Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The quick and the cold

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

This time of year it's hard to judge the weather for running. Last night's report showed temperatures in the mid-40's that would seem positively balmy compared to the 35° conditions at last Saturday's race. This morning I dressed in a similar way to Saturday, with a long sleeve shirt, shorts and calf sleeves. When I stepped outside to start my run, I was hit with a wave of cold that made me consider going back inside to add another layer.

I decided to accept the cold as is, following the practice of dressing for your second mile. The cold can be a good incentive to get quickly up to speed in an effort to raise body temperature. It was odd to be running through the frosty air while lawn sprinklers were spraying water all along the street. I avoided that freezing mist as much as as I could.

A quick check of my heart rate motivated me to pick up my pace. I was starting to warm up, but sweating was beginning to work against me, amplifying the chill. I continued on at a moderate speed and was later surprised to see that I'd paced 30 seconds per mile faster than I felt I was running. My best race times seem to come in the colder months so clearly there's a correlation between cold and performance. I wonder if my pace would have suffered had I added that extra layer prior to my run.

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