Showing posts with label Petzl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Petzl. Show all posts

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running with the Black Diamond

New and improved?
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

Today's run was my first time back on the road at 4:00 AM since mid November. It's gotten a lot colder since then but I dressed warmly enough to stay comfortable. I wore my new Black Diamond headlamp that I bought to replace my Petzl Tikka Plus. The Petzl unit had been giving me trouble with the lamp refusing to light unless I opened up the assembly and reset the position of the batteries. I thought the Black Diamond's design would prevent that in the new unit.

Unfortunately, I had the same issue with the new headlamp when I got it ready for the morning. I opened it up, pushed the cells into place, and it lit up fine. I questioned whether I am any better off with this new unit but I think the Petzl was generally wearing out. I got outside and felt the chill but my hat, gloves and layers were sufficient, even when I ran in the direction of a fairly stiff wind.

I started off feeling like I was working hard. The first road I follow is a small incline so I expected a little challenge but this seemed a bit more. Once past that street I settled into my pace and moved along fine. The headlamp threw off a lot of light but I hadn't adjusted the beam to focus on the road ahead. I've learned my lesson about hazards in the dark and, happily, I had no missteps.

I ended up clocking my normal time for the route I ran, helped along by some faster strides as I got closer to the end. It was good to be back on the road again. It's not that I don't appreciate the treadmill, but it's a fuller experience when you're dealing with all the elements.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Running through the clouds

Still foggy two hours later
Today's run (street): 2.6 miles

For me, the appeal of running correlates directly to the conditions at hand. 40° on a bright Saturday morning with no time restrictions is very appealing. Running in the dark at 4:00 AM just minutes after waking from a sound sleep is far less appealing. In some cases, after I've begrudgingly prepared for my run, something happens to change my outlook. That was the case today.

It seemed a little humid as I dressed for my run and I left off a top layer thinking it would be warmer than yesterday. Again, I had trouble getting my Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp to work. The batteries get easily unseated within their housing and this prevents the lamp from switching on. As well as it has served me, I think the Tikka is due for replacement because these problems are costing me precious time.

I stepped out and watched the garage door rise, revealing my neighborhood shrouded in heavy fog. The street lights projected ethereally and the density of the fog kept visibility to about 30 feet. I thought it looked amazing and suddenly looked forward to starting off on my run.

The run itself was unremarkable. I'm still working through some mechanical issues but it was fun to see the world through this haze of distorted light. Running is a physical activity, but so much about it is enhanced by the experience itself. A four mile run in the woods, where your view and conditions change constantly, is far more interesting than a four mile run on treadmill. Today's route was similar to the course I run every day. But what I experienced this morning was much more interesting and different than normal.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gear gremlins and going gloveless

A great headlamp when it works
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

My Petzl headlamp has served me well over the years but this morning I was ready to toss it into the trash. This unit (Tikka Plus) is extremely lightweight and I often forget that I'm even wearing it. But the light weight comes at the cost of fragility. The plastic assembly doesn't secure the three AAA batteries in position very well and slight movements will occasionally disrupt the connection and cause the lamp to go dark. This morning it took me over five minutes to get it operational, time that's much too precious to waste in the morning.

Once I was confident that the lamp was working properly I set out for my run in temperatures that felt far colder than the reported 45°. I immediately regretted not having gloves, but I had a long sleeved jersey that I pulled over my hands. That helped a little, but it caused my shirt to bind around my shoulders and I soon abandoned that solution. I'll plan to bring gloves tomorrow unless it truly warms up as expected. The run itself was great and I nearly broke 9:00/mile which is hard for me to do at that early hour.

I'm toying with the thought of running in Central Park tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've done a city run and since Friday's the lead-in to a holiday weekend, my afternoon schedule is light. I'll decide tonight so that I'll have time to pack gear for the morning. If Friday is as cool and bright as today a CP run could be a great pre-weekend workout.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4:00 AM float

The skies were clear at 3:55 AM as I rose this morning, sleepy but excited to run outdoors. Every day I have the same reaction to the alarm: surprise that it's time to get up and incredulity that I'll be running in less than 10 minutes. When I run on the treadmill, or use the elliptical, the bright lights of the guestroom prepare me for athletic activity. Once I'm on those machines I'm fully engaged. It might as well be 4:00 in the afternoon at that point. Going from the darkness of the house to the darkness outside is a different story.

When I exited my house this morning equipped with headlamp and reflective vest I was struck by the way my neighborhood looked. There was a light mist, not quite fog, and palpable quiet. The darkness was peaceful and the streets looked inviting. As I made my way up the road the action of running felt effortless. It was almost as if I was still in bed while my body was outside doing this run.

My plan was to run about 2 miles to allow me to stay on schedule. I tried to maintain a brisk pace as I remembered my previous 4:00 AM run when the darkness made me think I was running faster than my actual speed. I monitored my time and distance on the Garmin and the Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp did a great job illuminating the watch and everything in my path. I tried to pick up the pace even more on my last stretch and when I finished the run I saw that I had covered 2.16 miles in a little less than 20 minutes. The Garmin showed this as a 9:17 overall pace which seemed a bit slow. I Gmapped it and confirmed that distance so the illusion of speed continues.

Like the first time, the experience of running this early was extremely satisfying and fun. I didn't encounter a single car or person this time. I wouldn't say the run was effortless but the cool air and light breezes felt great and counteracted the moisture in the air. The run was more like a float, part of that was due to not being fully awake by the time I hit the street. It sure beats the treadmill as a start of day activity. I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Petzl postponement

I awoke this morning to the sounds of pounding rain and thunder. The room was illuminated by flashes of lightning and I knew there would be no outdoor workout today. I grabbed my morning cup and fired up the treadmill instead of heading outside with my new headlamp and reflective vest. My prior experience running at 4:00 AM was really nice and I had high hopes of doing that today. I visited Paragon in Union Square at lunch time yesterday and bought an AG- approved Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp and Nathan reflective vest. Last night I tried it all on for size and went to bed anticipating a peaceful circuit through the streets of my neighborhood. That will need to wait until tomorrow.

After Sunday's 8K race I decided to take a rest day to recover from that run. I knew, no matter what, that I would run today. My relationship with the treadmill has deteriorated - I don't like it and it doesn't like me. The display usually quits about a mile into a run so I depend on my Garmin for performance and timing data. I started at a comfortable pace and thought about maintaining that rate throughout the duration of the run. I wanted to cover at least two miles in my limited time so I pushed the speed slider further to the right and went with that. It was very hot in the guest room but that didn't bother me as much as I would have expected. In fact I enjoyed the run and finished with an overall pace of 8:57.

I'm really hoping for clear skies tomorrow morning. I much prefer the cool morning air and the quiet of dawn to the percussive noise from the treadmill. But I have to admit that the treadmill came through for me today: day one of training for my next race.

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