I ate a few questionable things last night (not TOO many, but a few, and not too much, which matters as well) so I was hoping that it would be OK on my long walk today. I know, that wasn't smart, but sometimes...yeah, well. I got away with it though. No GI problems whatsoever. In fact, this walk was almost easy and it felt fantastic.
I started off a bit later than I have lately, because I didn't have to rush at the end to pick up the kids, or get to work, etc. That was a luxury. I'm telling you, training time is something that is not that easy to come by as a working mother. I'm glad I work, as I really enjoy my job, and I love my kids too, but it forces me to be ultra-organized to pack it all in. It was nice this morning to get up at 6 am instead of 4:30 am to do a long walk.
Of course, it was still dark at 6 am (it stays pretty dark until almost 7:30 these days), and it was colder than I thought. At my house it was 46F (7.8C) but at the Jordan River Parkway it was 42F (5.6C), and I'd forgotten my gloves. Uh-oh. Serious bummer. My hands were pretty cold for the first 20K, and then it did warm up a bit with the sun (it was 52F (11.1C) when I finished), and they felt better by the end. But if that's the only complaint I have about this walk, that's pretty minor.
As usual, I was a bit apprehensive about how I would feel and how the walk would go. It's really not fun when you're doing a long one and you start to tank! My first 5K split was nice and fast (30:43) but I felt great and was taking it pretty easy, so I figured it was all right. By 10K (30:48, 1:01:32) I knew things were going well; I still felt fast and smooth and concentrated on my technique and on using my glutes as much as possible.
I stopped briefly to take a gel at 10K, as my hands were really cold and opening one on the run (on the walk?!?) was almost impossible. Side note: I got a whole bunch of gels at about a 50% discount (in bulk) through my friend Nancy, and I was eager to try them. First up today was GU tangerine flavor, which was pretty good, and the second gel was GU Roctane pineapple flavor, which was about as good as a gel gets. Seriously, the toothpaste consistency doesn't help them much at all.
I figured if I made it to 15K feeling fast I would be pretty sure of a good day, and my split of 30:39 (1:32:12) was definitely reassuring. I wished my heart rate monitor was working, because I really don't feel I was pushing all that hard, and yet I was still fast. I felt like it was a 75% effort for most of the walk, with maybe an 80% effort for the last 5K. Now that it was light out, I really enjoyed the beautiful fall weather (chilly, yes, but calm, sunny, and generally gorgeous!), the scenery on the trail, the changing leaves, and seeing the many people out on the trail running, walking, and bicycling. This walk was quite fun! I think it also helped that I allowed myself to listen to my iPod. Usually I don't, as you are not allowed to wear headphones in USATF races like the 50K that I'm training for, but today I decided that a few "This American Life" podcasts and some music (starting at 17.5K) would be just the thing. Yes, at 17.5K I stopped briefly to take another gel (hands still freezing) and change my playlist. Then I was off again, and got to 20K in my fastest split, 30:20 (2:02:32). Wow! I decided to push a little for the last 5K, because I felt so good and I knew I could do it with a rest day coming tomorrow. It wasn't hard to push; my legs were tired, yes, but I still felt pretty fresh. I finished up with a 30:40 for 2:33:11 total; 6:08/km or 9:52/mile. Nice!
Garmin connect data here.