Did a 14-miler today. I was intrigued by the progression of fatigue my body experienced. I felt great for the first 10 miles. Over the next 2 1/2 miles I could feel fatigue creeping into me more and more. At about mile 12 1/2, I passed some kind of invisible fatigue barrier and I was able to allow my legs to go into "autopilot" mode while I put most of my focus into keeping my upper body straight. In that mode, I actually felt better even though I wasn't any less fatigued, but I could keep going indefinitely. I finished my 14 miles with my head up and feeling pretty good about the run.
Since I am doing most of my winter training on a paved 6 mile loop around a lake (which gets plowed and salted regularly - yay!), I keep my Gator/Powerade, GU and/or soft candy/chews in my car. When I finish a loop at the parking lot, I refuel and take off again. It is nice to not have to carry anything with me! Once the winter snows pass, I will again do a lot of training on our local Rails to Trails, which means a Fuel Belt or equivalent will be purchased in the near future. The times I've used a hand-held water bottle (ugh) and taken a few swallows every few miles, I feel a lot better. At this time, my arms are too sore to carry a bottle due to beginning a strength training program recently. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! I hate that hand-held thing, even though I do better!
Yay for Rails to Trails!!!!
I see swans all the time. The vast majority of the time they are paddling around slowly in a lake or pond. I'm quite sure I had not seen one in flight before today. I only say this because, now that I have, I'm sure I would have remembered it! Anyway, there is only one spot on Stony Lake where the water is not frozen. This spot is right below a dam that constantly allows a wall of water to spill into the lower lake, keeping a small area from freezing until the temps get very, very low. So this is the area where all the water fowl congregate - mostly Canada Geese and swans. Today, I heard a ruckus just as I finished passing the birds. I looked back and saw three huge swans flying low over the frozen lake. It was so amazing to see these enormous birds in flight! They really dwarf the geese! And then, about a mile later, I was lucky enough to have a beautiful hawk circling just above me for several minutes. This is one of many reasons I don't run in town!