February 1, 2009

Pretty solid 9-miler

The Flat Earth Society believes that at the extremities of Mother Disk is a vast, encircling girdle of sheer, unscalable ice walls, holding in the oceans and atmosphere. Today, I believe I found the Great Ice Ridge. It seems to be in Brooklyn, right next to the Millenium Skate Park. It is frozen solid, clear to the bottom - a good four inches thick in some places - and was today topped by a thin friction-negating layer of meltwater. Traversing this monstrosity safely required great amounts of time. I have circled this obstacle in blue on the graph.

Kindly note the strange qualities of the graph. Quite spiky in the first half, much less so in the second half. This is the sign of a workout at odds with itself. The main reason: wind. The second I turned off my street and onto 3rd avenue to head towards the Verazzano Narrows Bridge, I was hit with a headwind of good proportion. This headwind never let up. As you can see, I gave the first mile the ol' college try, but thereafter was reduced to walking every so often, as the wind turned running flats into something akin to running uphill. I was also experiencing the requisite tightness of the three-mile-warmup period and some shin splints. AND I was bleeding. My nose was bleeding and wouldn't stop - I had no choice but to use my gloves to wipe it away, but some got on my pants. My lungs were bleeding too - just spotting in what little mucous I could bring up, but it was definitely from the lungs.

Add to that the fact that my Prednisone-prompted pulse of pulmonary power is now evaporating (now that I'm off it). So I was quite distressed. The first four and a half miles of my run was difficult and not paying any dividends. I was getting nowhere fast, so to speak.

Well, I hoped that when I turned around at the bridge, the wind would turn from foe to friend, that I would have run through the shin splints and that my legs and lungs would have started cooperating. While my lungs never got great (the small airways are closing up again and it is difficult to get a deep breath again), but my legs were warmed up and pain-free, the bleeding had stopped, and the wind was indeed at my back for the second half of the run. My only real problem was that even without a hat and minimal winter clothing, I was actually overheating. (We got into the 40s today!)

So my run home was quite a quality workout - smooth and continuous with the exception of very short walk breaks so I could drink easily, re-traversing the Great Ice Wall, and a single pause for traffic. The entire last two miles were one long unbroken segment.

I tell you, if I can perform like this next Sunday - and stretch out the good half another four miles - then I'm going to have a GREAT race at the Bronx Half.

While I ran today, I listened to the episode of Phedippidations wherein Steve runs the 111th Boston Marathon in a nor'easter. Quite the podcast! It was neat being able to hear his struggles and triumph over adversity while I was struggling to continue smoothly in my second half and not drop to a walk.

Once home, I was starving. I had my Recoverite, a nutrition bar, a shower, dug out some more food, was disappointed to realize I'd forgotten to buy more mayo (I'm on a tuna-melt kick these days), wolfed down half a loaf of bread, etc etc. I pretty much haven't stopped eating since I got home. Sushi is tonight's dinner, and I'm topping it off with a very rare at-home beer for having done such a fine job out on the road today.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Great job my friend!!!

Keep it going for BRONX!!!