Monday, February 11, 2008

Week 4 - Oh the Weather!

Well week four started out great. I got in a hard 5 mile run in Mill Creek on Tuesday afternoon after work and prior to swim practice. It was a warm 50 degree day with a light drizzle. I ran the roads and purposely picked a course that would allow me to run some tough hills hard. I finished in 42 minutes and was quite exhausted.

On Wednesday I chose to run a 5 mile course around McDonald in the morning. I didn’t have to be at work until 12:00, so I got my run in with some stretching when I got home. It was a little colder (38 degrees) with a light drizzle but I got to run in shorts again in February.

Friday night Pam and I picked up my parents and we drove to Slippery Rock University to watch Kyrsti run the 800 on the indoor track. She wasn’t happy with her time but we were there to support her for her effort. Then we all went and ate at Eat and Park at Grove City.

On Saturday morning I traveled over to Mill Creek for my long run. I was scheduled to run 14 miles but did not really feel like running that long. I told myself I would maybe do 9 today and 9 tomorrow. After fussing around in the Lily Pond parking lot deciding what I was going to wear, I decided on shorts and a light rain jacket. It was a steady rain and about 40 degrees when I started. After about 5 minutes into the run, as I was heading up Bear’s Den, I told myself I dressed appropriately. I added this extra loop to increase the mileage but stay within the park and the course I have been running all along. I climbed the long hills steadily and actually felt myself gritting my teeth running somewhat hard up these hills. As I turned around and started coming back down the hill, I said to myself that I will be running 14 miles today. No excuses, no exceptions. I got back to the three way intersection and got back to my usual course. Along Lake Cohasset I enjoyed the ducks practicing take-offs and landings.

It was raining harder now and the sky was bright blue with white clouds. It was real strange. I started to run up Big Bear and thought twice after I was half way up. I stopped running and power walked the rest of the way. I stretched my legs and decided this would be the last time I walked today. I got to the top and proceeded to run for the next hour and a half to complete the 14 miles. I ran pick-ups for the rest of the run, but based more on how I felt at the time as opposed to "by the watch pick-ups". It rained, the sun shined, and at times I thought I underdressed and at other times felt I had overdressed.

My last mile from the log cabin to the car was 8:40. The previous week was 9:00 and felt much more difficult. I feel like I am getting stronger and running these hills certainly are a big part of that.

On Sunday I was supposed to run 4 miles but given the weather I bowed out. The winds were blowing so hard that I decided to do some stretching indoors and recuperate for another long week of running. I think I know now why I have never done a marathon in the spring. The weather is so difficult to train in.

Total Miles for the week = 24
Long run = 14 miles
Average Pace per mile 8:00-8:40
Weight = 198
Interesting facts: During the long run I tried “power beans”. They look and taste like jelly beans but are supposed to pack a punch of energy. I also had 1 hammer gel and 1 power fuel. It all sat well and I had no problems with cramping or dehydration. I once again drank a bottle of water on my way to the run and fueled along the way with Succeed. I may start trying to take a salt tablet, as my face was completely covered in the white grit after my long run.

I have another cold week ahead of me, but hopefully Saturday will be decent for my long run.

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