Saturday, April 24, 2010

A tale of two 3.5 mile runs

Yesterday's run (Central Park): 3.5 miles at 9:12/mile

Today's Run (street): 3.5 miles at 8:45/mile

Yesterday I was excited for the chance to do another run in Central Park. It was a busy Friday and I managed to wrap up morning meetings in time to change and meet up with my friend Steve for the jog up to the park. The skies were bright and the sun was out but the 57 degree temperatures felt cold on the building-shaded streets. We started our run at the 6th Ave. entrance on Central Park South and made our way to the lower loop to run counterclockwise to the north. Steve admitted to really feeling last Friday's workout for a couple of days after our run but he said he could do six today. I told him that he may feel differently once he started to encounter the hills. We set off at a decent pace, low 9's, and enjoyed watching all the activity in the park. At one point we were set upon by a group of tourists on bicycles who didn't seem to understand the concept of sharing the road with pedestrians. We also saw a person running around wearing Kangoo Jumps that look like in-line skates with elliptically shaped spring devices on the bottom. He certainly got some energy response from the shoes. Looked like fun but I'll stick to my Brooks for now.

Once we reached the reservoir we followed the path on the southern edge and then headed south. Steve was very glad at the 2 mile point that we weren't really going to run six. He did a great job keeping up with me and I told him his reward would be downhill running to balance all the hills we'd hit on the way up. We ended up covering 3.5 miles and felt fresh, even at the end. Good thing too because we both had long afternoons ahead. We walked south back to our offices, energized for the rest of the work day.

I woke up this morning with a headache that I attributed to sinus pressure. Rather than hoping it would just go away on its own I took a Sudafed and ibuprofen and chased them with a strong cup of coffee. I headed out around 8:00 AM for my run. I warmed up after about a mile and covered a route that took me first around and then through the neighborhood. I was concerned that the effects of the Sudafed would impact my running and while I felt tired I still managed to keep a decent pace. I originally thought I'd go 40 minutes but I cut it short to ensure I'd be ready in time for this morning's activity, an Arbor Day festival at a local preserve. I was pleased with today's run. I've programed the Garmin to automatically roll through the various metrics as I run such as pace, distance, time and heart rate. I used the heart rate numbers rather than speed to guide me in terms of effort to expend. It paid off with a decent pace, close to what I achieved recently in a 5K race.

Tomorrow I have plans to meet my friend KWL at a local park for a run at 6:30 AM. The weather is supposed to be pretty bad so chances are we'll need to postpone. That would be too bad but I can't complain about all the great running weather (and great runs) I've enjoyed this week.

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