Thursday, February 16, 2012
I am happy to report that as of this morning, my NW wind has returned. And it also didn't rain, despite the clouds and wet roads. I happily ran into a headwind for the first half of my run and then enjoyed a tailwind for the rest of my run (except for the 1/8 of a mile before my finishing stretch).
It's interesting how much difference the wind direction makes on how cold I am. Yesterday, I was cold while running into the wind, then got hot while running with the wind and took my hands out of my sleeves (still in the gloves, tho) and was considering unzipping my jacket and taking off my hat or even taking off my gloves. Then I turned back into the wind and was glad I left my jacket zipped and my hat and gloves on.
The return of my favorable breeze didn't solve all my issues, however. It was still cold, still early, and I was still tired and unmotivated. I postulated in yesterday's blog that the wind change may have made me run slower, however, I ended up running even slower, today.
Part of running slower was because i just felt tired and sluggish and unmotivated and just didn't want to exert a lot of effort, while another part was that over halfway thru the run, I felt a funny ill feeling that welled up like a knot in my chest. This made me stop and walk for a minute. I NEVER stop to walk. Even when I've been sick or sapped of energy, I've pushed myself to run the entire way. But this felt different. It felt like it could make me lightheaded if I didn't stop to walk, and I didn't feel like possibly passing out.
I walked for a minute, then decided I felt a little better and really wanted to run the rest of the way, anyway. So, I began running again. Then I broke a little wind (for real, this time), and after that I felt fine. Always lovely running with intestinal distress. I'm glad it had a simple solution to make it pass...
I'm hoping I have more motivation this weekend for my 13 mile run. Maybe a little snow will make me feel more like running... A little extra sleep couldn't hurt, either.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Ha! Made you look. It's not what you think it means.
This morning I ran my 5 miles that I missed yesterday instead of the 3 miles I usually have scheduled for Wednesdays. What was interesting was something I also noticed on my 3 mile run on Sunday morning. The wind was blowing a different direction.
This may not seem significant, but in my experiences over the past 2 years of running it is.
When it is windy, almost invariably, the wind is blowing from the NW or WNW direction. This makes sense because there is another valley in that direction that the wind funnels down before reaching our valley. This means when I leave the house and run up and over (N and W), I usually run into the wind. Then when I run down and back (S and E), I am running with a tailwind.
And this usually holds true with just about all storms because they usually come from the west, moving west to east.
But apparently, not this storm.
On Sunday I noticed that when I ran N or S I had a crosswind from the east and that I seemed to be getting a tailwind running W instead of E.
Today, it was the same. Instead of getting the tailwind on the way home, I had it on the way out and had to run into a headwind on the way home with a crosswind both N and S.
And I think the wind change makes me run slower. Because usually I can power into the NW wind on the way out and then rest and then speed up with the tailwind on the way home. Instead, with the east wind, I was still warming up when I had the tailwind, and then when I was halfway into my run I hit the headwind and had to fight it and the crosswind on my way home.
So, nothing earth-shattering to report. Just an odd change in wind direction and a slower run. That deserves its own blog post?! Sure, why the heck not. Wheee!!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
So, I woke up this morning to find my alarm had been going off for 5 minutes. I have it set to a radio station, but for whatever reason, it was playing static; and that static was blending in with the white noise from the baby monitor on the other side of the room.
I checked the thermometer - 40 degrees. And that means that it was probably at least a couple degrees colder, especially if it was breeze - which I figured it was since a storm was blowing thru last night.
I was prepared for this, tho. I had my long sleeves, long pants, and jacket all ready to go. I put them on and headed downstairs. But, a funny thing happened on the way down the stairs.
I heard a funny noise, so I looked out the window.
It was raining. And not just our usual sprinkle. It was a nice rain.
It doesn't rain here very often. Average per year is 4.5 inches with less than a half inch per month. So, I don't have much - if any - running gear meant for running in the rain.
I contemplated using my oversize windbreaker, but it doesn't have a hood. I'd have to wear my knit cap, but it would get soaked pretty quickly. Also, the roads in the desert get flooded if there's even just a tenth of an inch of rain.
I thought for a minute. If I miss my run in the morning I can always run at night, but tonight is Valentine's Day, so that's right out. Even if I could run tonight, I have to run 3 miles first thing tomorrow morning, and I don't want to make my runs that close together.
So, do I skip my run? I haven't missed a single day of training since December for any reason. I even ran in 30 mph winds last week. I used to run in the rain all the time. I really didn't want to miss a day of training at all.
But, I used to run in the rain 20 years ago in H.S. when I lived in So Cal. It was always at least 50 degrees when it rained. And it didn't flood.
And my knees could use an extra day of rest. I've been icing them and they've started to feel better and one day of rest would do them good and wouldn't hurt my training at all.
Plus, I really don't want to get sick from running in the freezing rain at 38 degrees. Then I would miss a lot of days and I'm only a month from my race. This is no time to get sick.
Funny thing. If it had been snowing I would have been outside without a second thought. But, the rain....
And it rarely rains, here, so what are the chances of me missing any other runs because of rain?
So many excuses and reasons. Which ones were reasons and which were excuses?
In the end, I quickly undressed and slipped back into bed. My wife snuggled up to me, and we blissfully fell back asleep... until 5:55am when our daughter woke us up. But that's another story...
But, I feel comfortable with my decision. I am still bummed that I didn't get my run in for the day, tho. My day feels off. It's throwing off my eating and I feel lazy and gross from not running. However, I still know it was probably the best decision. I don't really have the right gear for running in the rain, unless I don't mind getting soaked to the bone. And getting soaked to the bone while running 5 miles in 38 degree weather is a recipe for making myself sick.
So, I'll turn tomorrow's 3 mile run into 5 miles. Then i'll have only missed 3 miles instead of 5.
I checked the weather forecast for the week and it's supposed to rain Thursday morning, too. Well, here's hoping it's a warmer rain. But if not, I can always run on Thursday night since I have nothing else planned. And maybe our local benevolent babysitter could let my wife and I make it a couple's night at the gym...
Or I can just run in the rain. *cue wizard of oz quotes*
Funny, I just read Nancy's blog, today, "Confession: I Still Struggle with the First 10 Minutes." That is so true. I haven't missed a single training run this year (until this morning), but more often than not I have woken up and NOT wanted to run, but did it anyway. I mean, who really wants to wake up early to run when the alternative is to sleep for two more hours in a nice cozy warm bed with their loving spouse? Not I. But, I can't train for my races by sleeping. So, instead, I get up and run - even if I don't want to. Because even if I don't want to, I want to.
Monday, February 13, 2012
As much as I don't like running, I love to run. Such a paradox am I.
So, I've been getting these feelings, again. The feeling that I'm tired of waking up so early in the morning to run. And when i'm out running and constantly ask myself, "Why am I doing this?"
And then I get those other feelings. I go out to run 3 miles and it seems too short. It makes me want to race. When I go out for a long run of anywhere over 5 miles, I don't feel like racing. I feel like just running a good pace and enjoying the run. But, when I have my 3 mile days, my body refuses to take it easy. It feels unnatural. Like I'm being lazy.
So, after running my first half marathon in 2010, I decided I would go back to running 5 and 10k's. That didn't last long. I just didn't feel like doing that much speed work. I felt like running anything under 5 miles was being lazy. So, I ended up running two more half marathons in 2011 and a Ragnar Relay. Then I signed up for 3 more half marathons for in 2012 with the hopes of possibly running a 4th.
But, all this training is taking a mental toll on me. I'm getting tired of waking up early to get all my runs in. The novelty of all these races is beginning to wear thin.
The other evening, as I was looking for my college transcripts to use in my job searches, I found a booklet with all my cross-country race times from my senior year in high school. I suddenly regained that longing feeling to go back to training for 5k's and building up my speed. I don't have to run as fast as I did, then. I just want to run somewhere around 20-21 minutes so I can finish as one of the top runners in a 5k road race.
Okay, I have to admit it, I really want to WIN a 5k road race. And being able to run a 20-21 minute 5k would put me towards the front of a few 5k's that I've been in. Close enough that I could probably push myself to possibly challenge for the lead. Yeah, I know, that means that not all of our local races are that competitive. I've run a few 21 minute 5k's in So Cal and been nowhere near the front. But, still. I had a flashback of that feeling from winning my final race in high school - the only race I've ever won - and I want to feel it again.
Am I setting myself up for possible failure? Absolutely. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Yet, I'm sure that about a month after I've finished these HM's, I'll want to run another one. I'll start training for 5k's and decide I don't want to do that much speed work and miss those long 12, 13, or 14 mile runs.
And I haven't yet reached the one half marathon goal that I've really set for myself. Breaking 2 hours. But maybe some 5k training would help my HM time? And 5k's are much cheaper than half marathons...
Thursday, February 09, 2012
So, this morning I was entering in my morning run into the fitness tracker when I noticed that after I had finished that I was 400 calories over my estimated weekly total. On top of that, I realized that beginning this week I was going to be running 5 days a week, so I still had another 8 mile run to go on Saturday.
Looks like I will definitely need to update my fitness goals and start eating more. I'm sure that will annoy my wife since she's still in weight-loss mode and stuck eating 1,200 calories while I'm already eating more than twice that amount and will need to increase it even more. I sympathize with her, but at least it's for a good cause.
On another unrelated note... I was looking for my college transcripts, yesterday, and came across the 1993 cross-country season booklet from my senior year of H.S. I found two interesting things when I looked through it. 1) I didn't realize I finished second by only 3 seconds in our first league meet. 2) I didn't run as fast as I thought I did. My mind had warped the times I ran in CIF prelims and finals and made me think I ran a full minute faster than I really had. That was kind of sad.
But, that was almost 19 years ago. I'm a completely different person, now. I run a LOT slower, now, but, I'm happy with that. Would I like to run that fast again? Heck, yeah. Will I ever actually run that fast again? Probably not. I can barely run one 7 minute mile, much less run three 6 minute miles in a row.
What was nice was to look back and see my name under "outstanding efforts" for a few of our meets. I mostly remember feeling (and being) slow and slacking off and skipping workouts for my first two or three seasons. My senior year was a revelation where I tried hard and pushed myself and saw the results that hard work can provide. I always wished I had one more year, or that I had learned my lesson sooner.
And maybe that's what's driving me, now. The desire to prove to myself and others that I'm not the slacker from those first three years and that I can and will dedicate myself and achieve good things. Winning the JV boys league finals is still one of the high points of my life. I still get chills thinking about it. What an awesome moment.
I want more of those moments.
I can do it.
I WILL do it.
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