December 27, 2007

I am wiped out on Christmas Day

Christmas Day did not bring the hill workout I thought it would. Instead of staying in NY, my mother and I conspired in the eleventh hour to fly me down to South Carolina to surprise my sister and father. I flew to Charlotte, rented a car, and drove to Greensville, where I first stopped by where my sister works and surprised her. It was a nice moment, though I was embarassed when the waterworks started. We had a quick lunch together and then she had to get back to work. I drove to her house and surprised my father there.

Christmas morning began like every other Christmas morning: with me wishing people would learn how to take opportunities to sleep in to actually do it, for pete's sake. We all watched as my sister opened her gifts (I hadn't brought any with me) and then had breakfast. We learned that Country Crock Shedd's Spread doesn't make for good hollandaise sauce. After eating breakfast and slurping the last of two cups of tea, I headed outside for a quick run, wishing I had brought running pants instead of shorts. But I had a nifty new pair of 180s gloves and those were quite toasty.

My run was interesting, if not particularly good. For one thing, I had my very first tumble. I was running along a public road w/ no margin and had to be careful of traffic. A truck that was approaching slowed, but didn't seem to move over much - he was about to run off to my right. As my attention was fixed on the truck, I didn't notice that I'd wandered a little too much to the shoulder of the road and my left foot came down on the edge of the asphalt badly - there was an inch and a half drop there to the red clay. As my left foot twisted, so did my body - my right foot came down the same way and threw me off balance and I went tumbling. I tried to hit the ground shoulder-first and roll and it seemed to work. I got back up and though various bits hurt and I got some minor road rash, nothing seemed broken, so I continued my run, being more careful of the road edge.

I turned around about a mile and a half from my sister's house, up near the entrance of their local sanitation facility, which actually had a pretty good view of the area around. Though the route had looked almost flat, I'd gained quite a bit of elevation. I took advantage of this on the way back down; after a minute stretching, I headed off with Canon Rock beginning in my earbuds. When the song hit its stride, so did I. This is something I rarely do, as the cadence of Canon Rock is one notch from being an all-out sprint for me - that invites injury and is very tiring. I kept up the pace for 60 to 90 seconds - maybe 400 meters - and then slowed back down to recover. I was winded, but not nearly as bad as I'd been expecting. My body was finally warming up and my running form was good.

I had a few walk breaks in the run, owing (I hope) to the increased elevation (800 ft there). Or maybe the air is just too clean! Anyway, the walk breaks were short and I didn't mind taking them.

I finished the run strong, calling up my power song on the nano (which you can see in the graph) and slammed the last 400 meters at 5K race pace. You'll note that my final pace was exactly 10 minutes per mile (6.11 minutes per kilometer). It's true that the run was probably 250 meters short of 5K - I haven't yet recalibrated the nano - but I also didn't stop the clock while I was walking around after my fall trying to figure out if I wanted to continue the run. So I did at least a 10 mile/minute pace if not better.

So. OK run; not great; just interesting.

Training for St Louis half officially begins Monday.

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