talked to Logan on the phone, then went for the remaining 8 at a tempo pace. I figured with all the clothes, the cold, the bridges, and being at the end of a 20 mile run, anything under 6:00 would be good. Hard to get going after a stop. First two quarters in 1:33 and I felt like I was pushing it. Then I got into a groove and started hitting 1:27 - 1:28 quarters when the road was good. A few 1:30 - 1:33s with slippage, micro-hills, and sharp turns. A couple of 1:29s when I let my mind drift. Somehow a song from Кавказская Пленница movie came to mind:
Где-то на белом свете,
Там, где всегда мороз,
Трутся спиной медведи
О земную ось.
"Somewhere in the world where it is always freezing the bears are rubbing their backs against the rotational axis of the earth."
I felt I was in that place with the bears, and maybe even helping them rotate the axis with my legs.
Ended up with 47:28 for the last 8 miles, 5:56 average. Total time for 20 miles was 2:10:53, 6:32.65 average. Felt strong but not fast at the end, probably due to the cold and the clothes. Interestingly enough, it took me almost 4 minutes less to run 20 today than it did to run 16.1 on Thursday.
P.M. It was much warmer. I ran in shorts. 2 with Benjamin in 17:02, continued on to finish 5, threw in a couple of tempo pickups to test the nervous system. Ran 0.5 in 2:54 up 1% grade with a bit of a roll, and then 1 mile in 5:35 down 1% grade again with a roll. Total time for 5 was 36:47.