Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter Running and Finishing Strong

It was cold this morning!

Not the first frozen morning of the year, but 22 degrees is right chilly.  Makes you realize men have nipples, too.

That first step outside was coooollllldddd,

Since it was Saturday I slept in a bit and didn't head out until 7:00 am.  Other than the temperature it was a gorgeous morning.  Very sunny, not much of a breeze and a bright blue sky.  With the right gear it wasn't bad at all really.  I had my hat and gloves, a couple of long sleeve shirts and my Nike track team running tights.  Those things are incredible.  I don't care how cold it gets I'm comfortable in them.  If it gets down below 15 degrees I'll wear two pairs of tights, but if it's any warmer I'd burn up.  I also wore my running jacket, but even with the underarm zippers undone it got kind of hot towards the end of the run.

Saturdays are my long runs and last week's was done as a Progression Run with a Fast Finish, so it was a hard workout.  This is supposed to be an easier week, so today was to be 10 miles at a relaxed pace.  The purpose of these runs is to keep the aerobic capacity up, maintain good endurance, but also let the muscles have a little break from the hard stuff so they can heal and get stronger from the work in prior weeks.  Most coaches advise having one "easy" week out of every four.  I put that in quotes, because your mileage will still be fairly close to normal and there might even be a hard workout in there, too.  But not as hard a week as others.  Think of it as the flat part of a stair step.  The hard work is moving you up and you use the flat part to position yourself to move up again.

That being the case I brought my phone for tunes and to take pictures.  I didn't look at my watch a whole lot and decided to do a video for the blog!  Once again I found out that I have no discipline when it comes to pace.  I kind of just run until I realize I'm getting too tired and then either back off or more often than not, push a little harder.

Yeah, I'm a dufus.

I realized after cutting off the camera that I was also running up one of the long hills while I was recording.  It's one of the few times I'm on a sidewalk and in this case next to a pretty busy road.  Because it was late I only saw one other runner and we high fived as we crossed paths.  That's so cool.  I've never seen this guy before that I know of but we both pointed at each other than high fived like we'd done it dozens of times.  It's a club.  A very cool club.

I exercised a little bit of discipline after this and brought the pace down somewhat, but not by a whole lot.  I just felt fine so I kept trotting along.  I still pushed the last mile a little because that's just a good habit to have in training.  And today's tip!

So there you have it!  Finish strong each and every time to train that kick into your races.

One last thing.  I can tell my shoes are getting "old" which means they have over 400 miles on them and the cushioning isn't quite there.   My calves were getting tight and actually hurt a little bit towards the end of the run.  Looking at the soles there's some good wear there, too.  So it's time for another pair!  Now where should I go to look for a good deal on shoes?   I wonder....

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