Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Dark Place

To say that it was chilly this morning would be an understatement. When we started out, it was about 8 degrees with a light wind - invigorating. We were setting out on a 12 mile run at a 10 minute pace. I had been looking forward to this run all week. This is the point in our training that we will be in double digit long runs until the end of April.

The group started out a bit faster than I really wanted to go. I wanted to take it easy today; but I kept up.  Then it happened, at mile 6 we stopped at a water stop situated at the pedestrian entrance to the Hot Metal Bridge on the South Side. It was probably only a minute or so that we stopped; it felt like an eternity. The wind was coming off of the Monongahela River and it was cold. My hip muscles started to get tight. After we got started again, my legs and hips felt like garbage.

Around mile 7, I started to lose steam and drop back. We were running on a paved trail along the river, and I couldn't keep up. I think it was a mixture of muscle fatigue and the music I was listening to - they were mellow tunes - not sure how they ended up on my run playlist. This went on for about two miles. I was in a very dark place. It was mentally tough watching the group fade off into the distance. At that point, I couldn't wait for the run to be over. I knew something needed to be done to salvage what, up to that point, had be a good run.

I went back to basics pulling out my ear buds and just listening to my body.  Things started to click. My stride felt descent even with the tight hips; I was able to push on. By mile 9, I had caught back up to the group. The final 3 miles felt as good as the first 6. More importantly, I fought through a rough patch and finished strong, which I know will serve me well on May 5th.

Hard-fought 12.1 Miles

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter Runner-Land

A comment a writing friend of mine posted on FaceBook prompted me to write this post. He stated that three of his friends had posted something about running today. He proceeded to say that people who run in the cold and snow are “Cray, Cray.” (Cray , Cray = Crazy, for those of you, like me, who did not what this meant.) I had a good chuckle when I read it, and I proceeded to respond by telling him Runner’s thought people who would waste a perfectly beautiful day like today (25 degrees Fahrenheit and snowing) by sitting inside were crazy. (I am not hip and therefore, am not able to use words like Cray, Cray.) Ron’s a good guy and we share a lot of banter on the old FB. 

I get that non-runners don’t understand that why we subject ourselves to the coldest of temperatures during our winter training. There is something so exhilarating about running in the cold. Maybe it’s because it defies conventional wisdom to run in these conditions. I can’t say for sure; but, as soon as I hear the weather is going to be cold AND the forecast is calling for snow, I want to strap on my running shoes and get out there. In reality, once you are out there and moving, it really isn’t that bad. I was actually too hot today with three layers on top; I really only needed two. North Park is always hard to gauge. You never know what the wind off of the lake is going to be like.  When the wind kicks-up, it gets downright frigid. 

I do have to say that today really was a beautiful day. The air was crisp with a light snow flurry. I had some tunes on, and I was on my way. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

North Park
 Just look at the happy face on that handsome gent. I can't wait until it gets a little colder. Frosty-beard running is the best. If you don't know I am talking about, pray for some colder temps.

Happy Runner