Run interrupted, for a very good reason

You just can’t escape it

Today’s run (street): 6.25 total

This morning I planned to go out for six miles, but circumstances caused me to break the run into two parts. I’ve been trying to run at least 6 miles mid-week to reinforce my base. The news was reporting 40 MPH winds so I went with running pants and two top layers, including a heavier weight half-zip. It turned out that the winds weren’t anywhere as bad as reported.

I started off well and I was looking forward to covering my distance at a comfortable pace. I was almost at my first mile when my cell phone rang. I always check to see who’s calling, in case it’s an emergency. I recognized the number as a big client, but I couldn’t answer the phone in time. I listened to the voicemail and headed home to call them back.

Although my run was interrupted, it was worth it. I’m keeping my consulting practice, but now I’ll also be taking on a full time position. This will be the first time I’ll be commuting to an outside office since I left my old company in 2013. I’m very excited about this new opportunity, but I am concerned about how it will affect my training over the next few weeks. In order to be ready for the Brooklyn Half, I’ll need to maintain my current mix of speed and base running.

Once all the paperwork was signed, I went out to complete the balance of my run. In between the first and second part of today’s run I had lunch and I wondered how I’d do running on full stomach. The weather had turned cloudy and it looked like it might rain. I was grateful that my distance dropped to five miles, since I’d already done a mile earlier in the day.

There was more wind the second time I went out, but I appreciated it because I thought it might help simulate the effort needed to take on the first big hill at the Marcie Mazzola 5K on Sunday. I moved along fairly well, but the Garmin was showing paces that were at least 30 seconds slower than perceived effort. After calculating true distance, it turned out that I was running about 15 seconds per mile faster than what the display said.

Overall, I met my distance target, although not all at once. I recently read that two-a-days are actually a good training strategy, but I can’t remember why. I’m supposed to taper at some point for Sunday’s race although I’m not sure I can afford to reduce volume at this point. Maybe I’ll rest tomorrow and go long again on Friday.

Stillwell Woods running, made in the shade

Out of the woods and into the sun

Today’s run (Stillwell Woods): 3.4 miles

With temperatures reaching the 90’s by midday today, I decided that a sheltered run at Stillwell Woods would be a good bet. Even with heavy tree cover, I knew it would be hot at 8:30 AM, so I did what I could to stay comfortable. I wore my white, terrycloth Jackrabbit running hat, a white technical jersey and a cooling bandanna that I’d prepared by soaking in water and placing in the refrigerator. Due to the high tick population this season, I traded coolness (both in look and comfort) for safety, with a pair of mid-calf wool trail socks.

The beginning of my run was great. I had none of yesterday’s fatigue and, this being a trail run, I moderated my pace and prevented any anaerobically-induced coughing. The shaded woods kept conditions bearable and the short segments of unprotected sky reinforced my decision not to do a street run today. It wasn’t very crowded and I only saw a few mountain bikers on the paths. At one point, I was overtaken by three high school-aged girls who were running along the trail. They seemed to have little trouble speeding along in the hot and humid weather.

About halfway through my run, I began to think about the Dirty Sock 10K in August, when conditions will likely be similar. On that day, I’ll need to cover almost double the distance I was running today. I have some hot weather training to do. I think the bandanna helped at first, but after a while the heat rendered it ineffective. By the time I reached the trail head, I was soaked with sweat and ready to stop.

In the end, I felt great. A change of scenery was needed, and I enjoyed the experience far more than my recent runs on local roads. Stillwell is only 5 minutes from my house, so it’s an easy choice to make whenever I’m feeling bored of my running routine. A harder choice will be taking on some of Stillwell’s tougher trails that I’ve come to avoid, in favor of more familiar (and easier) routes. I’m going to take on that challenge, but not with 90° temps and 90% humidity.

A big change provides more time to run

If it’s all the same, I’d prefer a Garmin 610

Yesterday’s run (treadmill): 3.1 miles
Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

After 20 years with my company, I am about to take early retirement. While I’ll miss all my office friends, I’m excited to be in a position to retire while I’m still in my prime. My big decision now is what to do next. I can do something completely different, or stay in familiar territory. I’m in no rush to decide. Besides having more time to spend with my wife and kids, I’ll be able to run longer distances on weekday mornings. No more train schedules to meet.

Yesterday morning, the winds were still blowing at speeds over 25 MPH. I decided to stay indoors and did a progressive speed run on the treadmill. Today, despite the cold, I got outside and ran around the neighborhood. It may have been the lack of work stress that pushed me along today, or the fact that I had to be home in time for a business call, but I achieved my fastest overall pace in two months.

I’ve been overwhelmed with correspondence and calls related to this change, so it hasn’t exactly been relaxing. But it has been energizing. Perhaps I’ll restart my Runner’s Tech Review blog now that I’ll (possibly) have more time. I’m going to need a new pair of running shoes soon. Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, are you listening?