I slept in and took off on an out-and-back from the West End into Carnegie. It's probably not the best way to wake up, because about a quarter mile into the run, the course climbs 407 feet over the next 1.75 miles. It's long and demoralizing, but it also means the last two miles is a lot of fun. I follow Noblestown Road for about four miles, which is never really flat, with long hills. After the first climb, the next mile drops 171 feet, and after a short climb, it drops another 305 feet over 1.75 miles until the turnaround. Either way isn't terribly fun, because the hills are long enough to hurt. I once tried to do a 5-mile tempo on the return on this loop, but the uphills killed me. They were just too long that by the time I got to the two miles of downhill at the end, I was wiped out and didn't want to run very fast.
I felt the holiday eating routine on top of the 15 pounds I gained and haven't taken off from my layoff in the fall. The hills made it that much worse. Watching my form in my shadow, I saw a jogger, nothing close to a runner. It disgusted me. Even on the downhills, when I had the aid of gravity, I looked no better.
I finally hit 50 miles last week, after several setbacks the previous weeks, which might have been good. I'm building my base, but the weight is holding me back. I've typically felt my best when running 70 miles a week, so I am close, but I also need to fortify my dietary discipline. I need better breakfasts to start my metabolism and have food ready for right after my runs. I spend too much time meandering after work and by the time I cook dinner, it's 8:30 or 9. Not a healthy lifestyle. So, the first step is to cook several meals one night and refridgerate them for other dinners. Second-of-ly, setting a firm bedtime, with plenty of margin for sleeplessness, will help me be able to wake up and eat a solid breakfast before work. Morning runs at this point are out of the question, but the days are getting longer...
Wabash Avenue from Noblestown Road.