Not my finest run

A few tired miles around the ‘hood

Today’s run (street): 3.7 miles

Despite better weather, today’s run didn’t go all that well. I’m either run down or I pushed too hard on yesterday’s run. I’m not a fan of running uphill and my legs reminded me of that today.  I was hoping that (sort of) keeping up with SIOR and TPP at the NJL park might have activated my fast twitch leg fibers. I actually think they were deactivated.

My goal every weekend is to do at least one run outside of my neighborhood. Since I did that yesterday, I figured a run around my local roads would be just fine. I started out well, although I did experience sinus pain when the wind hit me head on. Thankfully that went away once I’d warmed up. I began to feel lethargic the more I went on and I noticed that my heart rate was showing less than 75% max. Despite the fatigue, I picked up the pace until I was in the low 80% range. That was all I could manage today.

Yesterday’s run was understandably challenging because I ran about 10% faster than I normal do. Plus there were some hills. Today’s difficulties are a little harder to explain. I never struggled, but I did get tired. Perhaps it was getting up at 4:30 AM this morning that did me in. I’ll get some rest tomorrow and try this again on Tuesday.

Undone by a mis-selected K-cup

Dear Bro: can GMC increase the font size of its decaf label?

Today’s run (street) 4.2 miles

Our trip provided three days of high energy fun but rest time was at a premium. Last night, it was a treat to finally sleep in my own comfortable bed and I looked forward to waking up feeling refreshed and ready for good long run. I got up a little before 6:00 AM and made a cup of coffee to start my engines. Instead of feeling rested and energized, I felt like going back to bed. I decided to relax for the time being, even though I wanted to get out early to beat the heat.

I couldn’t understand why I felt so tired, but I managed to gather my gear for my run. I had been thinking about a six miler, possible at Bethpage, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of fatigue. I decided to stay local and modified my targeted distance to three miles. I figured it would be better to do something, rather than not running at all.

The sun was still low in the sky when I finally took off at 8:30 AM. I kept an easy pace that I knew I could sustain. The humidity wasn’t as bad as it was during yesterday’s afternoon run, and I knew I could get through a short workout without much problem. I thought about the track workout I did with SIOR and TPP a few weekends ago when I logged some decent 400’s. I tried to duplicate the turnover I used to make those sub-8:00 quarters, but the speed didn’t come today.

Surprisingly enough, I was able to beat today’s shortened goal. In fact, I covered more distance than yesterday, when I barely got through four miles. Still, I was unusually tired after I finished, and that fatigue continued after a cooling shower and lunch. I decided to have another cup of coffee, hoping that would wake me up and help me get rid of a dull headache. That’s when I discovered the probable cause of my lethargy.

When I removed this morning’s spent K-cup, I realized that I’d accidentally put in decaf version of Green Mountain Dark Magic. I had been operating caffeine-free all day, no small thing for me. I don’t need much caffeine, but I definitely need it in the morning. One cup is all it takes to return me to the world of the normal. I quickly made a cup of leaded and, within ten minutes, I was energized and headache free.

Tomorrow I’ll try to break out of my four mile range with a longer run. I’m not sure where I’ll go, but you can be sure I’ll be starting my day with an extra strong cup of caffeinated brew.

Caleb Smith trails: bad conditions for both run and runner

Hazards abound on the Caleb Smith trails

Yesterday’s workout (Caleb Smith State Park): 3.4 miles (run), 1 mile (hike)

It was a busy Saturday for us, and I didn’t get a chance to post about yesterday’s activity until this morning. Yesterday afternoon we headed over to Caleb Smith State Park where my wife and kids participated a candle making workshop while I hit the trails. Hurricane Sandy had done a lot of damage to the park, but they’d just re-opened the yellow trail. The blue, green and red trails still remain closed.

Prior to leaving for Caleb Smith, we’d stopped for lunch at Moe’s. That was a mistake on my part. Lunch was fine, but I didn’t give myself enough time for proper digestion. I thought I felt fine when we arrived, but soon after I’d started toward the trail I could tell that’s the going would be tough. I pressed on hoping that I’d begin to feel better as time went on.

After a mile I couldn’t ignore the discomfort. It wasn’t a stomach issue, but I felt lethargic and my legs felt heavy and unresponsive. I decided to walk it off and covered a half mile before resuming my run. The trail was in poor condition, with branches strewn along the path by the storm and thick mud from the morning rain. The parts of the trail that were covered by leaves were the most run-able.

I felt marginally better after a half mile hike and resumed my run for the next mile. I had looked forward  to this trail time, but I wasn’t enjoying it much. The trail markings were a little inconsistent and I found myself on the closed paths once or twice. In most cases I could keep going until I reconnected to the yellow trail but once or twice I had to double back.

At one point I thought I saw another runner through the trees, but couldn’t really see much, except that it clearly wasn’t a squirrel or a fox. I thought it was odd that someone would run off-trail, especially with the current conditions. During my next loop around, I detected the same movement and saw that the “runner” was actually a deer. I noticed two or three others soon after. They kept their distance but didn’t run away when our paths came together at a clearing.

I ended up running over 3 miles, though not continuously. I was happy to be finished and vowed not to repeat my mistake of having a big lunch prior to an effort of that scale. After my run, I spoke for a while with a ranger whose team maintained the park. He told me it would be some months before the cleanup was completed. There’s a lot of tree damage that they can’t get to with heavy equipment so it comes down to a two man crew that uses old fashioned methods to precision cut and remove damaged trees.

I’m planning to do a neighborhood run later this morning and really hope that yesterday’s running difficulties don’t carry forward to today. I’d rather have yesterday’s lunch to blame than to be dealing with a bigger issue related to being ill.