Wednesday, February 28, 2007

coming around

After a couple of tough weeks both mentally and physically it looks like things are finally starting to come around. The grind of weather, work and trying to get my running fitted in have been a bit wearing to say the least but in the last few days we caught a little bit of a break with warmer temperatures. In fact we've had daytime highs above freezing now for two entire days in a row and you'd think that it was summer or at least closer to spring. However, the forecast for the weekend is a blizzard with 20+ cm (that's about a foot) of nice white fluffy stuff. Local forecasters call it 'Sheila's Brush', ha! I think winter has a few tricks left yet up her sleeve...

Legend of Sheila's Brush
Sheila's Brush is the last of winter usually around St. Patricks day. The snow is a result of Sheila's sweeping. Legend has it that Sheila was St. Patrick's wife, sister or mother. Sometimes a storm before"Paddy's" Day is called Patrick and Sheila.

But speaking of coming around I had a workout yesterday that made me think I might be finally getting into decent condition. I had taken Monday off, as per usual, and didn't really feeling any ill effects from the Sunday long run besides the usual residual tiredness.

However, my penciled in workout for Tues of 4x1 miles had me a little nervous all day. Am I rested enough? Do I really want to do that many? How hard/fast should I go? My 800m repeats last week were barely at 6:40 pace on the treadmill, what can I possible aim for today? Even the sunshine and calm winds had little effect on my dark mood. "Are you running outside today?" my wife asked as we got home after work. "I'm not sure, I'll figure it out when I get dressed" was my reply and the next thing I knew I was breathing fresh air and slowly jogging down the road towards what felt like impending doom.

Finally, after a 1.5 mile easy jog, I'm lined up by the high school at the start line of our annual Father's Day race. Ready, set, go! Click the watch, roll down the slight incline, these new shoes feel good, this isn't so bad, 1/2 mile gone and pace is looking good, watch the form, save it for the next three, click, 6:38, whoa that was unexpected! Easy 1/4 mile jog, meet a walker going the other way, turn and start the next repeat, blast by the walker, hold back now, cruise around the Point ignoring the fantastic view on a calm sunny day, now uphill slightly and working harder to hold pace, holding on to form, click, 6:35! Next one in 6:32, meeting a jogger during the recovery and then worked hard to catch him on the final one in 6:36. I'll take my roadkill where ever it comes. Finished with a couple of easy miles with a very content feeling. I've got no idea where this came from but it gives me a standard that will be fun to try to maintain and improve on over the next several weeks.

Today I was no worse for wear as I had expected to at least have some stiffness or tightness in the legs but nothing. We had another lovely mild day (anything above freezing is a bonus) but not yet shorts weather. Managed a nice relaxing 11 mile easy run in about 90 minutes and heartrate low at 128 average. The run felt smooth and easy as I enjoyed some old Beatles music on the ipod.

Thus February ends with 248 miles in the bank and now at 500 thus far for the year. It just seems to get better and better. Good running all!


Michael said...

Great workout today, those are some solid times. Sorry to hear about the snow on the way, for what it’s worth it snowed here today… and it’s almost March!

Thomas said...

I'd say those times come from all your 20 milers. You've built up enough strength in your legs to withstand higher paces.

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Great workout and great post!

I certainly can empathize with the work and weather grind. Not to mention life in general.

Yeah, I am not looking forward to the 16-24 inches predicted in our neck of the woods. sigh.

Onwards and upwards!

Olga said...

What mileage! It does get better:)

Jamie Anderson said...

Nice workout! That's a great, low HR for that pace. You're going to rock Boston.

Mark Bell said...

thanks for the reminder to total the monthly miles, short month. I'm amazed you keep doing back to back 20-milers

Phil said...

Excellent workout. Isn't blowing by walkers fun! You're in great shape ... winter be damned. It didn't slow you down at all.