January 29, 2009

Pretty good workout

Spent Monday and Tuesday rather sore. That's good, in its way. Wednesday...well, if you live here, you know what kind of shit Wednesday was. Not particularly cold, but snowy/slushy; slippery as snot. I didn't even try it.

So today, I got out for a 4-miler. Only, after surveying the myriad icy patches in the first block or two, I decided to head uphill instead and do my 3.7 mile hill run to the park. The weather is gloriously sunny and just below freezing - which means that while the thinnest watery/icy patches have run off and dried off, there's many areas where the footing is treacherous. Some people did not scrape their walks yesterday - and now it's all ice. Lumpy, malformed ice, too; the kind that forms from walked-in slush. Some people did shovel/scrape/snowblow, so the walks there are mostly clear and dry, except for runoff areas that cross the sidewalk - which end up being 3-foot-long, sidewalk-wide sheets of very slice ice. Nearly went down twice trying to cross these.

You CAN run on ice if you don't change speed or direction - you have to go with the inertia you've got. Not always easy to do in this city.

So there were a lot of little walk breaks in this run, particularly on the way up to the park. I was trying to dodge traffic, other people, and ice and sometimes just had to slow down to avoid calamity. But I'm not upset about that - my lungs were needing some acclimation time. They were wheezing from the second block onward, almost all the way to the park.

So I struggled up the hills to the park, amazed to find that I have enough breath support to actually tackle the hills with some gusto and only walked the upper 1/3 of the longest hill. I am very happy with that. I took a few minutes to stretch while at the park, then headed home.

This time, I choose sides of the street in direct sunlight, which reduced the number of icy patches, but increased the number of pedestrials. (Yes - new word: pedestrials (n): people who are technically classified as pedestrians, but whom are perceived primarily as obstacles by runners.) I also chose to run in the street a lot more, dodging and weaving among moving traffic, parked cars, ice that extended out even into the streets, over-salted areas (which can be just as slick), etc. I'm sure you know what I mean. I did get a break: some of the streets were closed to traffic by the time I headed home, so I could freely run right down the center.

As for the moving traffic, I wasn't TOO worried. I was keeping an eye out for myself and I had purposely worn my most eye-searing ensemble: red marathon knit gloves Jerry Cahill bought for me, bright orange long-sleeve marathon t from a couple years ago, and a hi-viz yellow cap by Asics that I bought to match my marathon running jacket. Frankly, I looked like a clown. A hideously dressed, sweaty clown. But surely the drivers couldn't miss me, right?

And it was cold. I dressed right, but didn't bank on wind. Coming back, I was running right into a headwind and was quite cold by the time I got home. For several minutes, I couldn't work my fingers well enough to get my gloves off or fish out my key.

The best part of the run was that I used the flat stretches on the route home to do some strides - I picked up the pace to about a 8:30 pace for 200 yards at a time, and used the downhills or further flat parts to slow down for a couple hundred yards. Had it been a little more structured, I could have called it a speed workout.

And it felt good. I'm actually looking forward to this weekend's long run. I'm planning eight to nine miles.


Michelle said...

Great run Chris!!

I had to laugh at your description of yourself dressed as a clown!! But you got the job done!!!

I am both jealous and envious of you getting out there. I mean i am so happy you are out there but i want to be out there with you!!!!!!!!!!!! :O(

Toe = Still broken!!


Anonymous said...

Two words for you - Hot Chocolate!

Love, Mom