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Cold Sunday Run

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday morning I had beautiful running weather. It was 28° F, sunny, with light wind. Saturday was also a scheduled non-running day, so the long slow run could be on Sunday when I would have more time for a leisurely post-run routine.

Saturday night the lake effect snow started up. I got a couple of inches of light fluffy snow in my driveway overnight, which I shoveled before church. And Sunday was colder than Saturday. By the time I got home from church, it was up (yes, "up") to 16°F. This was the high for the day. When I set out for my long slow run, it was 14° F, which dropped to 13° F by the time I finished. While that is not a personal record for the coldest weather I've run in, it's close. (The coldest was 11° F.) And the weather was reporting WNW winds at 20 mph, which is strong enough to affect how I dress for a run.

Lower body clothing wasn't much of a concern. Compression shorts under my warmer running tights is good enough. My legs aren't all that sensitive to cold weather; I'd walk in jeans in this weather. The upper body is another story. I went with 4 layers: Light weight long sleeved compression shirt, heavier long sleeved compression shirt, quarter zip "mid-layer" jacket that is usually my outer layer for running in less cold weather, and a windproof shell. And of course I wore my face cover that I can pull up or down depending on which direction I'm running.

I worried about being overdressed at first, because I didn't feel cold on the warmup runs. But when I turned into that strong west wind, I was glad to have all those layers. The northerly component of the wind made my right ear cold. I could have used the ear-warmer band my daughter got me for running, under my warmest running hat. I've only used that ear-warmer band while walking. I had pegged it as too warm for running. It was, until today. But when I turned south, the cold ear problem was solved.

When I was running back to the east, I was fairly warm. I contemplated whether I was overdressed; but I was glad to have the layers when I turned north again.

Cold plus a wind is a challenge for dressing to run. On the whole, I did okay. If I had to do it over in the same conditions, the only thing I'd change would be to add that ear-warmer layer.

While the temperature and wind were the major considerations, there was also the running surface. The shoulders were clear on the south and east sides of the roads, when I was running west and south. That light snow drifted to partially or totally cover the shoulders on the north and west sides of the roads, which was a nuisance when I was running west and north. But it was shallow most places, and I got through it. I tried to pay attention to running gently and not making sudden adjustments for where there was snow.

I was concerned enough about staying warm and running gently that I didn't worry excessively about my pace, though I tried to keep it fairly slow. It came out fairly consistent, with a slight slowdown in the last two miles that was more because I was tired than because I was deliberately trying to manage my pace:

There was some up and down hill work. For reference, there is a 110 foot difference between the low and high elevations on the elevation and pace chart:

The blue pace line is in minutes per mile, and lower is a faster pace. The noticeably faster pace on the downhill segments was deliberate, trying to make the average pace come out fairly even.

RunKeeper reported 9.15 miles in 1:11:14, for an average pace of 7:47 per mile. Manual mapping came out to a distance of 9.12 miles, for an average pace of 7:49 per mile. I'm delighted to have the iPhone GPS working accurately enough to deal with again. Looking at the map on RunKeeper, the inaccurate places are steep valleys, such as the bottom of a railroad cut. This may be from hills getting in the way of line of sight to GPS satellites. Whatever. I need to train hills, and the loss of accuracy is something like 0.3%. I can live with it.

The bad foot complained a bit at being barefoot to get a shower, and I got a twinge in my right hamstring that is more a weakness than a pain or ache. The hamstring has that familiar feeling of "training" that I remember from calves while doing my initial 5K training. It will get better. It will probably feel beat up tomorrow, which is okay because tomorrow will be a mostly rest day. I might have to make Tuesday's run short; I'll see how well the hamstring recovers by then.

Oh, one other thing. This run, whether I call it 9.12 or 9.15 miles, represents a personal record for longest run. It's also right about where my limit is now. The tentative plan, assuming recovery goes well, would be to run a similar distance next week to consolidate my ability to handle 9 miles. I don't think it's time to worry about increasing that distance just yet, but I'm optimistic on the chances of being prepared for a half marathon on April 28.

Maybe 9 miles will be easier if I get something like 30° F, sunshine, and 6 mph wind.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    That sounds like a really cold run and you handled it really well! Congrats! And congrats on the longest run...very cool. Sounds like you are making terrific progress. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon
    1828 days ago
    Great job on the distance record, Moby! With a couple of months to go until your half, you should be in great shape :-) There is kind of a science to the whole running wardrobe thing, isn't there? I just can't help but shake my head in February, when it's 4 layers thick, and I know in 4 more months, I'll be out there in a running skirt and tank top. The dichotomy is part of the fun of outdoor running emoticon Have a great week!
    1829 days ago
    Glad you made it to 9 miles.
    I just can't imagine running in weather that cold and windy.
    If it's below 32 here very few people are out running.
    If everything holds together for you completing a half marathon should be no problem at all.
    1830 days ago
    Good for you! Twenty-eight degrees is freakin' cold in my book...treadmill or elliptical time.
    1830 days ago
  • NWFL59
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Glad you achieve a new personal best in distance. I'm surprised your lungs aren't more effected by the cold dry air as you can dress your skin but not so much for your lungs and nasal/throat lining. Hope the post run muscle chatter calms down and all is well tomorrow. emoticon
    1830 days ago
  • DALID414
    Congrats on the prrsonal record.
    1830 days ago
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