Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Today's Run...

Temperature: 38 degrees; feels like 33 degrees, with 20-30 mph wind gusts. Ran 6 miles; Linear Trail. Split times? Nope! (Who cares?!) Time: 52:16 (8:42 per mile pace).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shorts Weather in Connecticut!

"It's a beautiful mornin', Ahhh,
I think I'll go outside a while,
An jus' smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
If the weather's fine an' you got the time.
" The Young Rascals: It's a Beautiful Morning
Yes, I live in Connecticut and was able to run today wearing shorts! It was 50 degrees when I was deciding on what to wear, and since all I've been talking about (ok, blogging about) is the possibility of wearing shorts today, I HAD to do it. So shorts, a short sleeved shirt to "wick away" sweat (ewww), and another grey short sleeved shirt, socks, summer hat, music, running shoes, and I was all set. I headed to the Linear Trail, with the assumption that all the snow had melted, and it would be clear running for my planned 10 mile run. Well, never assume anything. More about that later. Driving the 2 miles from my home to the trail, I passed by six (yes, I counted) runners, all of whom were wearing sweatpants. As I got out of my car at the Linear Trail, I felt a slight chill in the air, and I noticed it was foggy along the trail. I had brought my winter running gear along just in case I wimped out, so now was the moment of truth. I observed the other bikers, runners, and walkers who were either starting or finishing the trail. All except one had long pants on. That made my decision easier. I was going to be the extremist. I was going to run the way I was-no long pants or long sleeves or gloves for me. I was glad to see that the trail had been plowed, so I knew that at least the first 1.5 miles would be clear. Off I went, and about 100 yards down the trail I was questioning my sanity. There was still a chill in the air, and the fog coming off the creek along the trail certainly didn't help. I was seriously thinking about turning around and heading back to my car for a wardrobe change. Realistically that wasn't going to happen, because once I start a run I'm committed to keep on going until I've finished. I have never started, stopped and continued, and it wasn't happening today. I reminded myself that it generally takes me a mile or so to warm up, so onward I went. I settled into a comfortable pace, and decided to distract myself from the cold by concentrating on my music, and enjoying the scenery along the way. I reached mile 1 at 8:45, and this is the only split time I remember. My goal today was to average 9 minutes or less per mile for the 10 miles, or a 1:30.00 total time. I wasn't going to stress on my split times, and I certainly wasn't going to attempt to memorize them either. (See yesterday's blog for how I do split times). As I approached the 1.5 mile point of the trail, I saw partially melted snow and ice lay ahead. I was approaching the part of the trail that, due to it's location, can't be plowed. It's up to Mother Nature to take care of it, and she hadn't done too bad. I slowed down, navigated the slush, snow, and ice for about a tenth of a mile, and resumed my pace. I saw wet blacktop gleaming in the distance, and it looked great. Three-quarters of a mile later, trouble began. Lack of sunlight and plowing meant deeper snow and slush. I scolded myself for not wearing an old pair of running shoes. At this point, being anal as I am, I still plowed through the mess, knowing that 6/10 of a mile more and I would be at mile 3. A slush covered mile 3 would be a good place to turn around and head back. My 10 mile run was going to have to be 3 miles out, 3 miles back, then 2 miles out, and 2 miles back. At least the fog had disappeared, and even though my feet were wet, I still felt warm and comfortable. It was turning out to be a challenging, enjoyable, and refreshing run. I no longer cared about my split times, or even whether or not I was going to break an hour and a half time. I was running past families with children, other joggers, people on bikes, and the slow but steady walkers. I became the social butterfly, and was saying "Hello" to everyone. Most people responded. It was a gorgeous and "warm" gray day in December. One hour, thirty minutes, and 37 seconds later, I was finished. Considering I had to overcome the elements at times, my time was excellent. I averaged a 9:03 per mile pace, which surprised and pleased me. As I said before, my finishing time really didn't matter. Today was one of those running days that makes it all worthwhile. I'll keep reminding myself of that as I limp around the house and apply ice to my left heel. My diagnosis based on internet research is plantar faciitis.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two Days in a Row=Back on Track

"Get up, get back on your feet" Styx: Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

Another "runnable" day. Today's weather was 40 degrees, and even though it had rained earlier and was dreary outside, I was ready to rock(listen to my mp3 player) n' run. By the way, I've decided that unless it's a big difference between the actual temperature and the "feels like" temperature, I won't bother mentioning it. Due to assorted aches and pains still being felt from yesterday's run, plus the fact it's supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow, I decided that 4 miles would be the perfect distance to run. Tomorrow's run will definitely be longer if indeed it is 60 degrees. I decided on my favorite 4 mile course (surprise), which as I've mentioned several times previously, is also the first 4 mile route I created over 2 years ago. It's challenging enough, with uphills and downhills, but no "killer hills." Best of all, like all my street runs, it starts and finishes near my house. I didn't have Stephanie to keep me company, since she decided that the gym was her workout of choice today. I must mention that for the past month or so, I have not used energy gels or energy drinks to "enhance" my performance. I have finally realized and admitted that 1) I still run well without them, and 2) They're expensive, and right now I have a lot more important things to spend my money on. It remains to be seen if I go back to using them again. The gels are usually available during longer distance races, so I know I'll grab them as I'm running. I'll take any "lift" I can get, whether psychological or real during longer race runs. As you've seen by earlier posts, I swear by the Hammer Nutrition products, so at some point I'll probably purchase them again. Okay, back to today's run. Fortunately we've had a lot of rain since the snowstorm, so most of the snow is gone, and the roads are clear. Therefore, I don't have the "road pizza" fear at this time. Plenty of room for me and the vehicles on the road to coexist peacefully. Mile splits today were 8:29, 8:24, 8:16, and 7:43, for a total of 32:52, or an average pace of 8:13 per mile. I really wanted Santa to bring me a Garmin, but that wasn't possible, so I still do my splits the old fashioned way, meaning looking at my Casio wristwatch every mile, and memorizing the times. Yes, there's an easier way to get the split times on it, but I've yet to look at the instruction manual and figure it out. I've been doing it this way for two years, so why change? Overall, I didn't like the "slowness" of my start, but am impressed with my time overall considering I'm just getting back into a regular running routine again. As I said earlier, it may hit 60 degrees tomorrow....unheard of on December 28 in Connecticut. My goal is to run wearing shorts, and of course to have FUN!!. I may run forever tomorrow.... although the new found pain on my left heel may change my mind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Quality Time With My Daughter

"It's been such a long time" Long Time: Boston

It's been 9 long days since my last run. Crappy weather, getting ready for Christmas, sunset at 4:20 p.m., the list of reasons goes on and on why I waited so long to run. Prior to running, I did as I always do, and checked WTNH.com. I discovered it was an actual temperature of 35 degrees, and also a "feels like" temperature of 35 degrees. Cold, but a refreshing kind of cold. My daughter Stephanie actually agreed to run with me, which was a surprise since she has a cold weather rule that she doesn't run outside unless it's 40 degrees or more. We both agreed that 6 miles sounded good, with my logic being that I needed to run a mile for the amount of days in a row I have "oinked" on Christmas cookies. I'm not sure what her reasoning was, nor did I care since she was in agreement with me about the distance we would run. I let her pick the route, and she chose a new road route that started and ended at our house. Since neither one of us owns a Garmin, or any other high tech satellite technology gizmo, we use http://www.usatf.org/to plot our courses. This particular course was one she created one day by just running around Cheshire for a certain amount of time, and then using, you guessed it, www.usatf.org to see what distance it was. Lo and behold, it was 6.11 miles. Okay, now that I've cleared that up, I have to say that I enjoyed running with Steph. Not that she talks a lot as we run. Actually, most of the time I do the talking for the first mile or so, get very little responses from her, then decide to shut up and allow her and myself to enjoy our individual music and the beautiful day. After all, it's not the conversation that's important. We can talk anytime. It's the joy of spending quality father-daughter time together out on the open road doing something we both enjoy. Today's run was, as I like to say, fun. Well, at least the first 40 minutes were. The last 18:51 wasn't so fun. My legs were definitely feeling the effects of an 8 day layoff. Heavy and tight are two words that come to mind to describe how they felt. But hey, I ran, I spent quality time with my daughter, and it was.....FUN! Total time was 58:51, or a slow and steady 9:38 per mile average pace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When Will I Run Again??

"Too much time on my hands" Styx

More snow in the forecast, plus poorly plowed roads, means too much time to eat Christmas cookies and not getting enough exercise by running. No, I won't use our treadmill (dreadmill). I'd rather get fat than feel like a hamster running on its wheel. Believe it or not, I run for fun and the runner's high, rather than for weight loss or maintenance. Anyone who runs understands what I mean. The weight loss or maintenance is a bonus that I love, however! Yes, I know...I work for Weight Watchers and am not always a role model. That's when the "Do as I say, and not as I do" rule applies. That's the same rule that anyone (Lori) who has ever worked in the classroom with me knows I tell the students to follow. Not that I'm not a role model for the most part...just that the 16 year old comes out of me sometimes...damn ADD!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bah Humbug!!

"Let it snow, let it snow" (NOT!)

Well, unfortunately the weather forecasters were correct. About 8 inches of snow is waiting for me to snowblow. Worse yet, that also means that the Linear Trail won't be an option to run for a while. Plus, when I do run, I'll be hugging the shoulder of the road and hoping that I don't become "road pizza," meaning getting run over by an inattentive driver. Can you tell I absolutely hate winter?! At least after tomorrow we start gaining back daylight.
Today: Sunrise: 7:15 AM Sunset: 4:25 PM. Just 9 hours and 10 minutes of daylight...sigh...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Feeling Lazy

"You'll never get up if you don't get up
You'll always stay down if you sit around" Lazy Days: 10CC

They blew the weather forecast, so I ran.
A short blog because I'm not feeling motivated to hunt and peck on my keyboard. 3 miles, 32 degrees, mile splits 8:30, 16:30, 24:29; 8:09 per mile pace.
Note to self: Don't EVER run without gloves when it's 32 degrees. My hands are SO dried out and cracked. However, gooping vasoline all over my hands, covering them with socks, and going to sleep worked like a charm. P.S. Hi Lori and Ellen!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Two Mile Warm-up??

"Things are okay with me these days" Billy Joel: Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

The weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow is saying we're going to get rain, sleet, freezing rain, a little snow...you get the idea. It will be too messy to run. So, today was a running day. I decided on my original 4 mile road course, because unfortunately sunset is so stinkin' early now that I didn't have time to run the Linear Trail. It was cold, 33 degrees, "feels like" 31 degrees, with the raw feeling you get in the air just before a winter storm. Fortunately the wind was calm. I set out, deciding that how I felt the first mile or so would determine my pace. I was sucking in cold air, and some of it smelled and tasted like the smell of someone burning wood in their fireplace. My neighbor's were keeping warm, and my lungs were paying the price. For the first time in a long time, it hurt a little to breathe while I ran. Up two hills, and down one, and I passed mile 1 at 8:30. Slower than I expected, but I was okay with it. It was, after all, 2 days after my all out effort in the 5K race, plus I was finally breathing cleaner air that wasn't hurting my lungs. Mile 2, my turnaround point, was just under 17 minutes. Again, no problem, at least my first two miles were consistant. As I headed back towards home, I was warm, breathing easily, and it was time for my gloves to come off. I always feel lighter without them. Stupid, I know, because they probably weigh a combined 5 ounces or so. Running was now, as it usually is, fun. It's relatively flat to mile 3, and I was surprised when I checked my watch and read "25:00." An 8 minute mile, after two 8:30 miles?! Well, the biggest surprise was yet to come, as I completed my run, and was stunned to see my finishing time of 32:38 (8:09/M), meaning my last mile was run in 7:38. Go figure! I guess it took me two miles instead of my customary one mile to warm up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Results Are In

"It's over, it's over, all over, It's all over now" It's Over: ELO

Results for 2008 Christopher Martins
Christmas Run for the Children
I finished 301 of 1497 runners
48/183 in my division (Men's 50-59)
Time: 22:57
7:24 per mile pace...SWEET!!

2006 time was 25:59
2007 time was 23:26

It was a great day weather-wise for a late fall 5K race. It was clear, crisp, and just a little windy, and about 35 degrees at the 10:15 starting time. My daughter Stephanie decided to run with me, since the forecast of a high of 40 degrees with no rain met her outdoor running requirements. We got to Christopher Martin's ridiculously early (8:30), considering that the race wasn't starting until 10:15. I was pre-registered, but by getting there early, it allowed Stephanie to beat the crowd and register herself. This race probably has my favorite long sleeved t-shirts every year. The artwork on it is well worth the extra $10. After returning to my car to drop off our shirts, we decided to wait inside the bar area of the restaurant to keep warm. About a half hour before the start, the road in front of the restaurant was closed, which meant it was time to go outside, get a free sample of "Monster" energy drink, and run around to warm up and to get warm. We lined up shortly thereafter very close to the starting line. We were close enough to avoid most of the "obstacles," but far enough back to respect the faster runners. After deciding on a post race meeting place (the bar), I said my good-byes to Stephanie as the race began. It was a more difficult obstacle course at the start than I had expected. I was constantly zig-zagging my way around slower runners. Finally at about the 1/2 mile point, the road widened and I settled into a comfortable pace. I knew that once I turned onto Orange Street that mile 1 was close by. As I ran down Orange Street, I heard the split times being called out, and was surprised that I was passing by at 7:13. A terrific start considering all the people I had maneuvered around earlier. For whatever reason, I over compensated for my faster than expected first mile, and found myself at 15 minutes even at mile 2. I had run a 7:47 second mile, which concerned me because my goal was to beat last years time of 23:26, which was a 7:33 pace. I knew that an 8:25 time for the final 1.1 miles was all I needed to beat it. I decided to quicken my pace, especially since I knew that the last mile, as well as the first 2 miles, was completely flat. I was passing runners who earlier had passed me, and at the same time wishing I hadn't worn a long sleeved sweatshirt, t-shirt, and short sleeved wick shirt. I felt too warm, but reminded myself I was in the homestretch. Besides, there was cold beer (yes, beer) waiting for me at the finish. I sprinted down State Street, towards the finish, passing everyone ahead of me, and eyed the clock at the finish line. It was showing 22 minutes plus. I realized that with a strong finishing kick, I could break 23 minutes. I sprinted as fast as I could, and crossed the finish line at 22:57, or 29 seconds faster than last year. The post race hot dogs, bagels, and beer were going to taste like filet mignon and well, GREAT beer!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

6 Miles of Torture

"Running on, running on empty" Jackson Browne: Running on Empty

Today was pure torture running the Linear Trail. I was psyched to do one last run before tomorrow's 5K race, and decided that a leisurely 6 mile run on the trail would be the perfect choice. Once again, split times weren't going to matter, and slow and steady was going to be the rule. Well, slow, but not steady was what I did. Weather wasn't bad, 29 degrees, with a "Feels like" 25 degrees day. My first mile was about 8:45, and from there it was all downhill. Or maybe I should say it felt like I was running uphill. Each preceding mile, 2 through 6, was slower. Problem was, it was more through necessity rather than by my actually taking it easy. Heavy legs, heavy arms, and nothing about the run fit my definition of "fun," which is what running always is for me. I didn't have fun, and even the scenery along the trail just didn't do it today. Plus I was actually even feeling a little depressed...something definitely was wrong. While driving home, the blahs continued, and I was sensing that something was wrong at home. Kind of a "father's gut feeling" that I get whenever my son or daughter get sick. Arriving home, I went inside, and found my son sitting up in his bed, rather than his wheelchair. Sure enough, he wasn't feeling well. Matter of fact, neither was I at that point. So, after a shower, some lunch, and a 3 hour nap, here I sit hunting and pecking at the computer keyboard. I still feel worn out, as does my son. No holiday party for me tonight with my co-workers. Guess I'll see how I feel and my son feels tomorrow morning before deciding whether or not to run the 5K race. Total time today was 55:15 (9:12/M), which was a "snails pace" for me. Who cares?! Not me!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That's More Like It

"That's the Way I Like It": KC and the Sunshine Band

Today was a more typical December 9th. Good 'ol WTNH.com said it was 46 degrees, with a "Feels like 44 degrees." Plus, a light wind. Perfect December running weather. No prior commitments, including Christmas shopping (Hey, I still have 15 days to shop-why rush it?). I decided to do a 5 miler, and challenge myself since I actually had enough time before sunset. So I chose my daughter's 5 mile route, complete with what we call the killer hills. As I've said before (I think), it has a series of hills between miles 1 and 2, and on warmer days they wear you out. Today they were mere anthills, speedbumps...you get the idea. Nice thing about this route is I haven't bothered to actually check to see where each mile is. So once again, for the second run in a row, I ran without checking my split times. I need to do it more often. As my daughter has reminded me several (thousand) times, sometimes I become to obsessed with my times. Nothing exciting to report...same 'ol, same 'ol I felt good, ran easily, wow, am I getting bored with running??? NEVER! Total time was 40:51, or a pace of 8:10 per mile. No complaints about that, and no, I'm not obsessing over my time. I'm ready for this Sunday's 5K run. The Christopher Martin's Race is famous in CT for the best post race party. That means hot dogs, bagels, danish, yogurt, etc. Best of all, in my opinion, is the 5 kegs of beer that flows for free inside the restaurant. Last year I finished early enough to get front row, which meant drinking many cups of beer on that were on the bar, and passing back the ones I couldn't drink for others to enjoy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Not Officially Winter Yet

"Now I'm snowblind, snowblind, snowblind": Snowblind: Styx
"Fun, Fun, Fun": The Beach Boys

Today's Forecast
From Storm Team 8 Weather Center
Last Edited: Sunday, 07 Dec 2008, 7:43 AM EST
(WTNH) - Updated Sunday AM. Here is the latest forecast from Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Matt Scott
As expected, just a dusting of snow overnight...totaling at worst, to about an inch across the state. Temps are cold out there, and later today, we'll see the winds pick up from the Northwest, gusting to 40-50 MPH...a Wind Advisory is in effect for the state for this afternoon and tonight.
We stay unsettled as another storm comes in Tuesday....this will start with a little snow, before changing to a lot of rain into Wednesday....
All the best, Meteorologist Matt Scott matt.scott@wtnh.com

SUNDAY: Snow ends early... Winds pick up as the skies clear out. Highs : upper 30s.

I beat the 40-50 MPH wind gusts, but not the snow. After taking care of my parental responsibilities, I changed into my "keep warm" running gear, stretched, checked WTNH.com (32 degrees, feels like 32 degrees), and headed outside. For once I wasn't going to be anal about my total time or pace. Todays goal was to run around 6 miles, and have fun doing so, meaning no mile splits or pressure to run fast. I decided against running the Linear Trail, since I figured it would be snow covered and slippery. After consulting with my daughter, (who doesn't run outside unless it's 40 degrees or warmer), I decided to run her "Sweet Claudes" route. It starts and ends at our home, and is almost entirely run along Route 10, which has sidewalks. Very important on a snowy day. The turn around point is Sweet Claudes, which has incredible ice cream, and yes, they're open during the winter, but no, I didn't go inside. I did stick to my "have fun rule", and actually enjoyed running in the blowing, swirling snow. At times it followed the blowing from the north as it usually does pattern, and at times it didn't. This was annoying, yet "fun." I kept removing my hat and putting it back on. Not only did the run turn out to be fun, but easy as well. The 6.7 miles in my mind went by quickly. Even though I ran for 58:50, it didn't feel that long. My pace per mile, since of course I always have to know, was 8:46. Definitely not as quick as my past three runs, but who cares?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let There (Still) Be Light

"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me": Elton John

Today was early dismissal at the school I work at, followed by a workshop called "Handle With Care," where we learn how to handle our students with care should it be necessary. In other words, should a student decide to grab, scratch, spit, choke, or bite us, we now have literature and about 15 minutes of actual training so far to handle the situation. We actually don't have any "problem childs" in our school, the high school, but we are already preparing for next year when we will be getting more "challenging (aka violent) students. So for the next 6 months, we will periodically be learning and practicing our Handle With Care moves. Oh joy. Anyhow, at 2:45 p.m., 15 minutes early, I was able to execute THE Duck and Roll maneuver. If you don't know what a Duck and Roll maneuver is, go back and read it in one of my earlier blogs. Driving home, I was feeling good about the possibility of running during daylight. At home, I went to WTNH.com, as usual, and decided that since it was 35 degrees, and a "Feels Like" 35 degrees, that my normal cold weather gear would be worn. I also was discouraged that sunset was at 4:21 p.m. That meant since I planned on running the Linear Trail, I now had 45 minutes to get changed, drive the 3 miles to the trail, and run before the sun disappeared. I arrived at the trail at 3:50, leaving me just 30 minutes of light. My planned 5 mile run would have to be 4 miles instead. I decided to see if I could keep my streak of averaging less than an 8 minute mile pace intact. Off I went, and at blue #1, my time was 8:13. As usual, my first mile was (hopefully) going to be my worst. I was contemplating whether or not not stretching beforehand may have been a foolhardy decision. At about the mile and a half point, I suddenly felt loose and my pace felt strong. At blue #2, my time was 16:13, which means mile 2 was in eight minutes. I turned and headed back, and quickened my pace. At blue #3, my time was 24:13, which meant another 8 minute mile, but that I also needed to run a 7:46 or better last mile to have a sub 8 minute pace. I went into "Locomotive mode," where I breath short, quick breaths like a train whistle, pump my arms more, and try to increase my stride length. Feeling energetic the entire time, my 4th and final mile was run at a 7:33 pace, for a total time of 31:46 (7:56/M pace). It is my third consecutive run averaging better than an 8 minute per mile pace. Best of all, I was done before the sun had set.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

All I want For Christmas is...


8 p.m. update..took "Ace" to the vet today. My $25 Meriden Humane Society cat cost me an additional $150. He has a respiratory infection and a yeast infection in both ears. I guess that explains why he sounds like Darth Vadar when he breathes, and shakes his head so much I'm afraid he'll get whiplash. So I have 2 different medications to give to him twice a day for 10 days. I had forgotten how much fun it is to try to give a cat medication with a syringe. The shower door looks weird with a pink amoixcillin streak on it. My black work pants have some nice "air holes" in them. Note to self: Wear gloves when giving cat medications. Cat claws tear through fingers easily. Cuts on fingers bleed a LOT. I told my wife and daughter that I'll need some help giving Ace his meds for the next 10 days. I'm still waiting for a response. Note to self: Closest I'll get to owning the Garmin Forerunner 305 is looking at a picture of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life is Good

"I feel good, I knew that I would, now" I Feel Good: James Brown

I got out of work today with good intentions. I was determined to run 5 miles, since it was "warm" (almost 50 degrees), and I had the night off from working at Weight Watchers. I arrived home and was pleasantly surprised to see that my wife had put out the holiday decorations outside of our home. I had actually forgotten that she had taken the day off. I rushed inside, knowing that I had less than an hour before sunset. My lovely wife was putting up our artificial tree, and I had intentions of performing a "duck and roll" to our bedroom and changing into my running gear. My wife had other ideas. She asked for help solving the case of the one strand of lights that didn't work. It's not that I didn't try to help. But every solution I'd come up with was met with the comment "I already tried that." Finally I did what every good husband of 27 years does. I shut up and listened. Long story short, 20 minutes later she had the lights working. And I had my freedom to go change my clothes, now with about 20 minutes to go before sunset. I walked towards my bedroom, and was met by my son exiting the kitchen in his power wheelchair. He asked me if I would do his albuterol treatments with him. Obviously I couldn't tell him "No." Besides, family always comes first. Albuterol treatment completed, I looked outside. Darkness greeted me, but I didn't greet it back. As I've said before, I hate running in the dark. I weighed my options: Wimp out (not really an option, since new cat has vet appt. tomorrow, so I won't be running); run original goal of 5 miles; or since I don't like running after sunset, cut my run back to 3 miles. A 3 mile run was my decision. I dressed, did my stretches, put on my cool glowing, highly visible at night armband, grabbed my music, and headed outside. I looked in the sky, and noticed how beautiful it looked: moon shining brightly, venus nearby, and a few other visible stars. It was a "Life is good" moment. Suddenly, it was going to be alright running in the dark, and with streetlight lit roads. Mile 1 was an 8:16 mile, followed by a 7:50 mile 2, and (drum roll please) a 7:23 3rd mile. Total time: 23:29, or a 7:49 per mile average pace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Think I've Figured it Out

"It used to seem to me, That my life ran on too fast, And I had to take it slowly, Just to make the good parts last, But when you're born to run, It's so hard to just slow down" : Steve Winwood: Back in the High Life

Yes, I ran last Friday (3 miles: 24:51; 8:17/M) and Saturday (6 miles: 51:44; 8:37/M), but overall both days were uneventful, so therefore no posts. I believe I was experiencing PMRRLS (Post Manchester Road Race Letdown Syndrome). Sunday I woke up with wicked back pain, which I've finally learned means to slow down and take a day or two off from running. Plus our first visible snow and sleet since last March was another omen not to run. Monday, as usual, was my full time job as a Teacher's Assistant, the weekly boring 3:00 meeting, followed by a 7 mile drive home, and racing around the house like a maniac for 30 minutes trying to shave, freshen up, check on our new cat "Ace," then driving 7 miles back to Wallingford to work at Weight Watchers from 5-7 p.m. As far as Ace goes, I adopted him last Friday from the Meriden Humane Society. I gave up waiting for the Branford Pound to process my application for the 27 lb. cat I saw there a week and a half ago. So of course there was a message from them on our answering machine telling me I could go there and adopt him. As much as I want him, it's not going to happen. Ace is 1 1/2 years old, and an orange and white tabby. He and I were hitting it off well until last night, when I accidentally stepped on his foot. Now he runs and hides whenever he sees me coming. Great...I was the Grim Reaper a few weeks ago with our 16 year old cat, so to help ease my guilt I adopt macho, humane society cat room bully Ace, who now won't give me the time of day. Reminds me of my single days when I'd always strike out with the ladies. It should be fun on Thursday trying to find him, talk him into going into a cat carrier without ripping me apart with his claws, and driving him to the vet for his check-up. That brings me to today. I cut a deal with myself to run a comfortable 3 miles on my road course. Sorta like ease myself back into running, even though my back has been fine since Sunday afternoon. I was feeling tired, having been up since 3:30 a.m., and it was now 4 p.m. So I "cheated" and chugged a 16oz. ERev energy drink to give me a boost. It was cold, so I went the full attire of hat, gloves, long sleeves, running pants, etc. I didn't even bother to check WTNH.com to see the temperature, nor did I stretch. I was being defiant, since I didn't want to run but felt obligated to run since I had the previous 2 days off. My first mile is mainly uphill, but surprisingly I felt good even though I was planning on taking it easy. I hit mile 1 at 8:16, which was about 30 seconds faster than I had planned. Damn energy drink was working too well! The next mile was easy, and I passed my 2 mile mailbox at 16:06, or a 7:50 2nd mile. Ridiculous! This was a take it easy run? Actually it was, since everything felt effortless. At that point I said "Screw it," and went into a full sprint. Seven minutes and twenty seconds later, I was finished. Total time was 23:26, or a 7:48 per mile pace. I think I've figured it out. Cooler weather plus less frequency of running equals faster times when I do run. It only took me two years to realize this....better late than never.