Friday, April 4, 2008


Not to sound like too much of a whiner, but at some point the Weather Gods and the Running Gods will have to get tired of conspiring against me during this training cycle. This week brought two prime examples of how I cannot catch a weather break. I've already posted about the 50+ mph winds which forced my last major LT run indoors. As I've previously mentioned, I'm following Mr. Pfitzinger's 18/55 plan as closely as possible this time, so that means running when scheduled and NOT running when not scheduled. Yesterday was a rest/cross-training day. Mid-day weather was about 55 and sunny. It looked pretty nice out the window as I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, core exercises and stretching.

Today, I worked from about 5-6:30 am, got everyone up and my older two kids to school, and then went out for my second 12-miler in 3 days. This was a "general aerobic" run, not too fast and not super-slow. We got about two inches of snow, which was coming down in big, fat flakes for about the first 4-5 miles of the run. That snow turned to sleet, which tapped against the brim of my GoreTex baseball cap (a great investment at EMS) and occasionally pelted me in the face. It's the sort of thing that makes you feel alive (right!). Then came the rain, and despite my fancy new waterproof/breathable jacket [the Sugoi Hydrolite, a very cool concept jacket, though I'm not sure if it's as breathable as it is waterproof], I ended up soaked. My gloves got wet & cold; my GoreTex shoes got wet from running through deep puddles; my fleece running pants became waterlogged, making the last couple of miles a bit of a slog. Despite all that, though, I still managed a comfortable pace of almost exactly 9:00/mile, which is not bad considering the number of miles I've run and the conditions out there today.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to throw caution to the wind and race a local 5K. I ran it in 20:19 last year, the second in a series of 5K's in which I chased a sub-20:00 time. I've been dying to race, to see if I'm fitter than before, and just to go through the motions: the nerves, dealing with the bib, thinking through race strategy, deciding what to wear, etc. While I'd be lying if I said I don't care what time I run tomorrow (yes, I'd like a new PR), I won't fall apart if I feel sluggish and finish in a slow time. Given my personally unprecedented training volume, from a logical standpoint I have no reason to expect to PR when I'm this tired and when the focus of my training has been on everything other than increasing my speed. Still, I'm going for it, and will report back. Of course, the weather forecast calls for 38 degrees and rainy. I was disappointed about that, until I realized that my 5K PR came last year on only a slightly less cold, rainy day, on a much hillier course than one for tomorrow's race.

Sunday will be 20-miler #2 of this cycle, which I plan to run with a friend who's a marathon veteran (maybe 15 or so) and who took the winter mostly off from running. He's affectionately called Big Man, since he's about my height (5'11) but weighs around 190 lbs. That makes the fact that he bailed on running Chicago with me and ran 3:26:xx last fall in nicer weather that much harder to accept. Having grown a bit tired of my music and podcasts, I'm looking forward to the company. It'll be the first time I've done a long training run with someone else, and I expect it to make the miles go by much more quickly.

Have a good weekend.



Greg said...

Your blog is great...seems like our stories are fairly similar. I started to get engulfed in running in late 2006, and now I am attempting to run my 3rd marathon in Chicago this year. I will be following the Pfitzinger 24/55 plan, and my goal is to do a sub 3:30 race also. Our paces seem to be fairly similar....always cool to be able to relate to someone else out there..

Ron Abramson said...

Thanks. Hope to see you in Chicago, but only briefly, since I'm trying for my 3:20 BQ. :-) Cheers, ESG