March 25, 2005

2 runs in 1 (post, that is)

After Wednesday's crappy weather, I was actually looking forward to getting out yesterday to make up the 8-miler. I really didn't like taking two days off in a row.

The route was simple: up the hill, around the park twice, and downhill to my house. I made absolutely sure to get in a short warmup jog and good stretching beforehand and also duplicated the seemingly successful cooldown/stretching routine of the last couple of runs.

For some reason, I had really good luck with the traffic and was able to jog all the way uphill without having to pause at the corners for lights, even though my body would have appreciated it. Once into the park, I ran the loop in normal direction once, and realized as I was completing it that I had not yet paused in my running; not for traffic, no for fatigue, not even for coughing and spitting. Hm. I told myself I could pause and walk/stretch at the turnaround while I hydrated, but for some reason, I just swung around and started back and drank as I ran. I wasn't running quickly, by any means, but I still hadn't stopped.

Surely the last big hill before finishing the park portion of my run would slow me to a run...but no, not this time! I was able to just keep plugging away at it and made it all the way up. Then out of the park and the nice ending of the downhill run home. I did the entire 8 miles without a single pause! This is tremendous! Three weeks ago, I was gasping for air and having foot pain and five months ago couldn't go two blocks without stopping; and NOW I can do eight miles with hills without stopping! What a highlight!

I ran again today, making this my first two-days-in-a-row in some time. Just five miles, but I sure could feel yesterday's eight mile run! I think I need to start stretching between runs and making absolutely sure to get my plantar fascia thingie worked out on the little roller. I again ran strong today, even starting out at a brisk pace, but at about mile three, in the middle of the flat stretch around the bottom of the park, familiar aches and pains were starting up again. Right plantar, yesterday's blisters, left ankle. I slowed my pace some and made sure to run the crown of the road and told myself we'd see if the pain would work itself out or not.

By the time I was running uphill to the top of the park, the pain was lessening and by the time I got home, it was gone again. Still, though... more stretching, more concentration of between-run care.

Of note: I carried my GPS on both runs. It was accurate yesterday, but today, at the end of a solid five miles, it only read 4.14. What the hell?? I panned back on the track log and found that the first time it had fixed my location (had a good signal) was at the top of the park -- after my run up the slope to the park entry. That explained the short distance. I do look at the total moving time it records and that, too, is accurate (checking it against my start and stop times), but it seems like my per-mile time is settling in the 11:15 range. Maybe I should try the next couple short runs in Redhook, where its all flat, and see what my flat base time is.

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