I had originally planned to go up to Conroe, but I got to bed late and my hamstring had been kind of sore Friday night. I really didn't want to get up at 4:40 and go up to Conroe and risk only making it through 10 or 12 miles. My hamstring really hasn't been bothering me during the runs, but seems to flare up sometimes in the evenings or at night. I ended up sleeping and and set out to do the run by myself. Sean's email had said that if you were training for Boston and couldn't make it up to Conroe you should try to do 30% of the run on the cloverleaf hills. It was cold Saturday morning and that added to my motivation to sleep in. I finally made it out the door around 10:00 and it was up to about 39 degrees but the windchill was in the low 30's. I decided to wear my orthotics for the run which was more than twice as long as the longest run I had worn them on. I headed to the park and did a loop through the park out to North Post Oak on Memorial and down to Woodway and back through the park. I warmed up enough that I didn't need my gloves anymore so I stopped by the house to drop them off after about 6 miles. I wasn't going particularly fast, but I was feeling pretty decent and my hamstring was feeling fine.
I headed down to Blossom and over to the Cloverleaf hills and ran 4 laps. My Garmin was showing that each lap - up two hills and down two hills - was 0.97 - 0.98 miles. I definitely picked up the pace some on the hills and got down to around 7:00 pace. I noticed that my shoe looked kind of bloody from one of my toes bleeding, but it didn't really hurt or bother me that much. I think that my shorter middle toe occasionally digs into my 2nd toe and on some of the longer run cuts it open a little bit. Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment.
After the four laps on the hills I headed around the bayou and then got back to the
cloverleaf hills with about 4.5 miles to go. My goal for the run was to pick up the pace and try to run the last 5 miles at 6:15 pace. I started picking up the pace when I hit 15 miles for the run and gradually picked up my pace. Without really doing much speedwork since the marathon it's harder than you'd think to run a fast 5 miles at the end, especially on hilly terrain. I was dropping the pace each of the first 4 miles, but near the end of the 4th mile I had to stop and wait for traffic for about 45 seconds to cross Shepherd and that pretty much ended the speed portion of the workout. I had about 30 seconds to go in the 4th mile and stopping that long was just too hard to recover from and get moving quick again. I struggled to get back down to pace and decided just to cool down and run easy the rest of the way back home.
All in all I was pleased with the run. My legs felt strong, I was able to knock out 20+ miles by myself and my hamstring didn't bother me during the run. I wore my hamstring compression sleeve like usual and it really has been helping me a lot.
My splits are as follows:
2:05 - 0.3 miles