The only spring in my run is new construction

Springing up in spring

Today’s run (street): 3.75 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles
Last Sunday’s run (street): 3.7 miles
Last Saturday’s run (treadmill): 3.3 miles
Last Friday’s run (street): 3.1 miles

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but here I am again. You’re welcome. It’s been a combination of busy schedules and the acknowledgement that my running journal-cum-social criticism blog has become somewhat redundant. The exception to that being my write ups of activities involving the Runsketeers. On the plus side, I’ve still been doing my runs and today I realized that the journal really helps me with the get outside and do it part. So here I am again.

Last weekend’s runs were unremarkable, although I did have a good treadmill workout on Saturday. I don’t remember the other two runs, but I know I did them because they’re listed in my Garmin Connect log. Further, these runs even have my average stride length because I wrote to Garmin about that metric not showing up on Connect. Amazingly enough, Garmin responded that they’d corrected the issue. Apparently this was a problem for many. I was able to re-import my runs that lacked that data. and it showed up when I imported this weekend’s activities.

My running has been dismal. With a few rare exceptions, I’m back to where I was last September in terms of performance. Slow doesn’t begin to describe it. Yesterday morning I did an early run in light rain and just couldn’t get into gear. I averaged 72% max HR which pretty much guaranteed a poor pace.

Today’s route

Today’s weather was far better, but my performance was exactly the same. I varied my route. Since I was running slowly, I took the time to look around my neighborhood. I noticed many new homes had sprung up in the places where prior dwellings were razed during the winter. These humble ranches and Capes Cods are being replaced big contemporaries that rise like Olympus above the Serengeti. Toto-ly stole that phrase.

Despite my lack of speed, I was happy to be outside on a cool and quiet spring morning. I know I can run faster, but lately I haven’t been motivated to push too hard. SIOR is guilting encouraging me to re-enter the racing realm by running a 5K in July. She’s even picked one for me. Okay, let’s see what I can do.

Spring into summer, all in one run

One run, two neighborhoods

Today’s run (street): 6.4 miles

This morning’s workout was either the last run of spring or the first of summer. Summer officially started at 6:51 AM EDT, so I crossed over seasons at some point. Either way, it was perfect running weather.

I wanted to cover at least six miles and considered doing a long trail run at Stillwell Woods. Even though I’d be getting there early, I was concerned about parking because of all the Saturday soccer games.  I wasn’t in the mood to drive to Bethpage or to Babylon, where I’ve been wanting to return to run the Dirty Sock course. I settled on my neighborhood, even though I prefer to run 6+ mile distances outside of its tight boundaries.

Mindset is really important when starting a run. It is much harder to run six miles when your original intention was to run less. I like to think out my route ahead of time to set an expectation of progress as I move along. It’s difficult to cover more than four miles in my neighborhood before I begin repeating roads. I pre-planned a side route into neighborhood #2 to extend the distance. It’s all houses and cars, but by going into another neighborhood at least the houses and cars are different.

I enjoyed today’s run because it was cool, dry, sunny and quiet. I saw a few other runners, some walkers and a couple of cyclists along the way, but it was still too early for most people to be out on a Saturday morning. Tomorrow’s weather should be just as nice and I’m still thinking about a trail run for tomorrow. I just don’t know where to run.

Summer is coming, but spring running is here

Work in progress

Today’s run (street): 3.3 mile

Our house has been taken over by tree service people, who are taking care of some much needed trimming. The pool is now open, but the water color is closer to Pantone 364C than sky blue. That should clear up after a few days of shock treatments. The only thing left is to replace the fence on the outward side of the pool that was damaged by overzealous county workers doing Sandy repairs. The new fence goes up next week. Summer is coming.

Happily, it’s still spring, and the humidity and gloomy skies have finally moved on. I went out for my run this morning, right after the last school bus exited the neighborhood. There aren’t too many days in the year where running conditions are near perfect, but today was one of them. It may have been the lack of heat, or perhaps the cooling breeze that made my start effortless. This run came after my one weekly rest day, so that could have been a factor as well.

Before I knew it, I’d passed my first mile and I was tempted to do a true distance run, rather than a standard weekday 3.x mile workout. I reminded myself that, although I follow a flexible schedule these days, I still have work to do. Especially on a day like today, when business will keep me in the city late into the evening.

I enjoyed my run today and finished with an overall pace that was lower than any run I’ve done in the past week. The great weather certainly helped that happen. I enjoyed the run a lot and, like so many great things, it was over all too soon.

Spring running is great, so the laptop can wait

Such that it is

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

Yesterday was my scheduled rest day and I spent a good part of it in front of my laptop. Consequently, I  “achieved” a pathetically low step and distance count. If my Fitbit could talk to me right now, it would probably wouldn’t. I’m under the gun with business related tasks, but I have been making great progress. After all that intense work, I needed to run today. The beautiful weather certainly helped get me out the door.

My treadmill workout on Sunday was short but extremely difficult. I thought this morning about the fact that the Marcie Mazzola 5K was scheduled for next Sunday. Sadly that race has been postponed due to the death of a Mazzola family member. The way I’ve been running lately, I don’t think I would have been very competitive. I prepared to struggle as I took my first steps on today’s run, and was surprised to find that I felt great.

It was a beautiful early spring morning and I’d taken the chance of wearing running shorts and a short sleeved jersey. Sunny skies and low humidity powered me through one of my fastest runs in weeks. I wasn’t sure at the time how I was pacing, but I took advantage of my energy level and threw in some “speed play” a few times every mile. I covered the last mile at 10K race pace and finished feeling refreshed and energized. That was a good thing, because before long, it was back to the laptop for the rest of the day.

Spring run in winter weather

This morning it felt like this

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

I’m pressed for time this week and I’m concerned that I won’t even have time to do my scheduled workouts tomorrow and on Friday. Today had its scheduling challenges, so I made sure that I got outside for a run before being consumed with the business of the day.

Yesterday felt a lot like spring, but this morning felt just like winter. I didn’t want to deal with the cold, so I added enough layers to be comfortable from the start. The sun was bright, and the air was dry and crisp. I couldn’t bring myself to follow my usual neighborhood loop that, after hundreds of runs, has become extremely tedious. Instead, I charted a new route that was different enough to distract me a little.

Pounding the pavement didn’t provoke any soreness or pain from my hip and I was grateful for that. Although I had dressed to battle the cold, the extra layers I’d worn were making me sweat. I found myself appreciating the freezing winds that hit from certain directions – nature’s air conditioning.

I wish I could say that the cold helped me to run faster today, but that wasn’t the case. I knew I wasn’t making my targeted pace and all I could think about was how woefully unprepared I am for my upcoming 5K. The possibility of missing my next two workouts can’t help that situation. Then again, two day’s rest might be the perfect setup for some good speed work this weekend.