Showing posts with label street running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label street running. Show all posts

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Road running reunion

On the road again
Today's run (street!): 4.2 miles

Spring must finally be coming. I looked in the backyard and could actually see parts of our deck that weren't completely covered in snow. It was 41° this morning when I prepared to run in my neighborhood for the first time since January 12. This winter's snowfall has not been good for outdoor running. In the nine and a half weeks since New Year's, I've only run outside seven times, including today.

Spring is on deck
Running indoors is mostly about fitness while outside running widens the experience to include far more stimuli. The smell of a backyard barbecue in summer or new construction on a house a few blocks over can positively distract from the rigors of the run. Not to mention the great sensory overload you can get from trail running. I was excited to be able to run outside today, but I'll admit to being a little nervous about breaking from the comfort of my normal routine.

It was an easy transition to my neighborhood streets and I felt stronger than I expected as I came up on my first mile. Unlike many who perceive the treadmill as an easier workout than running on the road, I have the opposite view. I suspect my treadmill speed is actually faster than what is shown on the display. I fell into a comfortable pace today and every once in a while it would occur to me to add a little speed. At one point I was overtaken by another neighborhood runner, but that didn't bother me too much.

I ended up averaging a little under ten minutes per mile. Not good compared to my normal outdoor pace, but far better than the speed I struggled to maintain when I ran with my friends at Eisenhower Park a couple of weeks ago. My cold is gone, but some chest and sinus congestion still remains.

I want to go out and do another easy run tomorrow and try to push the distance a little more. I may put that off until Monday and take advantage of having access to the high school track on Sunday. Last time I tried the track it was covered with snow. I hope today's thaw helped to clear it. If it looks like my backyard deck I'll head back to my local streets.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Oh pavement, how I've missed you

Nice to run again on terra firma
Today's run (street): 4.85 miles

Motivation was low this morning, even though weather conditions had greatly improved since yesterday. With temperatures in the low 40's and not a cloud in the sky, I should have been excited about the prospect of running outside for the first time in eleven days. My wife was on the treadmill and I thought for a moment how easy it would be to just throw on some shorts and hop on after she'd finished. But I was not going to let myself succumb to Treadmill Stockholm Syndrome, prompted by six straight runs on the machine.

According to weather reports, the relatively mild temperatures we saw this morning were countered by 20-25 MPH winds. That brought the wind chill into the low 30's. In deference to that, I wore a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeve layer on top and a pair of lightweight track pants. I also wore an over-the-ears hat that provided good protection when the wind hit at certain angles.

I mapped my route in my head, thinking it would get me to at least 4.5 miles, which was my target. Some people have told me they have trouble transitioning from treadmill to road after numerous indoor workouts. I didn't have any such problems today. In fact, my stride felt far better on the road than it had on the treadmill.

Early on, I saw a guy running towards me on the same side of the street and I was tempted to give him the, "it's safer to run against traffic" suggestion. I'd seen him running in the neighborhood for years, and figured that he's probably set in his ways. The last time I suggested the safer choice to a runner, she yelled back that she's been running that way for many years, that the neighborhood is very safe for runners and basically I should mind my own business. So for the most part, that's what I do now.

I didn't burn up the road in terms of speed but I did throw in some surges. TPP had suggested a technique for opening up my stride by launching off my trailing foot while keeping my legs under me. It seemed to translate into a faster pace. I focused on running that way over the last mile and saw a 40 second per mile improvement.

I could have easily gone the additional .15 and made it a full 5 miles but I decided to end the run when I reached my street. I felt good and my heart rate averaged 83% of max overall, finishing up at around 87%. That was almost exactly what I'd been averaging on my prior runs on the treadmill. I have a work-intensive day planned for tomorrow so I doubt I'll run. Mondays are usually my rest days, so no guilt. It was nice to be back on the road today. I definitely missed it. I will start adding a little more speed this week as I prepare for the GLIRC 2x3 trail relay in Bethpage on February 15th.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Definitely the second title

On the road
Today's run (street): 3.3 miles

Even before I run, I'll usually have a good idea of what I'll write in my daily post. If my plan is to go out for a few miles, the variables are basically the route I'll take and how I performed. Today was different, I'd decided to try a return to the road. That invited the real possibility that I'd undo all the recovery work I've done over the past seven days. I wondered if I'd title today's post, "Too much too soon", or "Victory on the road."

I was genuinely nervous when I stepped outside. I took extra time to do some dynamic stretching, especially with my right leg. The GPS took its time to acquire signal but it finally went to ready state. I hit the start and set off in my usual starting direction, hoping for the best.

The first test came quickly, just 50 steps away from my house. It was here that my hip injury announced itself two weeks ago, causing me to immediately stop my run. No problem this time. One hurdle cleared.

The next point of concern came up three minutes later, near the top of the first road on my route. That was how far I'd gotten the last time I attempted a street run. The pain at that time was excruciating. Later, it took almost an hour, an ice pack and an Aleve before it began to feel better. I cringed when I passed that point today. Happily, there was no pain.

I continued on, feeling increasingly confident as I made my way through the first mile. My hip felt okay, but there was some tightness. I was running very easy and that probably helped. Around mile two I started to detect a dull pain around my hip. It was barely noticeable but I became concerned that I was pushing my luck. I was about a mile from my house, so I considered my options. I could either walk back home, or continue along my route. I chose to keep running.

The final 1.3 miles went fine. By the end, I knew I'd done no harm to my hip. The important thing was that I'd successfully completed a run on pavement. Hours later, my hip still feels fine. We had a family get-together in the afternoon and I didn't notice my hip at all. The question is, do I go longer than three miles tomorrow? Further, since this injury has improved with rest and careful workouts, is it necessary to keep my appointment with the orthopedist next week?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Running relief from my vacation

View of the Capital from the Newseum building
Today's run (street): 4.8 miles

The idea of needing a vacation from your vacation held true this week. After three days of visiting the sights of DC, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian, the Spy Museum, the Newseum, Ford's Theater, the Senate and Capital buildings and Chinatown, I was exhausted. Following that was a day at Williamsburg Revolutionary City and then a day at Busch Gardens. After all that, we still had the long ride back to Long Island. I'm happy to have the weekend to recover!

In the past, I've tried to incorporate a little running tourism into my vacations. However, I didn't feel comfortable being alone on the streets of DC at dawn, so my only choice was to use the hotel's treadmill. Williamsburg offered a safer venue, but the streets didn't have sidewalks so, once again, I chose the treadmill. I didn't run every day but with all the ground we covered walking, I got a good week's workout.

This morning was my first opportunity to run outside since last Sunday, when I covered three miles before we left on our trip. It was no surprise that the humidity was high this morning, but I thought the low cloud cover would keep conditions tolerable. I think the miles of walking this week paid off, because I felt good from the start and covered my distance with little trouble.

Although it will be a low mileage week for running, it was great for conditioning and fitness. With the Dirty Sock 10K coming up in a couple of weeks, I may head to the Bethpage trails tomorrow morning to kick off my race training. That is, unless it rains. In that case, it will be back on the treadmill...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Across the divide

I live in a neighborhood that's really a series of contiguous developments framed on three sides by major roads with a service road that runs along the south side. My neighborhood is a quiet and peaceful place to run, especially during the early hours. While the scenery is mostly houses and cars there are other interesting distractions such as schools and parks. I prefer running through the streets of my neighborhood to running on the local high school track for a few reasons: less wind, variable terrain and more visual stimulation.

Until recently my neighborhood provided everything I needed as a runner but now that my distances have increased I'm beginning to feel boxed in. I'm finding that the streets are growing too familiar and, despite a number of curvy roads with feeder streets, there's no longer a sense of discovery. It's all in a map in my head and I now plan my routes mostly around changing elevations and ways to avoid running twice on the same road.

On Sunday I braved the service road (I'm not kidding when I say that, it's a one-way 30 MPH road that rarely sees cars traveling slower than 50) and then cut under a highway bridge. I then crossed yet another speedy one-way street and entered a new neighborhood. What I found there were more houses, cars and parks. But these were different houses, cars and parks located on different streets! I took some random rights and lefts and eventually found my way back into my neighborhood. When I hit the more familiar streets I noticed that I was well over a mile into my run and my route options for covering three more miles were better since I hadn't covered much of my home turf.

I'll add neighborhood #2 to my weekend runs until that becomes more of the same. There's another neighborhood across from the west side boundary that has lots of interesting hills that I can also explore. Hopefully these options will hold my interest for a while longer.

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