Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Dunk and Two Good Runs

It's been a very busy week around these parts. Sunday was #2's baptism. That means I was busy frantically cleaning and prepping to host 40ish guests, which is kinda hard when you have two babies to take care of too. It didn't help matters that mrp was out of town from Sunday to Wednesday. But it did help that I hired a cleaning lady and had two moms to help me with the food, etc. All in all I am pretty impressed with myself that I didn't freak out and I managed to delegate well and didn't feel guilty about it. Usually I feel like I'm lazy or inadequate if I can't do it all myself, but I'm starting to see that this attitude contributes to my problems getting things done more than helps. Being capable of asking for help is a good thing and a necessary thing. I'm figuring that out. I know. You're all thinking, "DUH!" I'm late to yet another party!

But the baptism itself and the party went well. It was all kind of a blur. By Sunday I was already pooped, but decided I NEEDED to run so I woke up at 5:30. After some coffee and psyching myself up, I headed out for some miles in the dark before mrp and the kiddos woke up and before the frantic preparation for the day's festivities commenced. Strangely, I have never run in my neighborhood in the dark like that. Although I can see why. I was petrified I'd be attacked by the coyotes we hear hollowing at night or skunked or snatched my a predator or abducted by aliens. We live on a countryish road with no street lights that runs along a river. It's heavily wooded in spots and just plain scary in the dark! Every time I heard a noise I clapped my hands as loudly as I could to scare the phantom coyotes. I probably just looked like a goof, but it helped make me feel a little more in control.

I managed to eek in 7 before 7:30. I ran an out and back course and just as I got to 3.5 the sun started rising and when I turned the corner to head back down the big hills I saw the beautiful valley dimly lit, gloriously showcasing the fall colors. There were deer frolicking by the small lake I love to run by and a slight mist rising from the grass. The scene more than made up for the first scary half hour of the run!

Once I was down the mega-hills and when I had two miles left I picked up the pace a little bit. Lately, my runs start slow--over 9:00 and then end in the 8:30's. I'd say 8:45 seems to be about my average easy pace right now. Surprisingly, when I picked up the pace my Garmin was hovering just below 8:00 and gradually dropped so that my last 2 miles were 7:57 and 7:25
pace and it just flowed.

Yesterday, mrp took the day off from work so we could recover from the crazy weekend. We lazed about, played outside, ate leftovers, put some party stuff away, and generally had the nice relaxing family day we needed. When the kiddos went down for their naps I snuck out for a run. I decided I wanted to run to a park I don't go to very often to check out a scenic overlook and bask in the autumnal awsomeness. It's 5.15 miles exactly from my driveway to the overlook and since I live in the river valley, it's a climb all the way. It was kinda hot--sunny and mid 70's--and my first mile reflected my baptism-induced exhaustion: 9:10. And it felt kind of hard. But then the next mile was 8:38 and didn't feel *too* bad. Just a little. And then I had three straight miles up relentless uphills. I tried not to dread the hills and just take them one mile at a time. I decided that I just wanted to keep each hilly mile under 9:00 pace, knowing the last mile with the steepest hill on trails would be the hardest.

It was work, but each hilly mile was in the 8:40's. That last mile was tough! But was worth it once I saw the view. I could see all the way to downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie and in between me and those points were miles and miles of beautiful leaves. I turned around and started back. I was shocked to see the Garmin showing sub-8 pace and I hadn't even hit a downhill yet. Hmm. I just continued on and Mile 6 was 7:54, even on trails. Maybe it was a fluke, since it did have a giant downhill in it (although I always slow down a bit on big downhills). I took a little shortcut out of the park and hit the road again. Mile 7 was mostly downhill and 7:51. Still could be a fluke from the downhills. Mile 8 is flat with one big scary downhill with blind spots and traffic so I figured this one would be slower. Nope. 7:50. The downhills were over and the last two miles roll all the way home, with the worst rollers in mile 9. Even so I managed 7:46. I was feeling good at mile 9 so I picked it up and was shocked to roll into mile 10 at 7:08 pace. I decided I better cool it and trot in the last .25 miles and the funny thing is that at that point trotting was 8:12 pace.

What a weird run. I was dying running 8:40's and then all of a sudden sub-8's just felt good. Whatever. I'm happy with it, especially since I still have 13 pounds to lose!

Last week's numbers plus this Monday

M: 8 miles alone including 3 x 1:00; 1:00; 2:00 fartlek. My first post-#2 workout. It was really hard to move fast, but I managed to average around 6:35 for the hard sections.

T: Crap weather forced me on the mill. 6 miles averaging 8:36 pace.

W: (2x BOB) Met friends at the park. Wanted to do 8 but it was cold and rainy so we cut our losses and quit at 6 before giving our kids hypothermia!

Th: (2x BOB) Took the kiddos to the park to enjoy the gorgeous Indian summer weather! Did 8 with no watch.

F: (2x BOB) Ran with the kids in the hood while the cleaning lady worked in the house. Did one mile out and back 4 times with a few slight variations. Peanut only complained the last time we passed the house. What a trooper! Took the Garmin and was pleased to see I averaged 8:54 for 8 miles with the 2x BOB.

Sa: Off to frantically prepare for the baptism!

Su: 7 miles alone in the wee hours of the morning. Averaged 8:28 pace.

M: 10.25 hilly miles alone averaging 8:15 pace.

Total: 43 last week (not counting this Monday)

Weight: Lost 2 more lbs!


Mnowac said...

I do the same thing on my dark runs, I am convinced a monster is going to get me, at least I have my dog with me.

five fingers said...

Agree with your thoughts....Keep running!