This morning I joined another running group in the area: Todd's Road Stumblers, as you might have guessed. This group is great! They have a club house several miles outside of Lexington out by a lot of the horse farms, and all their running routes are very scenic. The club house is just great, and designed just for a group of runners! The house is relatively empty, with a trophy case, quite a few chairs, a water fountain, a fridge, and a few tables for food and drink.
I arrived around 6am this morning and ran the six mile loop with five or six others, with the plan being to get back at 7am when the other runners leave and join a larger group for another 15 miles. The start of the run was very, very dark. Since we're in the country, the only light was that from the moon and maybe a small hint of the sun coming up. I kept my pace under control for this first loop to talk with the other runners, the company is always nice!
After our rather uneventful six mile loop, we stopped at the club house to refuel a little and met up with people going out for fifteen miles. There were maybe ten of us doing 15, but at least thirty people at the house! The entire 15 mile course was very hilly, no real killers like in Peoria (i.e. Mount ICC), but the road was always going up or down it seemed.
I ran 16 miles before asking the group for the rest of the route, and took off at race pace. Near the end of the run I could definitely feel the miles taking their toll, I had a slight pain in my back and could feel myself mentally bonking. I think I could have used another gel to get me through, although my pace never suffered; the last five miles averaged 6:30/mile.
Although I had no bad pains during the run, my right ankle had a dull ache afterwards. Giving it the one-two punch with heat and ice calmed it down and it feels great now! I'm very confident I will go under three hours at Chicago after such a promising workout! Alex (with 20 marathons under his belt) thinks my training points to a sub 2:50 finish if I want to go for it.
Here is a link to this workout: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3691359