Saturday, December 07, 2013
It's Saturday, and the weather is a bit different from what it was for my Thursday run. When I got out to hit the roads, it was 29° F with WNW winds 13 mph and snow showers. The temperature was expected. The wind was a little stronger than I had expected. The snow showers were not a big deal, and generated no accumulation. But they definitely put a winter feel into my run.
I had chosen to wear my lighter weight running tights, figuring this was a shade too warm for the heavier tights. For the first half mile, I wondered if that was a mistake. After that, my legs were fine. The only other surprise was that I needed to pull the windproof mitts over my gloves, which is rare at this warm a temperature. I guess I'm not yet acclimated to a normal amount of winter wind at a normal winter temperature. Or perhaps I'm still adjusting to running slower; I might have felt warmer running a 7 minute mile.
As things were, I tried to pace today's run like a long run. I started out feeling like I was barely moving, which I need to do if I'm going to have any hope of holding the pace slow later on. This was cold, and I started speeding up a bit during the first mile. After I hit the two little hills just past the second mile, my pace got irretrievably faster than an 8 minute mile; but I stayed within the McMillan recommendation of a long run pace for my 10K time, which gives me a range of 7:37 to 8:52 per mile.
It's hard to run slow in the cold weather. The natural inclination is to speed up to get warm. I may have to learn to dress differently when I want to do a slow run, and I think I need to buy another layer of running gloves if I'm going to run slow at colder temperatures than today with as much wind as today.
The route I follow starts north for about 0.3 miles, then west for about 1.4 miles. I like starting out in this direction because it puts me going into the prevailing westerly winds early in the run, so I don't have a surprise about how cold it is when I'm a long way from home. Once I turned south at about 1.7 miles and wasn't running into the major force of the wind, it wasn't cold any more. It also helped that the snow shower had stopped about then.
I felt so good running eastbound, with the wind at my back, that I decided to run the big hill the easy direction. I like having done the hill, but I miscalculated the distance in my head and ended up running a bit further than I had planned. The original idea was run 6 miles, or maybe 10K today, working on establishing a base for running four days a week. The final effort, per RunKeeper, was 6.87 miles in 55:15, for an average pace of 8:03 per mile. Mile splits were 8:38, 8:23, 7:55, 7:57, 7:49, 7:39, and a 7:58 pace for the last 0.87 mile. That puts my mileage from Sunday through Saturday at 20.31, which is reasonable. The bogey to maintain this distance for the Monday through Sunday week, which is probably how I should look at it, would be to duplicate last Sunday's 4.86 miles tomorrow.
So far, so good with the plan of running four days a week. The feet aren't telling me not to run, but they are kind of muttering that now is not a good time to be ramping up the mileage. That's fine, the original plan was not to push for more mileage this week or next, anyway.
I'm feeling so good about being able to run that yesterday I signed up for a 5K Reindeer Run on December 21. This one shouldn't produce a PR, as I expect it to be crowded for most of the course length. But it should be a fun event. The first 1750 regstrants get reindeer antlers; if I was early enough, I'll wear them for the race.