Monday, January 21, 2013
I've become a cold weather wuss, and today the forecast faked me out.
It's MLK Day, a holiday for my employer. It's also opening day for the VITA program I volunteer in, and I signed up for the afternoon shift. So I needed to get most of my 10K steps in this morning. At 8 AM, it was 20° F with SW wind 4 mph. This is colder than I've run in so far this winter, and sounded like very cold walking weather. The forecast called for snow this afternoon, and even colder weather tomorrow with a high of 15°F. I figured that this morning was the best running weather I was going to get for the next two days.
The sore hip wasn't 100%, but it was better than it has been for a few days. It might not have been the wisest course, but I decided to test it with a 5 K run. After thinking about how to dress for running, it turned out that what I picked was right. Did my warmup, then came back in to apply the forgotten lip balm and empty my bladder one last time before running. The actual running was comfortable. I didn't have to pull my gaiter up over my face at all.
I didn't set out to run deliberately slowly, but I did try not to run as fast as I could. I had in mind my standard flat 5K course, but my legs turned a different direction and took me over the big hill the easy direction. The first two miles, including the big hill, worked out at a consistent pace of about 7:30 per mile. About 18 minutes in, the sore hip began announcing its presence like it did late in some vigorous walks. So I hauled out the iPhone, watched the time, and slowed to a walk at 20 minutes. The final numbers turned out to be 2.70 miles in 20:03, for an average pace of 7:26 per mile. I had a little less than a mile to walk to get home, which wasn't bad with minimal wind. It would have been awful with yesterday's 30 mph wind.
As with past short runs, it didn't feel like I'd done much. This feeling was reinforced by the fact (related to the temperature) that there was no detectable moisture on my hat or gloves when I finished. It didn't feel like I needed to stretch, but I know better. I stretched anyway, including some gentle windmills for the hip.
The hip complained a bit on the walk home, and complained some more as I ran errands and puttered around the house getting lunch. Then I went off to my volunteer job, scheduled from 2 to 5. I gave them till 6:30. I had signed up to be a tax preparer, which is mostly a sitting job; but they needed me worse as a quality reviewer, which kept me mostly on my feet. I didn't get as many steps out of that as I will in shifts later in the season, but by the time I left the hip was quiet. I guess standing and gentle movement was good for it. Either that, or the coffee.
I ended the day going for a short walk at 8:30 to get my 10K steps in. Oddly enough, the hip was silent but my bad foot complained about the cold. I'm not worried. I've been living with that bad foot for months, and I know this was not a serious complaint.
Tomorrow I'll find out if running today was a Really Bad Idea or if it was a reasonable first time running after taking six days off. That, and I'll find out how well I can plan to walk in 15°weather.
Oh, and this afternoon's snow? It looked like it was going to accumulate on my windshield at 2PM, but by 6:30 it was all gone. The roads are clear, and as far as the footing goes I could have run this evening. Maybe I'll get lucky and tomorrow's forecast snow won't amount to much, either.