Running quote of the week

“I felt like I was breathing like a freight train and everything hurt, [but] somehow it didn’t bother me. The joy of moving and getting started overwhelms the negativity.”– Lauren Fleshman

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Of running and furniture

A metaphor for running
Today's run (street): 4.1 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles

“The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ― John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running.

I always liked that quote because it sums up the fear so many people have about going out for their first run. Or maybe it's about their first race. Either way, it's about overcoming fear related to running. I have my own, similar quote, but it's not about running. It's about assembling a Danish modern dresser with directions that contain confusing illustrations with no words.

“The miracle isn't that I managed to assemble this overcomplicated bunch of furniture parts that came with indecipherable directions. The miracle is that I had the courage not to ship it back to Denmark and ask for a refund.” ― The Emerging Runner.

Also, I haven't finished assembling it.

Besides spending time on that project, I've actually gotten out for a couple of runs. I'd hoped to complete four workouts this week but my hopes for an after work elliptical session were dashed by a late day meeting on Wednesday. Thursday night I had to attend a business dinner and didn't get home until 10:00 PM.

Friday was Mrs. Emerging Runner's birthday and I took it as a vacation day. My kids were off from school so we celebrated the day together. I got out fairly early and did my usual 3 mile neighborhood loop. Despite some misty rain at the start, 94% humidity and 10 MPH winds, I was comfortable in shorts and a single shirt layer. I ran okay but I was impatient to get through it. No miracles on that run.

This morning I got out a little earlier and faced much colder conditions. I've been trying to be better about selecting running clothes that will keep me comfortable through my run rather than only at the start. The 16 MPH wind was more than I bargained for and I regretted not having an over the ears hat. I broke away from my local streets and ran over to an adjacent neighborhood in Woodbury after covering a little more than 4 miles.

I went back to dresser assembly in the afternoon and made some progress. I've discovered that putting this unit together works better when I just focus on one challenge at a time. Just like the expression, "run the mile you're in",  my approach is to assemble this thing one confusing instruction page at a time.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Run with SIOR for a Life Time of fun

Where the elite meet to run
Today's run (street): 6 miles

After weeks of  unseasonably warm weather, our luck finally came to an end on the first day of spring. Yesterday's  conditions were brisk but comfortable, but we woke up to a temperature that felt like 24° today. Although it was the first day of the vernal Equinox, I went to Equinox's competitor: Life Time Athletic in Syosset. I was there for the Life Time group run led by the one and only SIOR.

I met SIOR in the lobby of the Life Time Athletic building. This is not to be confused with the Time Life building where I spent most of my career. Life Time is huge and opulent and and there were lots of people streaming in at 8:00 AM. As I mentioned, it was freezing outside and apparently everyone preferred to run on treadmills rather than join me and SIOR on the road. They missed out, because group running is fun and it makes long distances seem a lot shorter. At least that was the case for me today.

SIOR and I took off at 8:15 AM and tucked into an adjacent neighborhood that had long, straight and wide roads. SIOR's phone app wasn't telling her which roads to follow so we used our sharply honed innate navigation that pretty much kept us on the same two loops. We did branch off onto another loop for our last two miles. We'd both dressed for cold but it was really chilly. I managed to warm up about two thirds through, SIOR not so much.

I loved the run and the opportunity to chat which made six miles feel like I was only running three. I'll admit that I ran extremely slowly, as I do these days, but my run coach didn't complain about the slow pace bothering her knees. She did one-step me most of the run and I was really hoping that would produce a faster pace on my part. Nope. Closer to the end, SIOR picked up her pace but she never went so far ahead that she was out of sight.

Today's route
We'd intended to run five miles but ended up covering six. If other people were brave enough to leave the temperature-controlled fitness club, they would have had their choice of 5, 10 or 15 mile distances. The group run is open to anyone, and you don't have to be a Life Time member to participate. I really hope more people show up next time because it's a good workout and you can learn technique from a certified running coach.

After our run, SIOR and I headed over to a Starbucks on Jericho Turnpike, a new location for a Runsketeer après-run coffee break. I am really glad to have covered six miles today. It was fun and I felt good. I probably could have - and should have - pushed a little harder. Warmer spring weather should bring more participants to SIOR's group runs. I think the weekend group events will be posted on the Syosset Life Time Facebook page with time details. Tell your friends!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Good run with a side of Danish

Bygge mig og være glad
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles
Wednesday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes

According to the World Happiness Report that came out this week (yes, this is a real thing), Denmark is the world's happiest country. I'm guessing that's because they spend their days laughing at Americans who buy their DIY furniture. A good chunk of my day was spent assembling an eight-drawer dresser. Actually I only had the patience to assemble the drawers today. And not all the drawers, just the ones that had parts that were manufactured correctly. hvorfor skal jeg det til mig selv?

Wrongly drilled piece on left. Thanks Denmark!
Earlier in the day I went out for a very nice run around the neighborhood. I resisted my tendency to overdress and braved the 40° chill until my body heat caught up. I felt great throughout the run and capped my distance in deference to my morning schedule. After lunch I turned my attention to building the dresser and got an impromptu upper body workout moving two heavy boxes full of dresser components up the stairs.

Yesterday I had an even tighter schedule and needed to get my run done before an early meeting. The only way to pull that off was to use the treadmill. It was fine and I was entertained by our new TV in the guest room. I started the run feeling like it would never end, but happily it did. I only subject myself to about three miles on the machine for sanity's sake and I cope by telling myself, "Only X more miles to go before I can hit stop!"

I did manage to get an elliptical session done on Wednesday and that will get me to four workouts this week. It's not quite where I want to be, but better than I've been doing lately.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I'm vertigo-ing to take Sudefed next time

Once again, pseudoephedrine saves the day
Today's run (street): 3.75 miles

I had a very nice Saturday until about 8:00 PM last night when I started feeling dizzy. I have very sensitive sinuses and big changes in temperature tend to affect me. It's usually in the form of a pounding headache. Occasionally, the only effect will be a feeling of light-headedness, which is far more tolerable. Unfortunately, the dizziness sometimes provokes it's evil twin, nausea, and then it's no fun at all.

By 8:30 I could tell that this would be more than a passing thing. I considered using nasal spray or taking a decongestant, but I was also starting to feel sick. Instead, I headed upstairs to go to bed in hopes that I could sleep it off.

Today is the start of daylight savings time, and when I woke up, I thought I'd slept until 7:00 AM. Actually I did, but my internal clock thought it was 6:00 AM. Still, I managed to get more than eight hours sleep and all signs of last night's vertigo were gone. I was concerned about overdoing it today, and decided to keep my run short.

The weather was pleasant and I dressed correctly for a change. I'd taken Sudefed when I got up in hopes of warding off a recurrence of sinus trouble. I expected to feel tired on the road. Instead, the decongestant had the opposite effect. My stride felt loose and my energy level was higher than it's been in weeks. I felt so good I wondered if pseudoephedrine is a banned substance.

I stayed in my neighborhood, but mixed up my route to keep things somewhat interesting. Unlike many runs, I wasn't thinking about how much more time or distance I had to cover. I was really enjoying being outside on a beautiful (if humid) pseudo-spring day. I never looked at my watch during the run, and was surprised to see that I'd exceeded my three mile target by 20%.

I didn't get in all the workouts I'd hoped for over the week, but I had some challenging days in the office that kept me late a couple of days. This week should be better and if I'm able to stay on schedule I'll aim to add a Wednesday and/or Thursday workout.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Running bargains, get them while they last

Friday run: note the runner on right side of picture
Today's run (Bethpage bike trail): 5.2 miles
Yesterday (street): 3.2 miles

I got out early on Friday before my day started and covered my minimum distance for a run (5K). When I stepped outside, I noticed the scent of spring in the air. The temperature was 59° with a steady breeze that energized me from the start. It seemed quiet for a Friday, perhaps because I went out early. No recycling trucks or buses, just me, the road and a surprising number of people out walking. I also saw a runner (see picture) who decided that the middle of the road was a smart place to run.

Today's route
This morning the weather was cooler, high 30's according to News12, and I dressed for it. I wanted to cover five miles and headed over to the Runsketeer rendezvous point on Haypath Road. My route plan was to start at Haypath and run to Washington Ave. as my turnaround point. I had plenty of company on the bike trail, including some people walking with large dogs. I was careful to leave a lot of room each time that I passed by.

Later in the day we went to the Gallery at Westbury and saw (as I'd predicted), that the SA Elite store was closing. This used to be my favorite place for running clothes and shoes. In the beginning it was a beautiful store with most of its merchandise related to running. I've bought a lot of shoes and running clothes there over the last few years.

My bargain jackets
I ended up buying a duplicate of my dog-bitten ASICS rain jacket (discounted to $13!!) and a high reflectivity ASICS jacket for $23. We also got some old-school Onitsuka Tigers for my son for $30, a yoga mat for my daughter and a couple of shirts. The whole thing came to less than $100. There's still a lot of merchandise, so I recommend a visit soon. They say the store will close when there's nothing left to sell.

One last  thing - I want to give a big shout-out to Runsketeer SIOR for running a great 15K race on a very hilly course in King's Park this morning.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Me and the Tartan track personnas

Counter clockwise and counter-counter clockwise
Today's run (track): 4.1 miles
Yesterday's run (street); 3.4 miles
Friday's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

It was a busy week and I didn't manage to get a workout in before Friday. My Friday schedule was jammed with meetings from 9:00 to 5:30, so I needed to get my run done fairly early. I worked from home on that day and was lucky that I didn't have to do my long commute in falling snow. But outside conditions were slippery, making the treadmill my only option for running.

No surprise to anyone, I found Friday's run almost unbearable and was determined to get outdoors the next day. The snow on the roads had melted, but conditions were still pretty rough. The local news station showed  a temperature of 30°, so I dressed for moderate cold. It was sunny when I stepped outside and I was concerned that I'd overdressed. A few minutes later I was wishing for another layer.

Saturday frozen face syndrome
Feels like freezing
The moment I turned the first corner on my run, I was hit with a blast of numbingly cold air that gave me an instant sinus headache. I quickly thought through my intended route to determine whether I should change streets to minimize the wind. By the time I'd reached my first mile, I'd heated up enough to manage through the cold. It was a low performance run overall, but I managed to get through my miles and I didn't get bit once.

I usually reserve my longest run of the week for Sunday, but this morning I had a serious motivation problem. None of my favorite venues seemed appealing (Neighborhood: ho hum, Bethpage: too many hills, Stillwell: too many mountain bikers) and I wasn't going near the treadmill again. My wife suggested the track and I couldn't find an argument against that. So off I went.

Although running around the track can be viewed as monotonous, I find it much much more pleasant than the treadmill. At least the track provides sensory stimulation through forward movement. On top of that, I always encounter a different cast of characters as I circle the Tartan track. By the end, I've usually monitored their workouts and made up names for each of them.

This morning, it was just me and walking man, a big middle aged guy who was wearing air buds but no hat or gloves. Walking man and I were soon joined by high school running girl who eventually lapped me. But while high school girl had speed, I had endurance, and I noticed her slowing down and eventually talking walk breaks. So I won. Walking man started running, slower than me if that is actually possible. A young guy also joined us, running his laps pretty fast.

I did my first two miles going in the traditional counter-clockwise direction and then did two more clockwise, allowing me to see the faces of the other runners. Most importantly, running that way prevented the humiliation of being lapped by young running man and a young running couple who came by a little later. I did manage to lap the walking-to-running man and a bunch of miscellaneous walkers who'd also come by.

I did a little more than 16 laps and focused on my shortened stride which I'd hoped would enable a higher cadence. It did not, and the end result was an unprintably slow pace. That is, except for the last lap where I said "screw it" and ran about a 9:15. That was when I lapped walking-to-running man.

So, this week it's been three very different runs with the common theme of low performance. I don't really care about that, but I sometimes feel guilty for not going out with the, "All you need is all you got" attitude that I had a couple of years ago. I'm really going to try for four workouts this week and may even stretch it to five if my schedule isn't as insane as last week's.

 

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