Still no power, but the running hasn’t stopped

Gas lines: the downside of using generators

Today’s run (street): 5.4 miles

It’s day three in our temporary home and our quality of life between today and last Friday morning is measurable. We stopped back at the house to get some needed items and though we hoped to find the power restored, our house was still dark and cold. We are probably (at least) three days away from getting our power back. That’s created some strain on the gasoline supply and we saw long lines of people queuing up to fill portable gas containers (above).

I’m concerned about having a much longer commute to work tomorrow. At least I’ll have a hot shower to start me off. I certainly appreciated having hot showers after the three runs I have done since we’ve relocated to “The Greens.” This morning I went out with a plan to cover about five miles. Just for fun, I decided to run yesterday’s route in the opposite direction.

The temperature was in the mid-30’s when I started out, but my City Sports running pants and two layers on top kept me comfortable throughout my run. I felt strong from the start and maintained that energy as I made my way through the neighborhood. The hills were in different locations today, but the net elevation was the same. When I returned to the house, my mother-in-law presented me with a couple of slices of challah french toast, fresh off the griddle.

The work week starts tomorrow and I hope that the trains are running on time. I’ll probably do some treadmill runs over the next few days. With any luck, we’ll be back in our house before the end of the week.

Power is restored for both runner and home

Finally got our power back after 26 hours

Today’s run (street): 2.75 miles at 9:26

Every weekday morning starts with a check of the weather on the local news station. In winter it’s useful to see just how cold it is and how many layers I’ll need beforeI go out for my morning run. In summer there is really not much I can do when it’s 87 degrees and humid, but at least I know what I’ll be facing. This morning, in my haste to get ready, I missed the temperature check and was happily surprised to step out to 68 degrees and low humidity. It was an enjoyable run and it made me feel like a runner again. The last three weeks have been oppressively hot and my running energy has suffered for it. Even in Colorado I was far from being at my best although I could blame the high altitude for that.

Last weekend’s heat made me feel more like a jogger than a runner. My form was sloppy and my gait was off, indicated by cadences that dipped below 80 SPM. Today I had the feeling of real running — the energy, leg turnover and coordination were all there. I felt like I do in a race when I’m usually at my best, having trained and rested for that moment. There are only so many ways to trace the roads around my neighborhood but I try to mix it up each day to keep it from being so tedious and repetitious. I chose a route with lots of (slight) inclines and was pleased with the power I had to take them on. It took me about 10 minutes to break the sweat barrier but it never got too warm over the 26 minute run. I really felt like I was achieving some speed but I ended up only averaging 9:26 per mile. Must be that darn performance-optimization window thing. It doesn’t matter because it’s much more practical for me to run at 4 AM than 4 PM. Our power was restored last night after 26 hours without AC, lights or hot water. It was great to take a hot shower after my run to cap off a great workout on an unexpectedly cool morning.

Pancake fueled afternoon run

A stormy backyard scene on Sunday

Yesterday’s run (street): 3.3 miles at 9:00

It may have been the weather but I was suffering from fatigue and a dull headache when I arose on Sunday morning. I tried to sleep a little later than my usual 5:30 weekend wake time but that didn’t help much. By the time I felt ready for a run, the temperature and sun had risen to the point where I needed to execute plan B: run later in the day or not at all. By early afternoon I was feeling encouraged about conditions for running. The skies had become overcast and it wasn’t oppressively hot. My family had jumped into the pool and I decided to join them. I was able to get in for about five minutes before the skies turned dark and the rain and wind came through. Fortunately we’d all retreated to the house minutes before that happened. The storm was fierce and it knocked out our power. We decided to go out for dinner because the outages were spotty and we could get to a local iHop in about 10 minutes. We had a nice time there but when we returned the power was still out.

I figured that this would be an ideal time for a run since the rain had cooled things down a bit so I set off with a target of covering 3 miles. It was cooler than before but still plenty humid. I don’t like to run so soon after eating so I took it easy. Despite no attention to performance and some stomach cramping, I managed to cover my distance at 9:00 per mile, a pace I have not seen for a while. Perhaps this validated the point I made in yesterday’s post about peak performance. Or it could be from all that glycogen-rich fuel from consuming whole wheat pancakes. I returned to the pool to cool off after my run which I figured to be a better option than taking a cold shower. This morning I had no choice but to take a cold shower before work. It’s amazing how quickly one can shower, shave and wash when it means standing under a cold stream of water. We still have no power so tonight may be more of the same. It’s a good thing we have emergency rechargeable flashlights in the house. They certainly got some use last night.