Monthly Archives: March 2013

Waxing and waning

I’m still alive. I got through dog sitting, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think I’m ready to have a dog just yet. I’m sometimes bad at budgeting time, and while Kaipo forced me to get a little better at that, it meant that I had to reprioritize things, like some training. But right now, every run counts, so I’ve only been putting the cycling by the wayside.

As cold as it looks, and windy to boot.

As cold as it looks, and windy to boot.

This weekend was supposed to be a 16 miler. As a result of late nights Thursday and Friday, I decided I needed to head up to NH to get some quality training and avoid the craziness that is St. Patrick’s Day in Boston. Unfortunately, I woke up Sunday to temperatures in the low teens and a brisk[1] northerly wind. I had enough gear that I thought my workout (1 mile easy, 2 @ 6:45-6:55 repeat until complete) would be doable. But as I started, I quickly realized that 1. my legs were still, for some reason, incredibly dead and 2. I can do headwinds, I can do cold, I can do hills; I can do two of them at once, but all three during a hard workout? No thank you. That said, I think if it weren’t for the pace requirements, I could have gotten 16 miles in. Instead, feeling exhausted and slightly upset with myself, I drove home and fell asleep around 9:30PM.

As a bit of a sidebar, my confidence with regards to running ebbs and flows from day to day and even within runs. I see friends setting PRs, and I haven’t even really raced yet in 2013. The mangled ankle is still swollen from time to time and there are small aches and pains associated with the entire lower leg. As I’ve said, I’m constantly adjusting my expectations with regards to Boston. Some days I worry that qualifying is out of the picture. But for the most part, this is out of my control. All I can do is move forward.

With all that, I got home from work yesterday and decided to get my 16 miler in (as Steve said, “At this point, miles are you friend”). Set off, and was really trying to hold myself back around the 6:55 pace for the first couple of 2 mile intervals, but that’s easier said than done (5 seconds/mile slower is just 1.25 seconds a lap slower on a track, and splitting the timing that fine is just not really all that easy). So I just continued on my merry way, sometimes into the damp wind that was a prelude to the mess that is today (in which case I was not so merry), sometimes with the wind at my back. And though it was cold and partially miserable, I was able to run in shorts and a long-sleeve bike jacket. All of which made for a bit of an easier workout.

It turns out I ran the entire 16 in 1:51:43, which is about 8 minutes slower than my first ever half-marathon. I got stronger as the miles progressed, even if there were some stomach issues cropping up. So the run was a great confidence booster (especially in preparation for my 18 miler this weekend). Maybe sub-3 is still in the cards, but I am confident another BQ is in the cards… so long as I Tri-Slide up my nips. Because cold weather and cutting glass don’t play well together.

How are you feeling about your end of winter fitness?

  1. Does a brisk wind by definition always occur when it is cold outside?