Saturday, October 17, 2009

The short and the long of it

I learned a valuable lesson Friday morning about checking the temperature before heading out for my run. As I prepared to go out it felt warm, even humid, although the heat didn't seem to be on. I skipped the compression shorts I've been wearing under my running shorts on cold mornings and when I stepped outside and got hit with the 20-something degree wind chill I knew I was in for a frosty run. As I set off I realized how cold my hands were and I questioned whether I'd manage to break a sweat in the 22 odd minutes I allocate for this workout. I didn't want to push speed because I hadn't had a chance to stretch prior to the start. I was tempted to throw in some sprints to get my heart rate up and try to get a little warmer but I was concerned that could lead to a muscle pull. Along with the cold, there was some light precipitation and I soon realized that it was, in fact, snow. The outside temperature, with the wind, was in the high 30's so there was no accumulation although the streets were wet. Given the distractions of cold and wind, the run went by very quickly and I completed 2.4 miles at about 9:13 per mile. By the time I reached home my hands were really hurting from the cold and from the sting of the wind and the rain. I won't forget my gloves again.

This morning I got out by 7:00 AM and the weather was mild compared with yesterday but it was still pretty cool. I bought some tight running sweats at Target last weekend and I wore them with a double layer of tech jerseys. I also wore gloves and it was a perfect set of gear for my run. I wanted to cover more than five miles to reinforce distance as I move closer to the race on the 25th but I had no specific plan. After running north to Jericho Turnpike I headed west and ran about a mile in that direction before ducking into the western edge of neighborhood #3. This is a big neighborhood and I have no familiarity with the layout of the roads so I headed south and guessed where I was in relation to my own neighborhood that's separated by a busy road. I ended up guessing well and crossed the road, heading south along the main road to the highway service road. I was little past the three mile mark and I felt some fatigue along with some pain in my right quadricep. After some time I cut over to neighborhood #2 and I realized that I often hit a wall at that point and today I decided to ignore it and wait for a second wind. I did a loop through neighborhood #2, passing a number of people who were out walking their dogs. I headed back to my neighborhood and reached home feeling strong after covering 6.53 miles at 9:11 per mile.

After my post-run shower I iced my right leg quad and calf with the Active Wraps. The unit fit well and my leg felt pretty good. I'm planning to try it with heat later today. Tomorrow I may head to Stillwell for some trail time although I'm wondering it it would be better to practice for memorable hills in the industrial park. I'll decide tomorrow. Tonight I'll just enjoy the fact that I had a very good run.

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