Showing posts with label Opedix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opedix. Show all posts

Monday, December 26, 2016

Good track run despite the hurdles

High school track, population: 1
Today's run (track): 3.6 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.4 miles

If you live in a country that puts a "u" in the words color and favorite, then I wish you a happy Boxing Day. For everyone else, I hope you are fortunate enough to bring this year to a close by taking this week off from work. That's what I'm doing. We have some fun days planned this week. If the weather holds out I'll get to run in a more interesting place than my local neighborhood.

Sunday morning was cold, but I got out on my local roads. I probably over-layered for the 35° "feels like" temperature and broke my rule about dressing for my second mile. Due to that, I ended up covering my distance rather slowly. But I did get out there for the fourth day in a row.

Adding to my streak, I headed over to the high school this morning for a change of scenery. I figured the cold temperature (25° real-feel with the wind) and early hour would keep most people away. Aside from some work trucks in the parking lot, I had the track to myself. Unlike yesterday, I picked the perfect gear for today's conditions. I even left behind one of my layers, knowing I'd eventually get too warm.

Since I had the place to myself, I had my pick of lanes. There were a few hurdles set up that were probably placed by the coach for track practice. I elected not to run over them since I wore my Opedix which were a little restrictive. Not that I had any chance of clearing one. With no one else on the track, I looked for distractions.

I noticed that someone had left hand weights in the shot put area. The owner correctly assumed that no one would come by and steal them today. I also noticed a couple of groups of people setting up to play tennis on the nearby courts. I shook my head as I drove by them on my way out as my cars's display said it was 30°.

I ran faster today than on Sunday and managed to string five runs together It was the longest streak I've had in months. That may end tomorrow, but I'm hoping to start a new one on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Personal distance best at Bethpage

Hardly sweating after seven
Today's run (Bethpage bike trail): 7.1 miles

I was determined to make progress against my distance goals this morning and set my sights on the Bethpage trail. I targeted seven miles to make this my longest run this year. The chilly, high 30's temperature compelled me to pull my Opedix Knee-Tecs out of storage as well as a mid-weight quarter zip. All geared up, I headed out early because I knew it would take a while to get through this run.

I didn't bother to drive to the park because last week they were still charging to use the lot. I went to our regular rendezvous spot and immediately took off south. I do most of my Bethpage runs north of Haypath Road, but lately I've been missing the old trail. I took off south and quickly got past the short, steep hill that greets runners about a third of a mile into that route.

This morning I read an article in Runners World that encouraged hill-haters to embrace them for their conditioning benefits. I tried to keep an open mind as I encountered one hill after another. The Bethpage bikeway is rolling, with a few challenging hills and a lot of elevation changes. Sometimes these lesser hills seem like bumps and other times they seem mountainous. It may have been the mindset I got from the article, but none seemed that bad today.

Record breaker
My longest run in 2015 had been about 6.4 miles, so my plan was to turn around after 3.5 to guarantee my seven. Since I went out early, I had the path pretty much to myself. I appreciated the sights, sounds and maple-y smells of the late fall morning. The few who were out on their runs were friendly, although there were two teams of three cyclists who didn't quite get the concept of sharing the path. One of them passed me pretty closely and almost got the concept of my sharp elbow.

Despite my layers, I remained fairly comfortable as the temperature rose to low 40's. It struck me that today's run felt no more taxing than yesterday's, even though that was less than half the distance. With four workouts this week and my personal best for distance, I'll consider this a good week of running.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Recovering on the Bethpage trail

Today's gear. Black is the new black.
Today's run (Bethpage Bike Trail): 5.6 miles

As the song goes, what a difference a day makes. The work week was exhausting and I counted on Saturday for recovery. Unfortunately, I felt ill all day with a pounding sinus headache that persisted throughout the evening. This morning I woke up feeling one hundred percent better and looked forward to getting outside. While Saturday's perfect weather gave way to much colder temperatures today, conditions were still great for a run.

According to the local station, it was 33°, so I pulled out my Opedix running tights, Alpine Design quarter-zip top and ASICS lightweight running beanie. Not my warmest collection of gear, but good for today's weather. I also wore my Saucony Triumph ISOs thinking they would be warmer than the Kinvaras. It turned out they aren't and next time I'll remember to wear wool socks.

I wanted to cover 5+ miles so I went to the Runsketeer staging area off Haypath. I ran south to Bethpage Stage Park and turned around at the start of the north trail. The Bethpage bikeway is a rolling path with a couple of steep but short sections between the park and Haypath Rd. I know the constant elevation change is great for conditioning, but I always dread those hills.

I ran north all the way to Old Country Road, passing many walkers along the way. Most were bundled up against the cold. There were surprisingly few runners and cyclists so the path was relatively clear. My gear kept me perfectly comfortable with the exception of my feet that felt the chill when the wind was blowing.

Today's route
I would have liked to cover another .4 miles to make it an even six, but I ended up back where I started and felt good about how I'd run. Yesterday's workout contributed to my fatigue that lasted throughout the day, while today's run is still producing energy. One day made a huge difference, and I'm happy to be ending the weekend feeling this great.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jingle on the way

Today's run (street): 3.8 miles

There are sure a lot of Christmas themed 5Ks on Long Island. I ran the Ho Ho Holiday race a couple of years ago and last December I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K with SIOR. There's also the Jingle Bell run, Stuff the Sleigh, the Toy Trot and the Holiday Fun Run. It's been months since I've raced and I'm feeling ready to return to the starting line. I'm excited to be running the Jingle All The Way 5K with my buddies on December 13.

I used to avoid 5Ks because it took a lot of time and effort to do something that goes by in less than 30 minutes. 10Ks were my favorite distance because they're short enough to require tactical speed, yet long enough to require a smart pacing strategy. However, after many month's hiatus from racing and little performance focused running, a 5K seems like a good way to restart competition.

This morning I woke up with a pain under my arch and I wondered if I'd bruised a tendon during yesterday's rough trail run. I'm always concerned that I'll develop plantar fasciitis, which is the fourth most common running injury. I debated whether I should take a rest day to help my foot recover. After having some coffee and walking around the house, the pain diminished and I decided to go out for a few miles to see how it held up.

It was very cold this morning, so I went with the Opedix Knee-Tecs once again for warmth. My objective was a 3-4 mile tempo run. I planned to start easy and increase speed after a couple of miles. If my foot pain returned, I figured I would keep to the original pace or shut down the run. After 15 minutes without pain, I stepped it up and maintained a faster pace until the end.

I ended up improving my second half pace by a full minute over the first. It still wasn't to the level of performance I'm hoping to attain on the 13th, but it's going in the right direction. I'll see if I can maintain a higher intensity in my runs leading up to the race date. There's nothing like having a race on the calendar to motivate you to try a little harder.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Escape from a neighborhood run

Apr├Ęs run selfie
Today's run (Bethpage Trail): 6.25 miles

It took me a while to decide where I'd run this morning. The easy choice was to stay in my neighborhood but I'm getting bored seeing of the same roads, houses and cars. I considered Stillwell Woods because I haven't been on the trails in a few weeks. My goal was to run at least six miles today, so I figured I'd go to the Bethpage trail where I do better on longer runs.

It was "wicked cold" this morning (as we'd say in Boston) so I needed to gear up properly. Running in cold weather usually doesn't bother me except in cases when the wind chill causes my glasses to freeze on my face. Today's weather was fairly calm and I wore plenty of layers. That included my new Opedix Knee-Tecs that I scandalously wore without a top layer of shorts.

I parked in the Bethpage lot and ran up the hill toward the trail. I then decided to head north so I could follow the mile markers to the 5K point. Turning around there would get me my planned six-plus mile distance. I didn't have the same level of energy today that powered me through yesterday's surprisingly good run. Even so, I felt strong enough to take on the ribbon of hills that awaited me.

The temperature during my run was 34° with a 10 MPH wind from the west. Since I traveled north for the first half and then south for the second, I didn't experience much in the way of resistance. It did feel chilly and I didn't see a single runner, cyclist or walker until I reached my second mile. I run at Bethpage so often that I recognize a lot of people on the trail now, and based upon their greeting when we pass, I assume that some of them recognize me back. There's one woman I see every time I run there who always gives me a big smile and wave.

Today's route
Today's run was more LSD than PDQ so I wasn't disappointed that it took over an hour to cover my route. Overall, I was pleased with the run and happy that I didn't settle for another workout around my neighborhood roads. I may do that tomorrow, but at least today I got to experience some hills and look at scenery that didn't include a bunch of boring houses and cars.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Runsketeers provoke a priest

We should look a lot more tired
Today's run (SUNY Old Westbury): 7 miles

This morning the Runsketeers took on the hills at SUNY Old Westbury for an energizing run on a cold morning. We also angered a priest, but I'll get to that later. SIOR, TPP and I (founding members of our prestigious running club) invited new members JC and KWL to today's group run. JC is Celia's coach and paramour and KWL is a good friend of mine who knows SIOR and TPP from our Brooklyn Half adventure.

The plan was to meet in the parking lot of a church that is located diagonally across from the entrance to the Old Westbury campus. We'd then run the (approximately) four mile loop a couple of times. Eight miles was a little longer than I was aiming to cover today, so I figured I'd do my miles independently of the group and catch up with them at the end.

It was great to see my friends since we haven't run together in a number of weeks. I was wearing my new Opedix Knee-Tecs for the first time and we discussed the increasingly high cost of good running tights. SIOR mentioned that the Knee-Tecs retail for $225 and JC said no running clothing is worth that much money. He may be right, but I liked the Opedix a lot and thought they provided great support, warmth and energy return. If I race again this winter, I'll be wearing them.

We all started together, but soon split up when KWL and I crossed over to a road that had facing traffic. I don't like running with cars coming up from behind. We lost sight of the others when they continued on the northern side and followed the road in the other direction. The hills at Old Westbury are plentiful and a few seem to go on forever. KWL was a good sport and he followed my pace, even though he could have gone a lot faster.

Despite the frequent hills, I was able to converse well with KWL and we caught up on a lot of things. As expected, we crossed paths with JC, TPP and SIOR who were running counter-clockwise during our first loop and again as they completed their second. At that point KWL joined the others so he could ramp up his speed. I continued on alone with a goal of covering 7 miles.

I stayed on course and turned around at Store Hill Road and followed the drive back to Cedar Swamp Rd. I crossed the street and ran a loop around the church before returning to my car to wait for the others. Or should I say before not returning to my car. This is the part about the priest.

As I made my way closer to where we parked, I saw a person walking around the cars and thought that my friends had beaten me back. I saw that the person was dressed in church vestments and he was putting flyers under our windshields. Being the brave soul that I am, I continued running instead of risking a scolding. In fairness, I was at 6.97 miles and wanted to make it to seven, so I had an excuse to continue. I ended up at 7.06.

Today's seven
Once the priest returned to the church I bravely sneaked back to my car and read the flyer:

Forgive me Father, for I have parked
I completely understood that the church didn't want people taking up spaces in the lot. While I felt badly that we'd broken the rule, our four cars were the only ones in the lot. We weren't putting anyone out unless their hearts were set on parking in our particular spaces. But the message was received loud and clear and we plan to park at a lot within the SUNY campus next time.

My friends eventually made it back to their cars and we headed over to the Starbucks near Whole Foods in Jericho. Since I wasn't able to run with everyone today, it was great to spend time relaxing over coffee. JC and KWL are both avid cyclists and triathletes and they compared notes on bike gear and races. The five of us had plenty to talk about. I loved the run, but I loved the post-run just as much.

Running seven miles today was easier than I expected, even with the hills. Although KWL and I maintained a fairly easy pace, I still managed to stay in the 10:00 range overall. Since I've already completed 80% of my weekly volume I have a few options for tomorrow. I could go over to the track and run intervals or head to Stillwell for a change of pace on the trails. Even if I end up staying in the neighborhood on Sunday I can still say it's been an interesting week of running.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Layered up for a surprisingly good run

Today's run (street): 3.25 miles

I had the opportunity to get out early today, but I squandered my time and ended up sneaking in a run between business calls. I got a lot done before I went out, but came very close to missing my window for a morning run. I'm an early-bird and really didn't want to have to go out late in the day. After seeing that the current temperature was hovering around 35°, I piled on the layers and scooted out the door.

It was chilly, but not freezing, when I finally got outside. I was afraid I'd dressed too warmly and would later regret the hat and gloves I was wearing. I ended up keeping them on and (happily) never felt overheated during the run. It's supposed to get even colder this weekend.

It wasn't until I reached my first quarter mile that I realized I had decent energy. I spotted a runner a few hundred feet ahead and realized that I was going to pass her quickly. I wasn't setting the world on fire this morning, but I was moving faster than usual. I ended up improving 40 seconds per mile over Tuesday's run. A couple of fartleks near the end helped that along.

I considered wearing my new Opedix Knee-Tecs today, but I'm saving them for tomorrow when I meet my buddies to take on a particularly hilly course. My friend KWL, who ran a strong race at the NYC Marathon two weeks ago, will be joining SIOR, TPP and possibly others. I know it will be a challenge for me to stay with this fast crowd, but I'll try my best.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Garage squatter and Knee-Tecs

Opedix (L), ER version (R)
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

The possum saga continued last night when I pulled into the garage and saw this little fellow sitting cozily at the back of my garage. I tried to coax him out but he wasn't having any of that. He scooted under an alcove and hid there until my son and I were able to gently nudge him out with a broom. He scrambled outside and across the lawn and I'm hoping he's found a more hospitable place to nest.

It's Veteran's Day and my company is closed for the holiday. Last night (before the possum incident) I went out to dinner with a work colleague and although I didn't get home especially late, I woke up feeling very tired. I didn't want to miss an opportunity to get in a mid week outdoor run, so got myself out the door and hoped for the best.

What should have been a recipe for a tough and uninspired run turned out to be a very pleasant experience. The temperature was close to 55° and, for once, I wore the right gear, including shorts. Humidity was high but instead of feeling uncomfortable, it felt good. Just as I've been doing during my recent runs, I put my best effort into the last mile and covered it 45 seconds faster than the previous one.

It's going to get very cold going into the weekend and I need to start thinking about winter gear. I've agreed to test a pair of Opedix Knee-Tec tights that are supposed to be thermal and also provide (per their website), "dynamic alignment, improved mobility, stability and optimized joint function." I'll be putting them through their paces and will likely be wearing them in SIOR's preferred style. Stayed tuned.
 

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