After our run today, I'm getting more excited about the upcoming spring and summer.
It snowed all morning (again). We ate breakfast with my mother who is visiting from the US. SR and I knew that no matter the weather, this was our day for a long, long run.
SR put on his backpack, I my Garmin and we were off. Okay, we did put clothes on, too.
But then it ended up being warmer than expected, so the clothes had to go. Ahhh, the Danish countryside.
We ran about 80% on snowy trails. I have never had a winter of running on almost exclusively snow. In the US, I ran on the sidewalks in the winter. But here, the sidewalks are also covered with snow. The town of Næstved actually recently ran out of their salt supply for the entire winter. So why not run somewhere pretty?
I do not know if snow running is good training, but I do know I've gotten good at it and my legs have gotten quite strong.
Here we are taking a break at Karrebæksminde Bugt and then Gavnø Slot.
Gavnø Slot is the beautiful castle, which looks blurry in the background. It is here I hope to start and end an 80k/50 mile ultra. I've been working on the plans with SR, we just need to get our athletic club involved and work out the details of the route.
We ran for nearly 4 hours together and that was 21.5 miles. But at that point, I wasn't really feeling sore or tired. I have to say that now that I am 53 kg (and I can tell, or at least really hope, the weight is in muscle and not fat), I have become a much stronger long-distance runner (my mom suggested it is because I'm not breastfeeding anymore; an interesting theory). I ran for another 4 miles alone at around a 9:30 pace, even on the snow. I still felt great, but didn't want to get injured, so I called it a day after almost a marathon.
We both felt so good afterwards and were able to better plan out our races for the spring and summer:
1. Hells Hills 50 miler (SR is running the 50k)- April 3. I have spent some time studying the race and I may have a shot at the female course record (which right now is 9:24). But depending on how hellish and hilly it actually is, I might have to revise that goal. Honestly, it does seem realistic with having run one 50 miler in 8:45 and then Voyageur in 9:40 and feeling even stronger this year. But, even if I'm 3 hours after that goal, I'll still be happy. Mostly because I finally get to meet Olga and Larry. And SR and I get a romantic getaway in the small Texan town of Smithville.
2. Copenhagen Marathon - 23 May: goal time is under 3:20.
3. 24 hour race on Bornholm vs. Aabenraa mountain marathon at the end of June. Well, I'm not thrilled about the idea of running a 24 hour race that is half on asphalt. But if Steve Q really does come to run it, then I will, too. If I run the 24 hour race, SR will run the 6 hour and then pace me. If we run Aabenraa, we'll both run the same race.
4. I'll skip right to our plans for late July, early August's trip back the US. We have three weeks, one of which is just the two of us. The first weekend, we are going to run Voyageur (if a race directory is found). I think I speak for both of us when I say the main goal is to show up on time. Followin the race, we'll stay in Duluth and then start a week long trip around lake Superior by car, stopping in parks, towns, wherever we feel like. Just the two of us, bikes, wetsuits and running shoes. The week will end with a marathon around Grand Island near Munising, MI. That is, if we can run a marathon the weekend after Voyageur.
So, what about getting pregnant? Well, let's just say there is no hurry to have baby number two, but if I do get pregnant, the racing plans probably won't change. I'll just run slower.
I didn't actually listen to much music today, but one that stands out was a rec from Steve Q (wow, two mentions in one blog post!)...
Running song of the day: Balloon Man by Robyn Hitchcock