Sunday, February 8, 2009

Shuffle mode

Let me say first that it was an extremely pleasant and non-epic and enjoyable run - I am now in a mood of acute cheerfulness, and feel better than I have for many days, only slightly daunted by the amount of work to be done in the near (very near!) future, and also very sorry to learn when I got home that my grandfather and theatergoing companion G. fell on the ice this weekend in New Jersey and broke his arm! He sounds in good spirits, and will go to the orthopod tomorrow morning to see about getting the temporary splint replaced with a proper cast, but I hope you will keep him in your thoughts for a speedy recovery - at the very least, it is a great nuisance...

SO.

I set out at a really easy pace - I have no mental fortitude to spare right now, I have been digging very deep for work, and I wanted to do this run at a pace that genuinely put as little strain as reasonably possible on my aerobic system.

I had a great gift in the shape of the weather - it was in the high forties and beautifully sunny, a truly perfect day for a run...

The first hour was very nice, only I was going at such an easy effort level that it took about an hour just to warm up. I had a bit too much time to think about the minor aches and twinges on various spots around the legs - the sore left knee, the stiff right calf that is clearly related to some kind of compensation for the knee....

Around mile 6 or so I suddenly felt absolutely wonderful. All was right with the world! I didn't speed up (my legs were in fact feeling rather sore and tired right from the beginning), but it was very good indeed - you know, where you are chanting to yourself I love running, it is the best thing in the world...

At this point I also realized that Mental Insanity had been doing the counting when I clocked an eighteen-miler as to-and-from park (1 mile each way) plus 2 x full loop (6 miles each) plus "upper five" (full loop minus the annoying bottom bit - you cut across the transverse at 72nd rather than continuing to the south end of the park). That would at least 19, probably more like 19.5 depending on route home from the park, and since my last long one was only 14 (though admittedly under strangely Antarctic conditions that led to time on feet of 2:45!) I could actually afford to cut a little more out of the last loop.

And that really I would be well advised to do so, because though from the waist up I felt like I could run forever at this pace, my legs were already feeling the pain...

I slowed down a bit and I can really see in the mile splits what a slog the second loop was for those poor legs! And for the last few miles getting home, I seriously was shuffling - it is a strange thing, when your body as a whole is so very comfortable (I had good enough water and nutrition - delicious experiment with Kendal Mint Cake, which I am going to take with me for the marathon - it was supplied to Shackleton for the Imperial Antarctic Expedition in the 1910s, it is historically suitable!) and your legs so very sore! Butt and hamstrings especially - it is the hills. Also my cardiovascular system is in pretty good nick from the fall marathon training plus a very steady winter season of swimming, whereas I just haven't been putting in enough miles for the legs to feel great about a long hilly run like that.

The pod, at any rate, is clocking me as having done 19 miles in 3:31:52. (I had a couple brief stints of walking for thorough watering and fueling purposes, stints I keep on the clock because it seems fairer that way.) Probably it was a bit shorter & thus a bit slower mile by mile. The splits will make you laugh if you think about this kind of thing at all - SHUFFLE! - 10:55, 10:48, 10:15, 9:38, 10:02, 10:21, 9:47, 10:43, 10:44, 11:04, 11:18, 11:34, 12:27, 11:52, 11:33, 11:40, 11:56, 12:20, 10:48.

(I actually felt like I was shuffling quite a lot for the first six, too - the only non-shuffling ones were miles 7-9, which are fairly hilly, so that non-shuffleness is not necessarily reflected in the times.)

I will correct the pod's 19 to a more plausible 18 when logging mileage!

2 comments:

Wendy said...

a very nice run! and as you can see, gene is in my thoughts ...

ShirleyPerly said...

Sounds like a good run to me. Perhaps the conditions at your race will likely require you to a lot of shuffling. Hope the knee improves soon!