One run interrupted, one run horrible

Today’s run (street): 3.3 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles

Happy Halloween. It’s hard top be spooky when you go out trick or treating at noon, but I saw a lot of little witches and goblins during today’s mid-day run. We have weekend visitors and I delayed my workout so I could spend time with our guests this morning. It may have been the late start, but this was possibly my worst run of the year. More on that in a bit.

I had hopes of covering close to 20 miles this week like I typically did a couple of years ago. My vacation day on Wednesday got me off to a good start and I added to that on Friday morning. Since I work from home most Fridays, I use the time I normally commute to get in my miles.

That system had been working well until one of my work colleagues decided that early Friday morning was the perfect time to reach me. In those cases, I’ve either let the call go to voice mail or kept it very short. I was about a mile into my run yesterday when I heard the phone ring. I almost ignored it, but once I saw who it was, I knew I needed to answer. Ten minutes later was on my way, although my momentum was lost and a new work issue was on my mind.

Today was a different story. I wasn’t feeling my best throughout the morning and hoped my energy would return by the time I was ready to hit the road. I got off to a slow start as I left my house, so I figured I’d keep it easy. I could tell right away that I wouldn’t be up for my targeted five miles but hoped I’d gain strength throughout the run. Instead, I felt increasingly fatigued and even reached a point where I wanted to stop. Although I only covered a little more than three miles, the run felt endless.

I was thrilled when I finally reached my driveway. The run was a disaster, but at least I got it done. I looked forward to a relaxing afternoon that eventually gave way to a house full of Halloween-partying teenagers. It’s been a noisy evening.

Tomorrow is a big day for two of my friends, but for different reasons. KWL and his wife will be running the NYC marathon and I’m wishing them perfect race conditions. Runsketeer SIOR will be celebrating yet another birthday (she’s quite elderly) and plans to watch the marathon from her favorite spot in Queens. I’m hoping that tomorrow’s run goes better than today’s. It could hardly go worse.

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.

Metronome running: Calls and Cadence

Runnis Interruptus

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

Using a metronome may have actually helped my cadence this morning. Once I start using my foot pod (good suggestion FS) I will know for sure. It was a weird run, punctuated by a ringing cellphone that I would normally ignore. Today I had two good reason to stop. First, the call was business related and important. Second, the ringing phone shut the metronome app off. Grrr.

I used the Metronome Beats app today because it has better features than the one I tried yesterday. Most importantly, it punches out beats loud and clear, unlike Metronome Mobile’s softer sound. I set it for two clicks per beat, which is easier than trying to coordinate two footfalls to a single beat. Focusing on the sound made my first mile go by quickly and the odd beeping noise produced double takes from neighbors as I passed by.

The phone call caused an interruption and I was honest about being in the middle of a run. That was no problem and I think the endorphins helped keep me calm during an intense conversation. Soon I was back to the run and I realized that it would be easier to time my arm-swing to the rhythm, rather than try to keep my footfalls synchronized.  Do your arms move at the same rate as your cadence? That would be interesting to know.

I moved really well and everything was fine, until the app quit about half a mile from home. I considered stopping and restarting the metronome, but I’d already stopped once on the run. I tried to “think” the beat that I’d been following and that may have worked. Today’s pace was 9:22 and it felt fairly easy. I’d set the metronome one SPM faster than yesterday and that yielded a 2.4% improvement in pace. That assumes a lot, but it was progress and that came from somewhere.