Well it was a good week for marathon training. I started out the week with a 4 mile run on Monday as scheduled and then followed that up with running 4 miles on Wednesday and Friday with 2# “heavy hands”. The HH make the run more difficult and provide an increase to the cardiovascular system. I intend to keep using these in my training to make the shorter runs at least a little more challenging.
On Saturday, I headed to Mill Creek Park to get in my long run. It was still cold and I told myself before leaving for the run that if it was too bad, I would cut my run short. It was 10ْ˚ when I got out of the car. I think it was somewhere around “0” with the wind chill. Although the air was crisp, it did not feel too bad (maybe I am getting used to this weather I thought to myself).
I ran into my son and his friends in the parking lot who were there waiting for some more people to arrive. I told them I was leaving and off I went. I started off slowly and was intent to run every bit of this run and climb every hill. I decided prior to getting to the park that I was going to run my usual 10 mile loop backwards just for a little change of pace.
The first mile or so was pretty cold. My hands were cold and when running along the edge of Lake Cohasset I could feel my face tighten up as the cold air blew across the lake. I shook my hands and rubbed my face. I was dressed adequately and knew once I got going I would warm-up just fine. After the first substantial climb up Big Bear, there was not a cold spot on my body. I was actually wiping sweat from my face before it could freeze on my brow. The nice part about this section of the park is that it is closed in the winter, so there was no car traffic and it closely resembles running on trails as the roads were completely snow covered.
I cruised this entire run. I am not sure which way is easier to run, but the elevation increase/decrease would be exactly the same. Towards the end of the run I decided to add an extra loop onto my run. Instead of walking down the steel staircase on the end of Lake Glacier, I ran down Glenwood Ave. to Mahoning Ave. and made my way a few blocks east before turning down a block and heading back into the park. I added at least a mile and it felt good.
I decided when I got back to the entrance of the Rose Garden that I would pick up the pace a bit and see how it felt. I made my way down the road and could actually feel the wind hitting me harder in the face as now I was moving into a headwind. It started to snow just a bit. I put my tongue out to catch the little pieces of moisture. I tucked my head slightly and continued to drive my legs into the wind to get back to the car. I was breathing harder and the cold wind made my breath look like it was white frost coming out of my mouth. Very cool I thought. I made it back to the car in 1 hour 28 minutes for about an 11 mile run. I was happy and actually felt I could have went a little further.
I followed this long run up with an easy 4 mile run around town on Sunday. It is funny but after running in Mill Creek Park, there is no hill around town that even makes me look twice at it. In the fall when I was running around town with the cross country boys, I noticed every hill, no matter how big or small. Now I would describe McDonald as being pretty much flat.
My total miles for the week was 27
Average pace per mile 8:30
Weight still 200 but I feel lighter!
Long Run = 11 miles at Mill Creek (felt great)
Continued use of heavy hands to increase effort on short runs and strengthen my arms and upper back.
I have also incorporated stretches into my routine to loosen and strengthen my lower back. I was given some great routines to do by my physical therapist after injuring my back. So far my back feels great!
So that is week 2. I am keeping my head up and plunging forward. Next week will present me with different challenges, but I am prepared to run at various times to get my miles in. Stayed tuned for details!