Raw, dark, windy, rainy run

Rain puddle running

Today’s run (street): 5.6 miles

Last night the kids hosted a Halloween party and I did my best to avoid all the holiday related food and the tray of candy by the door. This resulted in a late night, but I wasn’t able to sleep later than 5:30 this morning. I only had a small cup of coffee when I got up, because I expected to be out running in short order. I looked outside and saw torrents of rain hitting the deck and decided to wait it out rather than do a long run on the treadmill.

The time went from 6:30…7:30… and on, but the rain continued to come down. When my wife got on the treadmill to start her run I saw that the rain had slowed down. I took advantage of this break and put on a few layers of running gear. Based on the weather report that said 40° temps and 14 MPH winds, I went for track pants and a long sleeve top.

Before I headed outside, I added my ASICS lightweight running rain jacket. I was sure that the rain would return at some point and I wanted to minimize soakage. It took forever to get a signal on my Garmin – the progress bar kept stopping short by a millimeter before dropping back to the halfway point. After 10 minutes of that nonsense, I decided to start without the GPS locked in, since I could capture distance later with Gmaps.

The combination of thermal and waterproof layers worked well and I followed a loop that was never more than a half mile from my house. I figured that if the skies opened up, I could get back in 5 minutes or less from any point. I know my neighborhood well enough to estimate distance without looking at my watch and I noticed that it took longer than expected to record the first mile. I guessed that the problem locking in all the satellites was affecting accuracy.

It was cold, dark and gray and the rain gained intensity as I went on. The jacket’s hood did a good job of keeping me dry, but it kept slipping forward and blocking my peripheral vision. I stepped in a puddle and was glad I wore Smartwool socks which are still thermal when wet. The winds grew stronger and it started raining harder. I was determined to complete at least five miles and ignored everything except the road ahead and any signs of approaching cars.

Looping the loop

I moved along fairly well considering the conditions and debated whether to add another loop to get me over six miles. Instead, I stretched out my last two loops into connected streets and ended up covering 5.6 miles before returning to my warm dry house. I was a little disappointed in my performance. After measuring my true distance and calculating pace, I had hopes that I broke 10 mins/mile but that didn’t happen. I guess I can blame the wind and the rain, but I know it was really my stride and cadence.

According to the weather reports, tomorrow will be cold, but at least the rain will be gone. I’d like to get out earlier than today and do at least six miles. I probably won’t make 16 miles for the week, but at least I’ll be getting in a couple of decent base runs.

I’m sending my most positive thoughts to friends KWL, NL, FS and other friends who are running the NYC Marathon tomorrow. I hope you all have great races and fantastic experiences. Enjoy every moment, stay hydrated and don’t over-layer!

Caught in the rain

Today’s run (street): 4 miles
Thursday’s run (treadmill): 25 minutes

It has been a rainy week and I was too busy to run until Thursday morning when I did a treadmill workout. Yesterday turned out to be a very long day. On top of that, I probably covered five miles in the giant building I work in.

The rain was coming down hard this morning but I hoped for a break. The skies cleared a little before 8:00 AM and I got out quickly with the goal of getting through my run before the rain returned. I was almost successful. It felt colder than the reported 51° and I was glad that I wore track pants and a long sleeve shirt. I made the rounds and spent a lot of time on the sidewalks while the school buses made their way around the neighborhood.

My goal was to get in at least three miles, but since the weather was holding up I decided to continue a little longer. I pushed my luck too far and ended up running the last quarter mile in the rain. I’m not sure why, but the run felt very hard today. I’m hoping for better experiences this weekend, especially on Sunday when the fun bunch once again get together for a long group run.

Running flat but looking cool and modern

A new outlook

Today’s run (street): 3.5 miles

This week has been a commuting nightmare. It took me two hours to get home from work on Wednesday and Thursday nights. My morning drives into the office were barely shorter than that. Happily, I work from home on Fridays. Having no morning commute provides a lot more time to work in a run. I did a short treadmill workout on Tuesday, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday have become my main days for running.

I’ve had a lot on my mind in terms of business planning for 2015 and I looked forward to getting out for a few miles today to focus on various ideas and scenarios. When I got out on the road, I felt flat, both physically and mentally. I couldn’t concentrate on my business topics, so I focused on the run. It was a decent effort, but it still felt flat. I was hoping that I’d be rewarded with an endorphin rush at the end, but no such luck.

I ended up having an interesting day – lots of calls kept me busy and I took a break in the early afternoon to pick up my new glasses. My teenage daughter pronounced them cool and modern (translation: she’s no longer embarrassed to be seen with me). That made me happy.

Unfortunately, this weekend’s weather is supposed to be very wet. Tomorrow morning’s planned group run is being postponed until next week. I’m really looking forward to that as it’s been far too long since we’ve gotten together. I may end up doing some longish runs on the treadmill this weekend, a possibility that does not excite me. But at least I’ll look cool and modern while I’m doing my workout.

Taking my run inside

Not quite

Today’s run (treadmill): 30 minutes

I held off on my usual early week run this week because I knew I’d be off from work today. What I didn’t know was how much the rain would interfere with that plan. Today was a Thursday that felt like a Saturday, so we went out for breakfast to start our day. By the time we got home it was pouring out, so my workout was relegated to the treadmill.

There’s little to tell about my indoor run. The route is always the same and the only thing that ever changes is the news on MSN. Tomorrow is supposed to be a much better weather day and I plan to go out early before I start my work day. At least I’ll be working from home on Friday and that provides more time and the opportunity to cover a little more distance.

Running on a "Beach Day"

The world through my glasses at the end of my run

Today’s run (street): 4.5 miles

If yesterday’s weather was perfect for running, today’s was perfectly-awful. My Garmin, which somehow seems to know these things, reported 97% humidity during this morning’s run. Today’s planned speed workout had to be deferred in favor of a “git it done” neighborhood grind.

When I stepped outside at 8:00 AM, I detected some slight rainfall – drizzle really – that I expected to stop. I expected this because my favorite News 12 weather woman said it would clear up and become a final day of summer beach day. I tend to believe her because she’s a runner and therefore wouldn’t mislead other runners. Well, it rained.

I dealt with the ever steadier rain for the first mile that looped close enough to my house that I could have just gone home and finished my run on the treadmill. By then, the rain’s intensity had dissipated and the sun was poking through. Soon there was no rain, but the enveloping humidity continued the unpleasantness.

One the reasons I don’t like running in rain is that it collects on my lenses and obscures my vision. Humidity has its own way of doing that by fogging the lenses from the inside, rendering the world like a Gerhard Richter painting. When I tried to clear my lenses with the bottom of my sweat drenched running shirt, it just made it worse.

As I ran, I thought about stopping and resuming later when the “beach day” weather arrived. I decided to tough it out, which was a good idea because the skies never cleared and the humidity never dropped. I had hoped that today would be the kickoff to a more focused approach to performance running.

I really want to run – and race – with my buddies (see SIOR’s Cow Harbor recap and the Petite Pacer’s latest post). Before I can join them at the starting line, I’ll need to find another minute per mile in my race pace.

Running after a big green dot

Heads up

Today’s run (street): 3.5 miles

Glasses are annoying, especially when running in the rain. I’ve worn glasses most of my life, although I switched to contact lenses between the 1980’s and early ’90’s. Sometimes I wish I still wore contacts. Besides the rain thing, it’s a lot easier to find sunglasses. Best of all, contacts don’t fall apart in the middle of a meeting like my glasses did last week.

Being 40 miles and six highways away from home when your glasses disintegrate can be a problem. I always keep an old pair in my bag but I’ve discovered that the prescription is different enough to provoke a headache. At least I could see well enough to drive home.

My schedule has been so tight that I haven’t been able to get a replacement pair. I worked from home today so I could get out and see my optometrist. I went through the exercise of choosing new frames today, but for the time being, I’m stuck with my old pair.

I took advantage of my non-commuting day by going for an early run. I needed to get out before the rain started and I timed it perfectly. The cold air felt great and I had no trouble getting to a brisk pace. The sky was full of threatening clouds, but there was still an opening for the sun that acted like a laser beam at certain angles. When that happened, my clip-on sunglasses reflected off my glasses’ lenses and created the illusion of a big green dot hovering at eye level, just out of reach.

I was amused and distracted by this optical curiosity that looked like a heads up display or some application you’d run on Google Glass. As the clouds grew and spread, my dot eventually disappeared and the sky grew darker. I spent 3/4 of the run on the sidewalk because the early middle school drop-off cars were aggressively making their way through the neighborhood.

When I reached home, I noticed the first drops of rain. That quickly increased to a downpour, but not before I was safely inside my house. I was glad to get a weekday run in today, especially when the weather was cooperating so nicely. I’ve adjusted to my old prescription at this point so I’m going to need to go through another transition in a week. Until then, I’ll focus on catching the dot.

Great weekend runs despite the hills and rain

Today’s run (street): 5.2 miles
Yesterday’s run (Bethpage trail): 6.25 miles

It’s been a good weekend for running, starting with Friday’s morning’s fall-like conditions. Yesterday I decided to break out of my neighborhood’s boundaries and headed to Bethpage to run the bike trail. It was a little warmer than on Friday, but very comfortable in the shade. I got a late start and didn’t arrive until 9:00 AM, and the trail was packed with happy looking cyclists, runners and walkers. I picked the northern direction, running towards Sunnyside Boulevard.

It’s been some weeks since I’ve run the undulating hills at Bethpage and I felt every one. The stretch between Washington Ave and Sunnyside was the toughest section of my route and I felt some relief once I reached the top of the last hill. The rest of the run was easy and I was almost sorry to stop when I reached my endpoint.

Later in the day we hosted a dinner for friends and, by the end of the evening, I was ready to sleep where I stood. I worried that I overdid it on my run and that I wouldn’t be able to go long today. I ended up getting an earlier start this morning and took off under dark cloudy skies. Around the two mile point it started to rain, and I thought about turning back home. I decided to keep going in the hope that it would soon clear up.

My gamble paid off, and the rain stopped about ten minutes later. I ran another 20 minutes before completing 5.25 miles. Running only four times a week (these days) requires that I cover at least ten miles on weekends. Less days mean longer distances per run, and his has helped me establish a pretty good base. My speed is still well below target and I think that’s due to an utter lack of anaerobic training on my part. I plan for a speed workout some time next week and try to get  that back on track.

Hot August treadmill

Rain, rain go away

Today’s run (treadmill): 5.3 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.4 miles

I’m an early riser and my hope was to get out for a long(ish) run before 7:00 AM. The morning sky was dark gray and I tried to look outside to see if it was raining. It was too dark to see outside, but the steady thrum on the skylight confirmed a downpour. I considered putting on my running windbreaker and going out anyway, but the jacket isn’t vented well for humid conditions. Besides that, I really don’t like running with soaking shoes.

I considered my options: the elliptical, core and strength training, or the treadmill. I opted for the treadmill but I needed to wait for my wife to finish her run. While that happened, I had another cup of coffee and a small snack to top off my glycogen level. That turned out to be a good strategy and, though the humidity level this morning was off the charts, I experienced no energy drop throughout the run.

I worked from home yesterday, and it turned out to be an extremely busy day. I had to get out early to keep my schedule and I hoped that meant the humidity would be at a minimum. I was fooled by a breeze that, combined with the 73° temperature, made it feel relatively cool. But by the time I reached the half mile point, I could tell that it would be rough going.

I needed to get home in time to shower and prepare for an early call, so I capped my run at 3.3. miles. August humidity has always seemed the worst to me and that was certainly the case on Friday. Considering the oppressive weather, I ended up pacing a little better than expected. If the rain doesn’t return in the morning, I’ll aim for either a trail run or return to the Bethpage path.

It’s good to be putting in more mileage as my weekly volume has dropped 15% since May (when I resumed a commuting job). I don’t feel like that’s resulted in a loss of fitness, but I need to up my game if I’m going to be ready for fall racing.

Humid, hot and foggy, but still a great run

Today’s run (street): 4.4

Today was crazy busy, but my saving grace was working from my home office. At least I saved a lot of commuting time. I got in my run (my first since last Sunday) and though I went out early, I was already behind schedule by the time I got back home. I should add at least one more run during the week to maintain my targeted level of fitness, but for now I need to keep the schedule I have.

The weather hasn’t been good for running lately. This morning it was 67°, humid and foggy. Rain seemed imminent, so I decided to try my new running raincoat. The jacket isn’t vented and I knew I might regret wearing it, since I knew it would trap heat. Still, I was curious to experience running with it.

Surprisingly enough, I stayed fairly cool for the first couple of miles. Better still, I felt strong from the start and maintained great form throughout the entire distance. I ran faster than I expected and probably would have improved on that had I left the jacket at home. The lack of ventilation had trapped sweat and my running shirt was completely soaked by the time I finished.

Perhaps it’s the rest time I’m getting by not running Tuesday through Sunday each week that helped me today. I’m time-pressed again tomorrow, and I’m not sure how I’ll be able to get in my miles. One way or another, I’ll get out there. When I do, I hope to see a continuation of today’s good performance.

Forced ageism on the treadmill

Demographically insulted

Today’s run (treadmill): 3.6 miles

I knew it was going to rain this morning but I thought I might be able to fit in a run before the weather changed. As often happens on Saturday mornings, I got a little too comfortable settling in with a big cup of Green Mountain Double Black Diamond Extra Bold (thanks again Bill!) and watching the news. Time passed until I finally managed to tear myself from a hard hitting news story about dog racism and headed upstairs to change.

My wife is extremely disciplined about getting things done and that includes her daily workout. When I got upstairs, she was already halfway through her treadmill run. Knowing that I’d planned to run outside, she looked at me sympathetically and said, “You’re probably better off using the treadmill rather than running outside that this point.” A look outside supported that view. I got caught in the rain about halfway through yesterday’s run. Although it only lasted a couple of minutes, I found it extremely unpleasant.

My run went fine. No heroics on the treadmill. I set a moderate pace and stayed with it throughout my targeted time. I got tired of switching the channel between the local news station, MSNBC, CNN and HLN every time they went to a commercial. I changed over to the Music Channels and was amused to see how the display ads differed depending on the type of music selected. The Classic Rock and Soft Rock stations kept showing an ad with an older guy holding a cane, with the headline “Having Difficulty with your Knees?”

Each time they showed that, I felt like yelling, “How dare you infer that I need your services just because I choose to listen to the Steve Miller Band! I’m running!” (actually I may have yelled it once). In the end, today’s workout was exactly what I needed. I’d planned to throw in some fartleks, but SIOR made the point that I should not be focusing that much on speed at this point. Unlike some recent runs, today’s felt energizing and I had no breathing issues or fatigue. Perhaps the warmer weather is helping. And not a moment too soon.