Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm going to dew point in weather's face if it doesn't lay off

Since my last post, Louisville has been your choice of:

  • Hot (like 90* and humid)

  • Storming (like rain and tornadoes)

  • Windy (like 15mph)

Suffice it to say it has been a tough couple weeks. Last Monday, I figured I'd get in an easy 4 miles when I left work ... except it started to hail. With the long weekend, my running group was nonexistent, so I decided to run Sunday with the Derby City kids for my long run. It was 92*. Not one of my best decisions, but I got the miles in nonetheless.

Today I headed over to E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park with the intention of doing some cruise intervals. It was a mere 80* when I arrived, but the 71* dew point and 66% humidity had me sweating like an OSU Athletic Director a half mile in. I bagged the workout, did an easy 6 -- and they didn't even feel easy. I guess it is time to start waking up early again.

I got some awesome New Balance gear last week. Favorite running outfit is the NBx Adapter Sleeveless top, super lightweight, great hand to the fabric, great fit, little pocket on the inside; along with the NBx Run Short. The short fits amazing, liner is Xstatic fabric, no-tie drawstring, zipper pocket in the back. My number two outfit is the IceFil Sleeveless tank, which utilizes IceFil (xylitol) to actually bring down the temperature of the fabric when you start sweating. I also love the lower neckline. This I pair with my go-to shorts, the NP Short, which I own in way too many colors. (Or not enough.)

By the way, all that gear is on sale right now on the New Balance website. Of course, if you live near a specialty running store, go there first.

Oh yeah, I ran a 5k over the weekend ... It was more of a tempo run. Where I got beat by a middle school girl who runs for Derby City. And we all went the wrong way. I'm running another one this Sunday (at 4 p.m.), and possibly one June 11 as well. Anxiously awaiting the return of what little speed I used to have.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Running Errands Part 2: Grocery Run

Thursday's run was sort of like being in the middle of a Sonic the Hedgehog game -- I found 52 cents while I was running! Of course, I saw a penny, stopped. Ran some more, found another penny, stopped. Found a quarter. Then another quarter. Sweet!

I planned my run to end at the Kroger just a few blocks from home so I could pick up the last ingredients for last night's quiche. Of course, you can't really run with a pie crust and half-and-half, so I just walked home. With my 52 cents.

Tuesday I did my first workout in ages, starting with some cruise interval 800s. So pretty much just 6x800 at tempo pace, 2 minute recovery. My, how the mighty have fallen. I hit pace (based of an estimate of 5k fitness) and never felt awful, but was definitely working. After, I couldn't decide if I felt good for running as planned -- or bad for how slow I've gotten.

Race calendar is full-up at the moment; there are a ton of good races coming up that I just can't miss. We will test out the racing into shape theory with races 5/28, 6/5 and 6/11. Then it's off to DCAC running camp for a week 6/26-7/2, then probably a Fourth of July race. (Bluegrass 10,000 or Crescent Hill 5k.)

Short run tonight, long run Saturday, short run and massage Monday. Details and weekly recap coming soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Running Errands Part 1: The Library Run

Most people just "go out for a run," for exercise or training or just to clear their heads. You finish where you started, usually, with no purpose other than running. I suppose it is a side effect of our culture, where exercising and transportation are not typically one and the same.

But when you look at the cultures that dominate long distance running, those guys are running as transportation. They run to school. They run to work. They run wherever it is they need to go ... because for them it is the fastest way to get there.

Other than some minor inconveniences, though, there's no reason why more of us can't combine our running with some sort of errands. I know a few people who do. My friend and New Balance rep Pete said he runs to the post office and bank regularly, and ran to buy batteries for a new baby swing over the weekend.

After not having a car for a year, I definitely see running as a method of transportation more than I did when I had a car. Some days I would bus or bike to work, then run home in the evenings. Then I could do one of the same things to get to work the next day — which were my transportation options anyway. It is assuredly advantageous to have a workplace shower.

Running Times had an article about this years ago, where author Jim Gerweck talks about running to the pharmacy, the grocery, to drop off forgotten homework to his kids. He would run while his kids were at Tae Kwon Do practice instead of driving home, then back to pick them up again. He even ran while waiting for his number to be called at the DMV.

Today I was presented with an opportunity to combine multiple to-dos in one fell swoop. My list for the day included a 4 mile recovery run and a trip to the library ... which is 2 miles away.

Eurkeka! I thought — I'll run to the library. I hurried up and finished my book, all the while trying to decide how exactly I'd get a book there and back. I know I hate handheld water bottles, so carrying it didn't seem entirely feasible.

I changed into running clothes and tried stuffing the book — fortunately a smallish paperback — into various clothing elastic bands and ran back and forth through the condo. Side of shorts? No. Back of shorts? Definitely not, even though I've seen men carry various things tucked into waistbands. Sports bra back, like how I carry my shirt when I take it off mid-run? Also no.

Drats. I was perplexed. What I needed was a backpack or something with a big pocket. I didn't have a backpack, although some lightweight running ones exist, but I did have a lightweight vest with — a-ha! — a perfectly-sized back pocket. With the temperature only 53 degrees, I was a little warm on the run but not terribly so.

I jogged my easy 2 miles to the library, dropped the book on the counter, wiped my face with my shirt, checked out another book, stuffed it into the vest, and ran back.

Then patted myself on the back — I got my run in, got a new book and saved both gas and time. Leaving me with some free time to write this post.

TracePace is back in action after a relatively long hiatus. With six weeks of base-building before my next training season, I plan to post on Mondays and Thursdays of each week. Stay tuned for posts about my training, other people's training, news from the running (and running retail) world... And some Facebook-favorite food photos and recipes.