Running quote of the week

“It’s an honor to hit the wall… If you hit the wall you know you gave it everything.” – Lauren Fleshman

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Runsketeer Sunday on the mountains of Westbury

The concrete roller coaster
Today's run (SUNY Old Westbury): 7 miles

What goes up must come down. That is an apt description of the loop I ran today at the campus of SUNY Old Westbury. SIOR, who discovered this beautifully torturous running venue, described the course as "hilly." She certainly wasn't kidding. With the exception of the short drive that connects the campus to Cedar Swamp Road, I don't think there was a level section on our route today.

SIOR was unable to join us this morning, so it was left to TPP and I to conquer this undulating beast. She wanted to run 11 miles today and I had had 7 scheduled. Our timing was almost perfect. I arrived a couple of minutes before our designated meet time and I could see TPP heading in my direction. She was probably half a mile away, but her neon yellow running jacket made her easy to spot. TPP had already run 30% of her planned distance and would cover the balance while I did my seven miles.

We headed west toward the loop running against traffic. There were a lot of cars on the route because the college was having an Open House. Fortunately there was plenty of room for the many other runners and cyclists we saw today. I followed TPP who is a very focused runner. I had to constantly occasionally remind her to get over to the left when cars were heading in our direction. Apparently her friends from the Selden Hills running club are frequently called on to do this for her during their group runs.

Elevation chart from today's run
We encountered the first of many hills soon after we'd started. We were running easy and took it on without much trouble. Every hill was followed by an equivalent drop, making it the least fun roller coaster ever. But the run was fun, because our pace allowed us to carry on a conversation most of the time. I've never been able to speak when running at my regular training pace, but I did okay today.

I had been concerned about being able to cover seven miles over what turned out to be 600 feet of elevation. We decided to walk parts of some hills, but I stopped my Garmin during those times because I wanted to make sure I recorded 7 full miles of running.

I'm looking at today's run from a couple of different perspectives. On the positive side, I had a great time running with a friend, made my targeted distance and ran a lot of hills. On the not so positive side, I probably fell short on effort, as evidenced by my heart rate that averaged only 75% of max. I think this is a signal for me to start pushing my speed a little more on my long runs. SIOR suggested running a couple of miles at targeted half marathon pace on training runs and I plan to do that during next Wednesday's run.

Raising HR should raise performance
I want to get my heart rate up to at least least 80% of max on long runs and average at least 85% on more speed-focused runs. This is a tough change for me because the harder I push, the less I enjoy the run. But I always feel great afterward.

4 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous. It was a gorgeous day to run the campus. I needed some serious catchup z's and Baby wouldn't be potty-training if I took off for 3 hours in the am. Of course, I'm going to give you a hard time about the "mountains"... When you start out at 220 feet, climbing to 400 is a moderate hill (of course, you can throw this back in my face on April 22 after I face Heartbreak Hill at Mile 18). Sounds like a great workout, mostly because of the company. I will be there next time, come hell or high water!! Dammit! And I'll take you on the horsey detour :)

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    Replies
    1. I think you spent your morning well, even though we would have loved having you with us. Mountains no, but a view of the elevation chart looks a lot like the profile of the Rockies Wasatch range.

      In truth, the hills weren't really that hard, but mostly due to the relaxed pace we kept. We'll all run there together after your triumphant return from Boston.

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  2. Did you find the church okay and park without any issues?

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    Replies
    1. No problem finding it. Plenty of parking spots among the Ferrari's, Bentleys and one Mini Cooper.

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