Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter is upon us

I've been busy with work, family and snow lately so I'll try to catch up with the last few runs for those die-hard readers (both of you)...

Tue 11/16 (5.4mi, 50 min, 9:16/mi) I ran with Nate at lunch at an easy pace. I felt like crap from the start and had G.I. issues the whole run. I had to stop a few times in the middle of the run to use the port-o-potty which is always fun when you're running with friends. "Umm, you go ahead and I'll catch up with you..." I'll blame the antibiotics for this.

Wed 11/17 (5.0mi, 43 min, 8:30/mi) I ran on The Machine at work. I still wasn't feeling 100% recovered from the sickness/flu that stuck with me for the last 3 weeks so I kept an easy pace. I was increasing the incline every half miel until I was running at 7% for a bit before bringing it back down to my usual 2.5%. I felt a little better than Tuesday.

Thu 11/18 (5.4mi, 50min, 9:16/mi) Another easy run with Nate. Same route as Tuesday but the opposite direction. Nate apparently didn't like the mile+ long uphill that you get when you run the route CCW. My condition continues to improve and I felt like I was ready to up the mileage and start running faster. It was pretty cold out and I wish I'd brought a hat and some gloves.

Fri 11/19 (6.6mi, 52min, 7:53/mi) I ran out to Grass Lawn Park for some barefoot running on the track. I wanted to add a little faster pace running so I made it a Fartlek run. I ran hard for one song on the iPod and then eased off for the next one. Songs being all different lengths I was really suffering for a song or two to end. Once I got to the track I ran 2 barefoot miles doing two laps easy and then one lap hard. Pretty good run overall.

Sunday 11/21 (8.5mi, 1h17min, 9:05/mi) With temps dropping I bundled up and prepared for a good run to test out the MT101s a bit more. Just before leaving my daughter said that she wanted to go with me. I tried to tell her that it was too cold (low 40s) but she said that she could bundle up and stay warm. I decided to give it a shot and got the BOB jogger ready and bundled her up. When I run with her the route always stops at one of the local convenience stores for a treat. I think this is the main reason she likes to go with me. Unfortunately the temperature dropped almost 10 degrees during the run which made for one cold kiddo. We stopped at the Island View store for some chocolate and some milk before wrapping her back up in the blanket for the trip home. It started snowing on the way home and she wasn't happy. I picked up the pace and went down the Tunnel Trail as a shortcut despite all of the fallen tree branches. We got home just in time for her to warm up in front of the fire while I took a shower before we bundled up again to go ice skating. (great run, great day)

Snow, wind, and ice took over the roads on Monday and Tuesday and I didn't even try to drive in to work. Working at home makes it harder for me to get a run in. Add to that the icy roads and sub-freezing temps and I didn't get out for any miles. So much for my training cycle for the 10K I'd planned on Turkey day. If anything I'll drop down and run the 5K race with my daughter if it's warm enough.

Wednesday 11/24 (6.21mi, 46:25, 7:29/mi) Back in the office on Wednesday, I ran a 10K on the treadmill at lunch. My plan was to run the middle 3-4 miles at my target race pace of 6:25/mi. The reality was that I didn't have that in my legs or lungs. I started at an 8:30 pace and dropped down :30 per mile until I was running 3/4 of a mile at 6:30 and backing off 1/4 of a mile to recover. Not the workout I was hoping for. Fitness is still coming back after the illness.

Thursday 11/25 (8.4mi, 1h12min, 7:30/mi) There was still plenty of snow on the ground and the temp at the start of the run was 33F. I didn't even bother with the Turkey Trot. It warmed up during the run to maybe the high 30s. The snow wasn't very deep so I wasn't post-holing but it was just enough that the roads were slippery and running on the snowy shoulder was sluggish. I was one layer overdressed and had to keep taking off my hat and gloves and putting them back on. I kept a pretty good pace except for one mile that I tried an alternate route up the tunnel trail. I followed a new path to a dead end and then tried to bridge over to the proper trail. I wound up bushwhacking for a few minutes as I made my way through the thorns. It was a pretty good run overall.

One thing about the run that didn't work out was my choice of gel. A little backstory: During this year's Kona Ironman World Championships Gu came up with a new Roctane flavor that (rumor had it) was originally called "Mai Tai" but because of the alcohol connotations was renamed "Island Nectars." During the week of the Kona event Gu had a deal where they'd send you a free pack of 6 Island Nectar gels if you bought something else from their website. I bought some chocolate mint gels to get the free box of Island Nectar. I've eaten two of the new flavor so far and they're just about the worst tasting gel I've ever had. I've read about people raving over the flavor but it was bitter and harsh to me with very faint traces of fruit flavor. I can't imagine eating another one.

Friday 11/26 (6.5mi, 58min, 8:55/mi) Warmer out (low 40s) but I was still overdressed. With my jacket on I was too hot but with it off I was a little cold unless I was running uphill or really pushing the pace. I brought my son in the BOB this time. I bundled him up and ran out past Kopachuck park and then back around the one store loop. I was worried about the boy being cold but with the big jacket and a blanket he was warm enough to fall asleep after he finished his snack. My pace was a little slow with the BOB but it was great to get out for a run.

I just passed 1,300 miles for the year. I don't think I can make my goal of 1500 by the end of the year but I'm pretty happy where I'm sitting now and how my running form has developed over the year.

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