Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Frosty Start

So, today was the first running day of my Pfitzinger 18/55 plan, and the weather was cold, even by New England standards, though there was very little wind. Weather.com said it was about 5 degrees when I stepped out my door at about 4:55 am, and though I was well-geared up (3 upper layers; fleece running pants; SmartWool mid-weight socks; thick fleece gloves, balaclava and all the reflective paraphernalia), it was not easy to get the legs moving. Given the cold and the darkness (a gorgeous full moon did let me turn my headlamp off for a while), it's hard for to run much below 9:00 miles (while my usual "easy" pace these days is 8:30 or faster). By the second mile, frost developed all over: on my gloves, on my jacket and - most annoyingly - on my eyebrows and around my eyes. One personal note: though the fleece pants are generally all I need, I was wishing I'd coupled them with the wind briefs this morning.

Today's run was a 7-miler, including 10x100 "strides" or "strideouts", which are meant to fine tune speed, improving running economy and helping with leg turnover. I generally struggle with strides, not really feeling like I'm "floating" during those last 30 or so yards. Add single-digit temps into the mix, and they become even more challenging. That said, I threw 5 strides into the first 6 miles of the run, and then did the remaining 5 with 1 minute jog breaks during the last mile. Total mileage for the morning was 7.3.

Went for my weekly chiropractic appointment, and he worked my hip flexor until I thought I'd have to kick him to get him to stop. We'll see how the hip holds up during what promises to be the hardest training I will have ever done.

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