Monday, February 11, 2008

Slice of Winter

I'm sick of thinking about side stitches right now as I'm sure you are, so let's take a break from that, k? Since I returned to the land of Cleve running has been pretty good. I ran a whopping 48 miles last week, including 2 fartleks and a long run.

And if you're wondering (of course you are!), I haven't stepped on the treadmill in over two weeks. And I feel like this is quite an accomplishment. Since I am not above bragging, I'll explain to you that as others in the blogosphere are in the prime of their training season, in Cleveland this is the season in which you guage your progress by how few workouts you have to miss due to winter blizzards, icy roads, and well below zero windchills. Even so, I've managed to get outside for every run. I am so awesome! (Ok, I'll stop.) I even conned mrp into running with me outside yesterday in 6 degrees and 40 mph winds! Fun!

I like running in extreme weather. Well, I should be honest. It's usually really hard for me to get out the door as I watch the wind swirling the snow and the juncos huddled up on the bird feeder and knowing it's freakin' freezing out there. I hem and haw and ponder doing a bunch of crunches and calling it a cross-training day. But eventually I am persuaded by the idea that other people will think I'm crazy for being out there and just the thrilling fun of it. I always picture coming in the door and uncaking the snow off my shoes with pink cheeks and snow caked all over me all "WOO!" about having just run out in that nastiness and I manage to get my buns out the door.

The same thing got me out there during my lunch hour today in the balmy 9 degree air. I managed to wrangle one of mrp's friends and also the director of our fitness center to head out with me for my 7 mile flats loop. It was so cold as we headed north from the office building into the wind that it kind of hurt to talk and I probably sounded a little drunk. But once we turned out of the wind and had a few miles in the bank, my whole body felt warmed up and it really was quite enjoyable to be out there.

I can't say my pre-run worries ever make any sense. I have never come back from these frigid runs feeling like I was too cold or regretting it in any way. If nothing else I come in the door all "WOO!" as I said and most of the time I find I overdressed and am overheated by the time I'm finished.

So, that's a slice of winter running around here. Here are the ever-exciting specifics from last week:

Mo: no watch easy 7 miler along the Cleveland shoreway.

Tu: off. I had a lunch meeting. Sucks. It was 50 degrees!

We: 8 miles including 5 x 2:00 at 10k with 1:00 recovery, 5 x 1:00 at 5k with 1:00 recovery; 4 x 20 seconds at 1 mile pace with 40 recond recoveries. Run along the Hustler loop.

Th: 7.5 around the flats (8:03 pace)

Fr: 8 miles including 15 x 35 seconds at 5k every 2:00. Run along the Hustler loop.

Sa: 12 easy from home up to the big park and finally got some miles on the soft trails. Ahhh. Soft trails! Was really slow climbing out of the valley we live in but picked it up as I went along. (averaged 8:09 pace)

Su: 5.5 in a blizzard! Mrp agreed to run 4 but I squeezed another 1.5 miles out of the deal by keeping up with him (for the most part). (7:56 pace that felt MUCH faster with the occasional 40 mph headwind and complete lack of footing in spots)

Update: It's Tuesday morning and I just walked into my office. We're due for a blizzard which may force me on the mill, if the fact that I forgot to pack my jacket doesn't seal the deal. I might have spoke too soon, unless the blizzard holds off for a few hours and I can score another long sleeve shirt under a size XL from the lost and found in my gym. Stay tuned!

Update to the Update: The streak is alive! I braved the blizzard in a borrowed long sleeved t-shirt. I was a little soggier for the wear but I managed to get my fartlek in outside.


joe positive said...

ok, so how in the world do you run mile pace for 20s? How long does it take you to get to mile pace? How much time is left after that? My mind just can't handle that :)

nice week, though. Sounds like fun.

DaisyDuc said...

You are so awesome! :-) Seriously that takes some dedication. Sunday and yesterday were quite awful as I am sure today is bound to be as well!

The Salty One said...


It's just like running a hard 100 meter rep. Tinman had me do 100's or 200's after my CV workouts last summer so I just treat it like that. I would run those 100's about 18-19 seconds so it's about equal. And it's hard! I am not sure I could keep that up for the whole mile! But I think it's easy to get up to pace because it's more or less all out at that point in the workout. It's not really a controlled pace at all like CV or even 5k.


You show your dedication by waking up before 6:00 on a Saturday in the middle of winter! I show mine by being an idiot out in the snow :) So, I take it you don't want to join me for a farlek in the flats at lunch? I'm not sure I'm going to make it out there either! We'll see...