Showing posts with label neighbors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neighbors. Show all posts

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Interrupting a run to do a good deed

Am I a hero? You decide.
Today's run (street): 4.1 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 2.7 miles
Thursday (elliptical): 30 minutes

My daughter graduated from high school on Wednesday and we followed the ceremony with a late night visit to a diner. I stayed up way past my bedtime, but I'd planned for that and worked from home on Thursday. Although I had more flexibility without the commute, my work day was starting early and I opted for an elliptical session. That saved me time on a morning where every minute counted.

Friday morning was equally tight, but I got my act together enough to go out for a short run. I consider three miles to be my minimum distance, but I had less than 30 minutes to run. I came up 10% short of target, but it was better than forgoing a workout. My workday schedule was jammed, starting with a 9:00 AM video meeting, so I was glad that I took the opportunity to get outside before things got crazy.

This morning provided me the first opportunity to pause since last weekend. I got out around 7:45 AM when the temperature was in the mid-60s. It felt very hot under direct sun, probably due to the high humidity. I kept to the neighborhood and added a few extra roads to my usual route and looked for shade wherever I could find it.

I was rounding the corner of a long street when I heard someone shouting, "Excuse me, excuse me, sir?" I looked back and saw a man standing in his driveway next to an SUV. I stopped and asked him what he needed. He said he had to return a power washer by 9:00 AM and asked if I could give him a hand loading it into his vehicle. I was glad to help.

Right before we lifted the machine, the man asked me if I had any back issues. I thought about the herniated disc I'd struggled with a year ago, but I figured that I could handle it. On a count of three, we lifted it up and my lower back didn't seem to notice. I realized later that his house was the exact place where my ego got the best of me trying to outrun another neighbor and igniting last year's disc problem.

My neighbor was very appreciative and said he'd be happy to return the favor, so I asked him if I could borrow his power washer. I didn't really ask him that. I told him it my pleasure to help a neighbor. With that, I was back on the road, feeling good about my good deed and grateful that I didn't re-injure my back.

This week's workouts have not been individually impressive, but I am pleased that I'm managing to get them done. And if that means solving problems everywhere I run, so be it.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Three encounters with mister speedy

Post-run non-stretching moment
Today's run (street): 4.25 miles

Happy Father's Day to all you running dads. Also to you non-running dads. I like running on holidays because they are usually days when people sleep late and I can run around the neighborhood with a lot less cars on the road. That was the case today. I got outside around 8:00 AM and picked a direction. I had no planned route and decided on the spot whether to go left or right as I reached the end of each street.

After almost eight years of running my local roads, I pretty much know the other runners around my neighborhood. There's one guy I encounter on almost every weekend run. He moves along and covers a lot of ground. I usually criss cross his route at least twice and we always wave the first time and laugh the second time.

Sure enough, mister speedy was out there today and we ran into each other twice. Happily, we were going in opposite directions both times, so I didn't experience the humiliation of being overtaken along the same road. I did what I could with the heat and humidity, but I didn't break any speed records today.

Near the end of my run, I saw my neighbor-runner in his driveway doing post-run stretching. Maybe that's why he's so fast. I'm pretty sure I've never ever stretched after a run. Maybe when I ran with Adventure Girl. She taught me many good running habits, most of which I've stopped following.

We had a very nice Father's Day after my run, capping off a nice weekend of celebrations. I may work from home a couple of days next week. If so, I'll have the opportunity to get in an extra run during the week. I do need to get my volume back to where it was a year or so ago and I know I should do some sort of a workout before my commute. I can do more. I just need to get back in the habit.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Frozen face syndrome

Saving face
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

Winter in January can be brutal and we got a taste of that today. The news was displaying 24° this morning and the howling wind made it seem even colder. I debated staying inside and running on the treadmill until I became distracted with a home electronics project. After finishing that, I bundled up and headed outside to face the freezing cold.

"Feels like" winter
I knew I'd be dealing with wind chill, so I went with track pants, two top layers, plus a windproof jacket, mitten-gloves, fleece hat and the buff that KWL gave me. The buff turned out to be my most valuable piece of gear, protecting my face from the 14 MPH winds. No matter how hard I try, I can never get my clothes completely right. My core got fairly warm, but my extremities bordered on freezing throughout the entire run.

At one point in the run, a neighbor yelled from his front porch, "Boy oh boy, this is some cold running weather!" I replied, "Grab your shoes and join me!" He laughed and wished me luck.

Although the roads were clear of snow, there were patches of ice that I was careful to avoid. The wind, cold, and my freezing face tempted me to head home to the treadmill after a mile. I decided to tough it out and was glad that I did. Running a little distance yesterday should have primed me for a more energetic run today. Unfortunately I had trouble generating speed except in those cases when I was running downhill with the wind to my back.

This will be another tough work week and, once again, I'll need to go into the office rather than work from home on Friday. That will impact my running schedule, but I'll try to fit in an elliptical session or treadmill run one night this week.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sidewalk running on a busy Friday morning

Hurry home K5s
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles
Yesterday's workout (elliptical): 30 minutes

It's Labor Day weekend and the end of the first week of school. Despite the heat wave we've had over the past few days, I know that fall weather will soon be here. I'm pretty excited about that. This morning's temperature was closer to 70 than 90, but it was still extremely humid when I stepped outside. I patiently waited for a phalanx of buses to go by and then I was off.

I knew it would be humid, so I kept a low effort for the first ten minutes. I've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of my Kinvara 5s, but I had to go with the Triumph ISOs today. That turned out to be a good choice because the high volume of traffic forced me onto concrete slab sidewalks a few times. The Triumphs provided a nice cushion from the extra hard surface, but I was still concerned about the possibility of tripping on the uneven sections. Halfway through the run, it seemed like all the school drop-off traffic was finished and it felt a little safer to be on the street.

Along the way, I ran by one of my wife's friends who was chatting with a neighbor in front of her house. We exchanged quick hellos, but I didn't have time to stop because I was on a split second schedule. I needed to be showered and dressed in time for a video call that was happening in 30 minutes. I got ready with only seconds to spare and did the call wearing gym shorts. Since my colleagues could only see my top half, that will remain a secret unless they read this post.

I did pretty well today despite the humidity and the fact that I haven't taken to the Triumphs. My new Kinvaras are due to arrive by 8 PM tomorrow, so I may not get to run in them until Sunday. I think it will be a little cooler on Saturday and plan to cover a little more distance.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Predictions variable, but not the humidity

Foggy as humidly possible
Today's run (street): 3.9 miles

Once again, Saturday night predictions of Sunday morning thunderstorms have turned out to be wrong. I was thrilled because I REALLY didn't want to spend any more time on the treadmill this weekend. It looked pretty iffy outside when I was getting ready for my run. I opted to stay local just in case it started pouring and I had to dash home.

I did a quick check out the door before choosing my gear and noticed it felt cool and a little breezy. The local station was showing 63° and I picked a long sleeve hi-visibility shirt to go with running shorts. The low clouds had darkened the sky and I wanted to make sure I was easily seen by drivers.

While I stood waiting for my Garmin to acquire its GPS signal, I caught a flash of yellow in the corner of my eye. I saw that my next door neighbor had started his own run and was bolting down the street. I didn't even know he'd taken up running. He headed south, then west through the middle school, while I went northeast. Even though our neighborhood has dozens of streets and side roads, I predicted I'd see him at some point on my run.

My prediction came true after I'd completed the northern loop of my route and was on my way to the southern end. I saw my yellow-garbed neighbor in the distance coming back towards the school. I don't think he noticed me and I was too far away to catch up to him. I put my focus on catching up and passing a number of walkers who were making their way along the road.

 Today's run conditions per my Garmin
What promised to be a cool and energizing run turned out to be a very humid one. My long sleeved shirt ended up being a bad choice. Even at 94%, the humidity wasn't completely oppressive. This was probably due to the clouds blocking the hot sun. But the humidity fogged my glasses throughout much of the run. Not enough to impair my vision, but enough to be annoying.

I was fortunate to have clear conditions to run outside  this morning and, even with my busy work schedule, I managed to get in over 2 hours of running this week. I really do need to figure out how to consistently get in an additional workout during the week. When I complain about my declining performance, I have to remember that I used to run six days a week without fail and that I'd typically cover over 20 miles in a week.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hot and soggy but not too sloggy

Today's run (street): 4.7 miles

The needle on my motivation meter was firmly in the off position this morning. I watched the  temperature rise as the minutes ticked by. I couldn't decide where to run and no option was particularly appealing. I went upstairs to change into running clothes, hoping I'd find some inspiration through that experience. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on local roads so I headed over to neighborhood #2 for a slight change of scenery.

I'd watched the local weather report before my run and they made a big deal out of the low humidity. LIARS! The temperature was in the low 80's making the soggy atmosphere feel like hot soup. There were many people packing up their SUVs with beachy gear as I ran by. They had the right idea. I compromised on my pace and floated my way south to the other neighborhood.

I followed an extended loop and stayed on the shady side of the street when possible. My easy pace kept it from being a slog but I regretted waiting so long to go out today. I ended up covering more distance than I'd originally planned and it turned out to be a decent workout.

When I looked at the map of my run, I thought (after rotating the map 90°) that it looked like a person driving a dog sled. I may have created a new category of artwork - design by GPS.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Doing the wave on a friendly Friday

Howdy neighbor!
Today's run (street): 4 miles
Tuesday's run (treadmill): 2.3 miles

In the scheme of things, adding a couple of miles to your weekly volume doesn't make a lot of difference. However, when you are only able to run three days a week, adding another workout day provides some psychological benefit. Or perhaps it lessens guilt. Same thing. So for the past two weeks, I've dutifully risen at 4:00 AM to up my weekly run count to four and get my mileage a little closer to where it used to be.

The rest of my week's running happens between Friday and Sunday and I kicked that off today with a 4 miler around the neighborhood. I work from home on Fridays and that saves time from my long commute. I try to get outside early so I can finish my run and start my business day at my usual time. Since I prefer early running, this works out fine. Today it worked out great.

I've written dozens of posts complaining about running the same streets of my neighborhood, day after day. I thought about that this morning as I covered a section that I've probably run more than 800 times over the past six years. But every one of those runs has differed in some aspect. There's always a story.

Getting out early provided great weather conditions with temperatures in the mid 60's and humidity at its lowest point in the day. As I ran, I noticed some people in business clothes walking out to their cars, ready to start their commute. Perhaps it was a TGIF mindset, but almost everyone waved or said good morning as I ran by. I crossed paths with a couple of runners and they gave friendly waves as well. Even people in cars waved as they passed. Lots of waving today.

That pleasantness carried over to my run. I felt good enough to push my pace and ended up averaging about 20 seconds per mile better than my current training pace. I had hopes that it would be even faster than that, but I'll take what I can get. As much as I enjoyed my friendly neighbors today, I'm looking to get away from my local roads over the weekend. The Bethpage trail would be an obvious choice but since I'm not planning to run Dirty Sock this year, I may go to Belmont Lake and run the course.

blogger templates | Webtalks