Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weeks 2 & 3 of Training

Let me try to recap week 2 of my training schedule. I was able to get all three weekday 4 mile runs in. I didn't feel very strong on a couple of them, but still ended up with decent runs. Saturday's 8 mile long run with my friend Jon was a bit challenging due to the weather. It rained on Thursday night and into Friday which later froze into an impressive layer of perfectly smooth ice. I knew that we would want to stick to roads that offered some snow cover along the edge. We decided to meet near the YMCA on 42nd street so we would have some place warm to duck into if we needed a break from the elements. The wind was whipping at twenty plus miles an hour and the single digit temperatures made for a wind chill of about -20.

We planned on running a loop of about 1 1/2 miles to see just how prepared we were to face the elements. We hadn't gone very far and I began to wonder if I was dressed warm enough. I could feel the cold air across my lower legs and became concerned that it might lead to frostbite before our run ended. It didn't take long and my legs started to warm up a bit. Jon was fighting his own issues with the cold. He had an ice cream headache soon after we started. Soon we had to run on the sidewalks because we were on some fairly busy streets. Unfortunately these sidewalks were either filled with snow or covered by a sheet of glare ice. We finished the loop walking along the boulevard.

This run seemed like it just wasn't going to happen today. Jon and I got in our cars and went back to our respective houses. When I got home I wanted to try running through the neighborhoods around my house. I figured the homes would protect me from the wind a bit. I was able to run an additional 6 1/2 miles to get the full 8 miles in for the day. On Sunday Jon and I tried it again. This run went a little better and we got 4 1/2 miles in even though we did come across some blocks where the streets and sidewalks were so icy they looked like they were covered in glass.

This last week (week 3) was another really good week. My three weekday runs went quite well. For now they are still 4 miles each. It won't be long and I will be starting to increase the distances on these runs. I'm using the widely accepted principle of increasing weekly mileage by only 10% in order to avoid an increased risk of injury. My 10 mile long run this last Saturday finally got me back into double digits. I made two 5 mile loops not far from my house and felt good the whole way.

Today's run was great. I know that if I'm going to have a chance at making it at Trail Mix I need to get my legs used to running up and down hills even when they are fatigued. I figured that doing hill (overpass) repeats the day after my long run would do this quite nicely. I ran 6 miles back and forth over the 52nd avenue overpass. My legs felt strong the whole time. On the last repeat I took a bit of a detour. As I got to the highest spot just before crossing the "bridge" portion I turned and ran down the embankment. Once I reached the bottom I turned back uphill and churned my way through the grass and snow back to the overpass. Rachel, one of my running friends, does these a lot. Thanks for the great idea Rachel!

This last Saturday Lynette and I celebrated the 29th anniversary of our first date. No, we haven't kept track of this over all these years. A few years back we tried to figure out when our first date was. We remembered that it was in late January and it was a stormy night. I looked at a weather almanac and found that January 19, 1984 was the only day that fit the criteria. How did we celebrate this wonderful event? With Subway sandwiches and Gopher vs Sioux hockey, of course. We did get a gift for us both -- a juicer! Yay! We are both excited to start making a variety of healthy juices. It's a way for us both to improve our health so we can continue to celebrate for many more years.

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