It's amazing what a little rest can do. I gave my body 2 full days of rest, and it repaid me today with a 15 mile run that was made of pure bliss.
My initial plan was to run 8 miles at 7 am, with about 10 miles of biking there and back. However, I was wide awake at 4:30 a.m. since I've slept so much extra the past few days. Instead of going back to sleep and risking feeling groggy later, I got up and got ready to join my co-leader for an extra 6 miles at 5:30 a.m. I didn't have time to make it there if I biked, nor did I think I'd want to bike after running 14 miles, but that was ok because I would rather run more than get in a bike ride.
As I walked to the car, I felt a wonderful chill in the air. I knew it would warm up over the course of 14 miles, so I skipped the knee high socks, but I did grab a long sleeve shirt just in case. It was colder when I got to the school, so I wore it for about a mile before I took it off because I didn't want to get chilled later from the extra sweat if I waited too long. The cool air felt amazing, and the easy pace and 1/1 intervals made running effortless. We even threw in some hills, but we didn't mind because they came with gorgeous scenery and we barely noticed them with the easy pace. We picked up an extra mile along the way, and I would have gladly ran longer but Jason needed the car.
I felt rested and full of energy at the start, and I planned to keep it that way, so I ate a shot block with caffeine and water every 2 miles. This is what Jeff recommends, 30-40 calories every 2 miles to keep blood sugar levels up and constant. I usually don't like to eat this often, and instead eat about 100 cal (1 gel/2-3 shot blocks) every hour (3-4 miles), but it worked really well today. My energy level remained constant, and I enjoyed every step of this run. My legs did feel tired and achy towards the end, but I still felt amazing and like I could have kept running forever. The temperature increase towards the end also contributed to the extra fatigue.
Either way, I am thrilled I got out there for all 15 miles because I would have hated to waste such a perfect morning for running. This was a very therapeutic run, and just what my body and mind craved.