Saturday, January 30, 2010

A good run despite the cold

The temperature has been holding steady below 20 degrees despite the prediction on that it would warm to 25 degrees by early afternoon. It was closer to 10 than 20 when I got up at 5:30 AM so I decided to wait until later to run. Our local high school had a Wellness Fair this morning and we headed over there. I was impressed by the number of companies and exhibits, most of them focusing on nutrition, safety,  medical care and mind-body activities. There were lots of yoga places, acupuncturists, orthodontists and karate schools but only one place - a local athletic shoe store - that had anything related to running. I did spend time talking with a person who sold chia-based energy products such as energy bars and snack mixes. I tried a couple of samples of chia energy bars which tasted okay. Chia was mentioned in "Born to Run" as a staple of the diet of the Tarahumara people who ascribed great benefits to the seed included heightened strength and energy. Before all this the only use we had for chia seeds was to grow vegetation on Chia Pets.

After lunch we stopped in at TJ Max, a great place for finding good sports apparel at bargain prices. I bought a Layer 8 thermal wicking zip top for less than $14, a New Balance long sleeved technical shirt for $7.99, a warm wicking winter hat for $8.00 and three pair of Keen Merino wool socks for $3.00 a pair. I also bought a pair of over-the-shoe traction devices (like YakTrax) for almost nothing. I couldn't wait to try it all out.

By 3:00 it was obvious that it wasn't getting any warmer so I set out into the cold with most of my new gear. Despite the cold I was doing well with three layers of tech shirts plus the thermal zip. Below I had a pair of compression shorts (a previous Layer 8 bargain from TJ Max) and over that my long Champion compression pants. I decided to run about 30 minutes, slowly, so I mapped out a route in my head and followed that path. The wind was blowing hard and I was grateful to reach a point where I could change direction. I had no problems running and I tried to focus on front foot landing. I did start to cramp up at the 5 minute mark but I promised myself that I'd eat a banana when I got back to restore my potassium levels. Eventually the cramping passed and I wound my way through the neighborhood, covering a total of 2.88 at 10:11/mile. When I checked my Garmin I saw that the footpod battery must have died midway through the run so I Gmaped my distance to calculate my pace against elapsed time.

Overall I was happy with the run. I wished I'd covered more ground in the time I ran but I did want to keep it slow to aid my recovery. I purposely avoided some side streets that would have added time because I knew pushing too hard would be trouble. My stamina seems to be pretty good overall. Tomorrow I'll go out again. I'd love to see it warm up so I can hit the trails once again.

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