Instead of going out for yet another lunchtime run to the Bridle Trails and back on Friday, I got to work a little early and went straight to the gym to go run the full loop of the Bridle Trails before work instead. I figured that I could get it done in about an hour and be at my desk by 9:25. It was in the high 40s - low 50s at the start of the run and I was a little chilly in a pair of running shorts and a L/S tech shirt. I warmed up about 2 miles into it and other than my hands I never thought about the cold. There was no one out on the trails save a couple of people walking near their un-leashed dogs. I'm still a little tense around dogs who aren't on a leash after getting bitten last year. I just shook my head and gave them both a wide berth.
The trails weren't too muddy which means that there were little bits of dirt around the trail-wide mud puddles that I could step on to avoid them. My legs were still spattered with mud by the end but at least my shoes weren't soaked and covered in mud and horse flop. My knee was hurting a little starting about half way through the run. I was running a little bit faster than usual as I was feeling good so I gutted out the pain and kept running now that the clock was ticking and I didn't want to be too late for work.
I Caught up on a few Fresh Air podcast segments that I'd been saving and then changed to my "On The Run" playlist while I ran. One of the songs on the playlist is Eminem's "Lose Yourself" which is a catchy tune and clocks in at 182 beats/min. Every time I hear it while I'm running I match my tempo to the beat for the whole song. It's a bit of a challenge on the trails when I'm zig-zagging back and forth avoiding mud puddles but running with the beat of the song feels great on the trails. Try it.
My knee pain lightened up a little on the way back to the gym along the corridor trail. There are two short steep hills on this section of trail and lately I've been working on running up them using my hamstrings and glutes more. I'm also generally trying to adjust my stride to be a little more mid-foot than heel striking. I need to get out to the local soft track and start slowly experimenting with barefoot running to see if that helps my form at all.
I looked at my watch with a mile to go and saw that I had been out for almost 53 minutes. I had a chance of breaking an hour if I picked it up. I pushed the best I could to stay under 7:00/mi pace and reeled in a couple of joggers about 1/4 mile ahead of me. I reached the parking lot in 59:28. Nice! I should probably try to worry less about time and focus more on warming up for the first mile and cooling down the last mile of my runs. I'm just so competitive with myself that I struggle with this.
Alt: 800? (Why even bother trying to BS me with your 2300' number Garmin?)
On a side note, I have to give a huge THANKS out to Bryon at www.irunfar.com, which is a pretty good blog about running. They review running gear on a regular basis and every so often they give away the old stuff that they've reviewed, some of it new and some used.
About a week and a half ago they had a trail gear Reuse-A-Palooza giveaway. They posted the stuff that they were giving away on the blog and left it to readers to ask for what they honestly needed. (ie: don't get greedy and say "I WANT IT ALL!!"). I dropped a comment asking about a hat or tech shirt. A few days later they posted a list of winners for the gear. I noticed that I didn't win anything, no big deal, they probably had more entrants than gear to give away.
It didn't bother me until I read the bottom of the post where it said that there were still more used tech shirts to give away. I was puzzled by this and emailed asking if my entry didn't make it or something. Bryon replied quickly that I didn't specify a used or new tech shirt so he assumed that I was only interested in the new shirts which went fast. Fair assumption on his part. No harm, no foul and I'll be specific next time. I thought it was nice of him to respond and explain.
Two days later Bryon emails me and asks for my address so that he can send me a brand new Icebreaker tech tee shirt. Ummm sure! and Thanks! Initially I didn't think anything more about not winning a free shirt, better luck next time. When I got an offer from him to send me a free tech shirt, I thought that it was a really nice gesture on his part. I got the shirt in the mail today and it's a really nice shirt. It's Merino wool and lycra and medium weight which would be good for temps between 50 - 70. It has flat-lock stitching and a small side pocket for keys, a small iPod, or even a gel or two. I look forward to trying it out on a run soon. Chapeau Bryon, you went above and beyond!