Oh pavement, how I’ve missed you

Nice to run again on terra firma

Today’s run (street): 4.85 miles

Motivation was low this morning, even though weather conditions had greatly improved since yesterday. With temperatures in the low 40’s and not a cloud in the sky, I should have been excited about the prospect of running outside for the first time in eleven days. My wife was on the treadmill and I thought for a moment how easy it would be to just throw on some shorts and hop on after she’d finished. But I was not going to let myself succumb to Treadmill Stockholm Syndrome, prompted by six straight runs on the machine.

According to weather reports, the relatively mild temperatures we saw this morning were countered by 20-25 MPH winds. That brought the wind chill into the low 30’s. In deference to that, I wore a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeve layer on top and a pair of lightweight track pants. I also wore an over-the-ears hat that provided good protection when the wind hit at certain angles.

I mapped my route in my head, thinking it would get me to at least 4.5 miles, which was my target. Some people have told me they have trouble transitioning from treadmill to road after numerous indoor workouts. I didn’t have any such problems today. In fact, my stride felt far better on the road than it had on the treadmill.

Early on, I saw a guy running towards me on the same side of the street and I was tempted to give him the, “it’s safer to run against traffic” suggestion. I’d seen him running in the neighborhood for years, and figured that he’s probably set in his ways. The last time I suggested the safer choice to a runner, she yelled back that she’s been running that way for many years, that the neighborhood is very safe for runners and basically I should mind my own business. So for the most part, that’s what I do now.

I didn’t burn up the road in terms of speed but I did throw in some surges. TPP had suggested a technique for opening up my stride by launching off my trailing foot while keeping my legs under me. It seemed to translate into a faster pace. I focused on running that way over the last mile and saw a 40 second per mile improvement.

I could have easily gone the additional .15 and made it a full 5 miles but I decided to end the run when I reached my street. I felt good and my heart rate averaged 83% of max overall, finishing up at around 87%. That was almost exactly what I’d been averaging on my prior runs on the treadmill. I have a work-intensive day planned for tomorrow so I doubt I’ll run. Mondays are usually my rest days, so no guilt. It was nice to be back on the road today. I definitely missed it. I will start adding a little more speed this week as I prepare for the GLIRC 2×3 trail relay in Bethpage on February 15th.

8 thoughts on “Oh pavement, how I’ve missed you

  1. i always feel like the road is easier somehow…unless there is a tough headwind ;)re the 'runners vs traffic' rule…i had a 'run in' a year or so ago with a lady in csh (who stopped her car on a blind curve with her toddler in the back seat, no less) who chastised me for not running on the sidewalk. i was running against traffic at the time. i politely told her that was the safest for runners, but she went on a tirade about how she'd been running that road for 30 years and the sidewalk is safest (the sidewalk is really ancient, root-ridden, bumpy poured asphalt- why i don't run on it). i shrugged and sighed (i've been running for 30+ years myself). but it made me think about when i do violate general road rules- eg, when i run in laurel hollow, i often run with traffic on blind curves when there's no shoulder on the \”opposing traffic\” side and i feel that the 'with traffic' drivers have a better chance of seeing me. i think the rules are meant to be general, and up to each person to decide what they perceive as most hazardous. maybe that was the case with your neighborhood runner (perhaps she had a close call once going the other way?) i don't know.re the bethpage event, i do hope to get to do it as well…it's been many years since i've done a relay 🙂


  2. Hi Carla. The side of the road debate doesn't have a clear answer but you make good points. I understand why you run with traffic on those long winding roads in Laurel Hollow or CSH. The rules can shift from one curve to another. Under most circumstances, I advocate running on the left side within neighborhoods like mine, mostly because drivers go 50+ on posted 30 MPH roads. Add that they are typically on their cell phones or texting and the risk rises sharply. Personally, I'd rather see the danger ahead than assume these drivers are looking out for me.Definitely do Bethpage! Relays are fun, especially in the woods! Please find me and say hello. Do you have a team assembled?


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