Saturday, July 18, 2009


LFD = Long Fast Distance
CFM = Comfort Food Miles

My hope for yesterday's run in Central Park was to cover four to six miles at a leisurely pace, accompanied by friends CK and AG. CK has been recovering from a stress fracture in his foot and the heat and humidity both provided a good case for an easy pace. We met at the statue of the Maine in Columbus Circle at the southwest edge of the Park and started off with this plan (suggested by CK):"Let's just run." Although it was hot and humid I felt energized and we covered the first mile at around an 8:30 pace. Pace is a relative thing and while 8:30 is a 5K race pace for me it wasn't much of a challenge for my companions. While I thought about the difficulty of maintaining a mid-8 pace for another four miles, AG and CK were happily chatting away without breaking a sweat. I finally managed to croak out the words "Can we slow this down a little?" and they immediately backed down the pace to about 9:20.

I appreciated the respite and we moved off of the paved course and onto the bridal path and followed it along the reservoir for a while. Our pace picked up and I tried to slow it down but in the interest of keeping up it didn't get much slower. I lost track of where we were and at one point I was concerned that we had miles to go and were still traveling north. I asked AG in an almost pleading way when we were going to cross over and go south and she laughed and said we already did that. That made me very happy. Around the 3 1/2 mile mark the odometer in my body reliably signaled the distance with some discomfort from my groin pull. I said that I couldn't do a faster pace from that point on although we were tracking well below 9:00 on the downhills. We finished near the southern end of the Park after covering 4.7 miles with an overall pace of 9:04. Considering the conditions and the length of the run it was long and fast and I welcomed the break. It took me almost ten minutes to feel recovered with the help of a cold bottle of water. When we got back to the office we conducted a taste test of Fruit2O water that will appear soon in Runner's Tech Review.

I had some good rest overnight but didn't want to push myself so I decided to do a slow recovery run, not more than 3 miles or so. I didn't care about pace and I didn't want to go out much more than 30 minutes. The run felt great and I thought about how sometimes it's hard (see above) and sometimes it's the equivalent of comfort food - satisfying, effortless and fully enjoyable. I had to rein myself in and though I slipped passed my 5K goal I finished 3.5 miles at around 9:20, surprisingly fast considering I meant to go slow. I want to do a trail run tomorrow if I can but our schedule for Sunday starts fairly early so I don't know if that's realistic. Perhaps I'll do it in the afternoon instead. A great thing about the trails is that most of the running is in tree provided shade. It may allow me to combine LFD with some CFM.

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