So every new run seems to be another chance to analyze whether I'm going to feel ready for Grandma's or not. It gets to be sort of funny when I catch myself making another judgment call after a 3 mile run! The most important is the long runs, though, and the last two have felt fantastic - though, if I'm being honest here, I've only had three "long" runs if you count my first one back which was all of 10 miles. Anyway, good long runs bode well but I'm going to keep taking it a day at a time as long as I can. Nothings wrong with being smart and running Sour Grapes Half instead of Grandma's. Especially if it keeps me healthy.
Saturday was a lovely 13.5ish mile run on the Superior Hiking Trail. Lisa ran 27 miles from her house to Magney Snively and back (!) and was looking for company, so I ran out with her and had Kyle come pick me up. It was a perfect day - cloudy with threat of rain, just warm enough with a nice breeze at our backs (granted, I imagine the "breeze" wasn't fun to run back into and that threat of rain turned into rain on my drive back, leaving Lisa out in it). It made it hard to decide what to wear but was great once we got out there. I was hoping for 12-14 miles today (I hadn't really decided which) and this was a great way to up my mileage without too much extra wear - trails with the soft landing they come with and the slower pace they demand, not to mention the slower pace demanded by someone running twice the distance! I had a great time despite trying to twist my ankle apart at one point via a stick/rock combination. I blame Rick since we were plugging along just fine without incident until he came along!
It's hard to run on the Superior Hiking Trail without wanting to look around. Everything is turning spring green right now so you want to look at the views with the new budding trees and find the sprouting plants on the ground all while trying to watch your step. We saw three turkey buzzards soaring about, too! The great thing was, since we were so high up, they were soaring right at our height and they were close enough to see their red, which I don't think I've been able to see before. I also covered a few parts of the trail that I've never been on before and a lot of trail that I've never run on before. I really wanted to turn around and join Lisa on the way back and even though I knew it was silly and I wasn't in the sort of shape to run 27 miles, I really wanted to anyway!
Next up for the gel test was Gu brand. A Strawberry Banana and a Tri-berry with caffeine. I also tried a chocolate Accel gel with caffeine since we were out there a while. They all worked great - no sticky all over my hands this time! I think the Strawberry Banana was my favorite but since that was the first one, it's hard to tell - the test will be trying it later in a run sometime. Gu is buyable locally, though, which was my aim and also popular enough to be found at an expo should I forget my gels and need to buy them last minute. No negative GI issues with either gel, so far, which is also quite good! I love the idea that Cliff has, though - they have the top tear off but stay attached to the main body so that you don't have to be juggle little pieces of trash with everything else. I wish everyone would copy them.