Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rough time at Stillwell Woods

Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.1 miles

Some runs are easy and some are not. I can usually predict how I'll perform based upon how I feel before I start. I'm at my best between 7:00-11:00 AM and any time before or after that will rarely yield an extraordinary performance. The worst time for me to run is mid-afternoon, especially after a big lunch.

Knowing this, it won't be a surprise when I say that today's run at Stillwell was:
  • Not Fun
  • Very difficult
  • Disappointing
  • De-motivating
  • 50% short of my intended goal

I'm on vacation this week, which is great, but there are a lot of things to do while I'm off. I spent most of the morning with the electrician, resolving some long term problems with one of our circuits. This forced me to push my run later in the day. We had also planned a Mexican-themed lunch that may have been a contributing factor in today's poor experience.

I headed to the trails at Stillwell Woods thinking that the rough terrain would provide a great excuse to run only for time, independent of pace. My goal was to go out for an hour and cover whatever distance I could.

I parked near the street, as far from the trail head as I could get. I set off along the paved drive that runs almost a kilometer before reaching the trail. I felt an energy deficit right away but hoped that, once I got going, things would improve.

When I reached the trail I became concerned whether I'd have enough energy to run my intended route. The paths were muddy in parts and I feared that I'd slip on the unstable surface. There was only one other person on the trail when I was running, a mountain biker, who passed me a couple of times in both directions.

I slogged on and did fairly well with the two steep sections that come along halfway through my usual loop. But by the time I reached two miles I felt like I'd done enough. I decided to head back to my car, which meant that I needed to cover just one more mile.

I usually love the experience of running at Stillwell, but today it was tough and uncomfortable. I'm going to blame the time of day and the fact that I had a big lunch prior to my workout. Tomorrow is another day. I'm hoping it will be a better day for running.

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