Sunday, December 08, 2013
There was no snow today. That's always nice in December. I'd prefer that the snow wait until the Christmas traffic is off the roads.
Today was also the second Sunday of my conversion to running four days a week. I got dry roads, shoulders, and sidewalks to run on. When I hit the roads this afternoon, it was 31° F with east wind 6-9 mph and hazy sunshine fading behind light clouds. This is kind of blah walking weather, but it's good running weather.
I wanted to run about the same amount I ran last week, so I ran a minor variation of the same route. I set out to run at the fast end of McMillan's easy run pace, which is 7:33 to 8:33 per mile according to my last 10K result.
Toward the end, it looked like I wouldn't have quite the distance I wanted, so I took an extra jog down my street away from home before turning around. As things happened, that jog was a bit longer than planned because I waited for some cars to pass before turning around. So instead of running just a bit under 5 miles, I ran just a bit over 5 miles. RunKeeper reports the effort as 5.06 miles in 38:18, for an average pace of 7:34 per mile. Yup, fast end of the easy pace range. Mile splits were 7:36, 7:38, 7:39, 7:29, 7:29, and not meaningful for the short distance in excess of 5 miles.
With less wind than yesterday, my gloves were okay without the windproof mitts. But I will need to buy warmer mittens for when it gets colder. Either that, or only do tempo runs in the cold weather. I've been there, and got injured two winters in a row. I think I'll buy warmer mittens.
I'm also seeing some small variations in how I need to dress for the temperature, running deliberately slower. I have the clothes for this, other than the mittens; but I need to learn to deal with another variable (run speed) when selecting winter running clothing. This can be done, and will keep things interesting till I get it down.
I recall that the guys who finished first, second, and third in the 10K on Thanksgiving wore short sleeves and had bare legs, with the temperature possibly below 20° F at the start and probably in the low 20s when I finished. But they ran faster than I can, and presumably generated more heat. I wouldn't have been comfortable with bare legs or short sleeves in that race; but I was comfortable in the same gloves that were a bit chilly at a warmer temperature today, when I was running slower.
Today's run puts the Monday to Sunday week's mileage at 20.51, compared to 20.02 a week ago. I'd wanted to hold close to steady. Given that the prior week included a race, I think this is close enough. Now I need to hold it fairly steady for another week, unless the level of grumbling by my feet decreases (indicating I can run further) or increases (indicating I need to back off).
The wild card is the weather. The last two winters, I was fine until there was snow on the ground, and then I developed issues. At some point this winter, I'll need to deal with snow. History indicates I should deal with it cautiously. A good start is running slower, which I've already been working on. Just have to see what other lessons the snow teaches me, when it arrives.
But for now, I'm enjoying weather that requires neither mowing the lawn nor shoveling snow.
Life is good.