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Slow Snowy Saturday Run

Saturday, January 21, 2012

17 F (-8 C) isn't that cold when there's negligible wind.

Got up early, went through the morning routine, and hit the road at 6:50 AM. There had been an inch of snow overnight, so I wore my screw shoes. Because of the footing, I started with no warmup, and reminded myself to run slow at first for the warmup.

I ended up running slow the entire run, because of the footing. That was okay, but it was a bit of a balancing act between running fast enough to stay warm and running slow enough to be safe. When possible, I ran in the traffic lane; but I saw more traffic than I hoped for that early on a Saturday.

At one point, I found a pair of snowplows coming my way in tandem. I ducked into a convenient driveway and ran to the garage and back to pass time until the plows were past. It worked, and after that I had a good shoulder to run on.

My troublesome left thigh wasn't bothersome after the first half mile, but if I thought about it I could feel it. I didn't like putting my heel down on my left foot, though that was necessary when running downhill on a slick shoulder. Between the thigh and the time, I opted for a route just a bit longer than the shortest possibility for where I started out.

It mapped out to 5.37 miles in 48:19, for a 9:00 pace per mile. That's slow, but understandable in the conditions. I think I left enough in the tank to have a short run tomorrow as well; the long run will not return this weekend. Maybe next weekend, if the weather and the thigh cooperate.

After my walking cooldown, I still wasn't cold. So I took some time to shovel the snow off my driveway. By 8 I had the part of the driveway I use shoveled and I was beginning to feel the cold. But my thigh didn't bother me at all while shoveling. This is an improvement from shoveling yesterday, probably because the run got the blood flowing and warmed up the thigh pretty well.

Lesson learned: When there's snow on the ground, shoveling it is a decent cooldown from running that also accomplishes something useful.

I lost four screws from my left shoe and one from my right. However, three of the four that I replaced last time stayed in. I had put the replacements in without washers, reasoning that I was only risking 4 screws and if they didn't poke my feet the replacements cost half as much. They didn't poke my feet, so I will omit the washers from here on out. I expect to be replacing screws every time I have a snowy run, but perhaps I'll replace fewer if they are seated deeper without the washers. Starting fresh on another pair of shoes is still waiting for me to buy a replacement pair of shoes for the pair that is next in line to become screw shoes.

Shoveling the rest of the driveway had to wait until after my 9 AM breakfast at McDonald's with my daughter, but that's okay. I got that done around 11. The day is going well now, and I feel a lot better for having that morning run. Even if the run was pretty slow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 1/22/2012 9:45AM

    Way to be flexible and keep going

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MOBYCARP 1/21/2012 2:58PM

    It was only an inch of lightweight snow, so it was more like light cardio than strength training; that's what made it a good cooldown.

If it had been heavy enough to be strength training, I would have fired up the snowblower before going for the run.

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KRISZTA11 1/21/2012 12:39PM

    So you got to do both cardio and upper body strength training in outdoors, early morning!
What a great way to start the day : )
I'm glad your thigh is getting better.

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Friday attitude transition

Friday, January 20, 2012

Work is crazy. There's a pile of stuff to do the first half of this year, with not a lot of people to do it and not nearly enough definition on exactly what has to be done.

In spite of the craziness, today I managed to get to the gym at lunch. Did 20 minutes on the elliptical, then some partial pullups and renegade rows. The elliptical is boring. Not as boring as an exercycle, but more boring than the treadmill. But I persevered, because it's low impact and Monday's session seemed to help my thigh. That, and it was cold enough to make an outdoor walk unappealing. A run would have been nice, but today needed to be a non-running day.

Today's elliptical session seemed to help my thigh, too. I'm beginning to believe that the thigh will get better to the point of being totally normal, possibly before the end of January.

Sometime between the noon gym session and this evening, my attitude improved. Instead of trying to make myself become active, I'm now looking forward to a run tomorrow morning. I mapped out a collapsible route, with possible lengths between 4.6 and 9 miles, because I'm not sure how much my thigh will take; but it's time to get out there and find out. Tomorrow's blog will indicate how well this idea worked out.

For now, I need to get to bed. Morning is going to come early, particularly if I want to get a run in before I meet daughter at McD's at 9. Time enough to worry about work tomorrow afternoon while I'm doing laundry.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YCOOLIO 1/21/2012 8:35AM

    I use the elliptical only with headphones and a good book on CD because it is very boring, but I burn crazy calories on it, so it is a good cardio workout when running outdoors is not appealing. They also have spinning cycles at my gym that you can program a spinning class into which I find a lot less boring. Ultimately, nothing is better than being outside. I find cold windy weather the ultimate challenge though. It's good that you are listening to your body and trying not to push your injury....I hope you heal quickly!

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KRISZTA11 1/21/2012 8:28AM

    The elliptical seems to work great for you!
Take care and take it easy during tomorrow morning's run, especially on the hills!

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Got the Run In

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recap of the tough week: Sunday I had to take walking intervals during my run. Monday was a planned non-running day, and I binged on free pizza at tax training in the evening. Tuesday work kept me from running at lunch and bell choir practice sucked up the rest of the good weather. Wednesday was horrible cold and wind, and work kept me from even getting to the gym at lunch; but at least I stayed in control of myself in the face of free pizza at tax training Wednesday evening.

Then came today. Morning was cold, besides being way early after being up later than usual last night. During day it got warmer, but also windier. I got a bad jump on the lunch hour, but not bad enough to cancel the run. It just got a little shorter.

It had warmed up to 27 F (-3 C), but there was a strong cold wind from the south. (I like cold winds from the south. They don't bring snow with them.) Got to the gym, and realized I didn't have my warmer compression shirt. I'd originally packed the gym bag for a 46 F forecast on Tuesday. I'd added more stuff for contingencies Wednesday, but missed the warmer base layer.

Oh, well. Make the best of it. I had the light compression shirt. I had my heaviest running tee to put over it, then the midlayer on top. Went with wind pants over the running tights, my heavier gloves, and my lighter running hat. Forgot to pack my lip balm, but I had petroleum jelly in my gym bag; so put a dab of that on my lips.

For the first 5 minutes, I missed the warmer base layer. My arms were a bit cold, but my torso was warm enough. I can deal with that. Turned south along the west side of the river, and it was the strongest consistent wind I've run against so far.

It was also cold. If I had to do it again, I'd wear my warmer running hat. The good news is, the petroleum jelly worked well to protect my lips. The better news is that I didn't need to pull my face cover over my mouth and nose.

Because I had that bad jump, I took the most direct route back to the gym. Presumably because of the wind, my overall pace was a bit slow. It mapped out to 2.97 miles in 22:19, for a 7:31 pace. Not an earth shattering performance, but a lot better than I got in yesterday.

As forecast, the snow started coming down just before I left work. The synoptic snow isn't supposed to be a big deal, but we should get lake effect snow on the back end of this storm. It will be a cold and uninviting day to run tomorrow; but I can make tomorrow a non-running day. If the schedule works out, maybe I can get in to the gym to lift weights and do a bit on the elliptical.

Right now it's really hard to keep my motivation up for staying active. Blogging about it helps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 1/20/2012 9:21AM

    Writing about it is a not-so-subtle way to help get me out the door some days. Way to keep going!

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KRISZTA11 1/20/2012 3:49AM

    Congrats to the run! Spark on!

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/19/2012 8:58PM

    Aha! The power of the written word! Your Dad would be proud!


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Wednesday was better

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

By a little bit, anyway.

A conference call ran into the lunch hour, so I missed running and even a gym visit. I did get a half hour of walking in, so the 10K steps weren't an issue.

I held myself to the planned 3 pieces of free pizza. At the crucial moment of temptation, I broke out the bag of almonds I had brought with me. It was enough.

I'm missing my bedtime goal today, so I'll take an extra couple minutes and post this blog. Now I *have* to get a run in tomorrow. If it doesn't fit in at lunch, at least I have the evening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 1/19/2012 11:58AM

    Way go facing down that pizza! Yay! for almonds : )

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KRISZTA11 1/19/2012 11:54AM

    Well done!
The mental image of you breaking out the bag of almonds made my day : )

Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 12:51:38 PM

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BOBCATGIRL76 1/19/2012 10:21AM

    Pizza is a huge weakness of mine! Congrats on your will power. I haven't allowed myself to be faced with that challenge because I'm too afraid I'd eat the whole pizza like I used to.

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RG_DFW 1/19/2012 9:46AM

    Way to show restraint in the face of beckoning pizza pie! It used to be one of my weaknesses but I don't believe I've had any for at least three months or so.

Good luck with the run today.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/19/2012 7:26AM

    emoticon Good for you on the food success. And good luck with the schedule for a run Thursday!

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Tough Day

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yesterday I overate. I was not only over my current calorie limit, I was over my calorie limit from when I was running 5 days a week. Yes, I succumbed to the evil free pizza in the evening.

The plan today was to eat to the low end of the calorie range. I ended up kind of in the middle. Exercise was slight, just a 20 minute walk. Work featured a 6 hour meeting. I didn't have to be there for all six hours, but it was politic to put in an appearance for the lunch. The lunch wasn't bad, though it would have been better if I'd left the Doritos alone; but being there meant not enough of a break at lunch for a gym visit or even a proper walk.

Then this evening I had bell choir, so I spent the reasonably good running weather inside. A few minutes ago I paced up and down my hall to get my pedometer to turn over 10K steps for the day; this is as late in the day as I've got the 10K steps in months.

This is kind of fascinating, in a morbid detached observer sort of way. I see how I gained weight in the past: Work or something about my life shifted, and I ate more while simultaneously exercising less. Is this time different? It's too early to tell. The major difference so far is that I'm recognizing it in real time from the behavior, instead of realizing later that I'm 5 or 10 pounds heavier.

Tomorrow will be another evening of free pizza. I'll have to think about how to play mind games so as not to overdo it. The good news is, tomorrow will be the last evening of free pizza this tax season. If I'm lucky, I'll get to the gym tomorrow at lunch; if I'm extremely lucky, we won't have so much snow between now and then that I can't run on my lunch tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIER_K 1/18/2012 7:45AM

    That's great that you can realize this early and make changes now! What if you bring a huge thermos of water tomorrow night and keep on chugging that after you eat your pre-planned number of slices? That might work.

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KRISZTA11 1/18/2012 7:34AM

    Your attitude and attention makes the difference this time!

In theory our body should recognize how much we exercise and decrease hunger and desire to eat.
But in practice it doesn't work...
I tend to eat well when I exercise regularly, and tend to overeat when I don't exercise and I have all the day : (
Maybe body needs pleasure, and if it does not get it from exercise, it tries to supplement with food?
Or it is just inertia of old bad habits creeping back?
I don't know but it is really annoying.

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FROGGGY13 1/18/2012 12:44AM

    I made the same realization as you. The truth is, our modern lifestyle simply is not conducive to activity and leanness. Eating the way I do now, I avoid our work dining hall except when I have an appointment with someone, so miss out on some of the social interactions. Overtime frequently eats into my exercise time, so I feel rushed in the evening. I have been making good eating and activity a priority, but I can absolutely see how life, and work especially, will continue to try to encroach on those.
I hope you feel better today! One way does not make a difference, as long as you don't make it a trend.

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MSLZZY 1/17/2012 9:34PM

    I think the key word that would trigger
my appetite is,"free". Hate to say this, but
there is nothing free about it if it is such a
temptation. What also hurts is the lack
of enough activity. Do the best you can.

Comment edited on: 1/17/2012 9:35:22 PM

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/17/2012 9:28PM

    Maybe it's the "feed a cold" talking, but pizza sounds awfully good to me right now. Germaine to NOTHING in your blog entry.

However, I have observed the same behavior in myself... less active, if I'm not being really conscious about it, I will tend to eat more.

Thus the tracking. For the rest of my life. Even when I overdo.

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