Saturday, July 3, 2010

Two good runs: Central Park then closer to home

Yesterday's run (Central Park): 4.9 miles at 9:20
Today's run (street): 4.25 miles at 9:40

Things started out very comfortably at noon on Friday as I started my run in Central Park.  The temperature was rising about one degree every 20 minutes and by noon it was up to 73. Humidity was relatively low as I set a course that started from the 7th Ave. entrance to the park and then followed the east side of the lower loop. I continued on until crossing to the upper loop at 72nd street where I encountered another set of hills. I felt good having had a few strong cups of coffee earlier in the morning and running before (rather than after) lunch.

When I reached the reservoir I ran up the steps to run the dirt path that runs around the lake. I traveled counterclockwise and was heading toward the point where I usually jump off and return to the running path on the west side. Before that I abruptly reached a barrier that forced me onto the path at 90th street. That disoriented me a little and I headed north instead of south for about two blocks until I saw my error and reversed direction. The route back is more downhill than up (I already had plenty of hills coming north) but even the southern direction has its uphill spots that were harder to breech as the sun got hotter. I got passed by a few runners in my last mile and ended up covering about 4.9 miles without feeling too exhausted.

This morning I went out for a neighborhood run a little later than I'd planned. I woke up with a sinus headache for the second day in a row and waited for the coffee, ibuprofen and Sudafed to kick in before going out at 7:40 AM. It was only 67 degrees when I left and there was plenty of shade on the streets. I let my comfort dictate my stride and maintained a mid-nine minute pace through most of my run. I covered about 4.25 miles without working too hard. I'm saving some energy so I can put in more mileage tomorrow and Monday. I know that if I want to do more distance per run I should take more days off from running and run longer when I do. It's hard not running on both weekend days because they are my fun runs that are usually not constrained by time. I haven't decided whether I'll follow through on my plan to run against a set time this weekend. If I'm feeling ready to start early tomorrow I may just try to do that.

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