Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday run

Well, it was perfect in every way, except for one major blunder on my part that rendered it considerably more Antarctic/penitential than one really thinks of the perfect long run as being - I vaguely noticed this morning that there was a discrepancy between the temperature as given on the NYT site (low 40s) and the temperature visible on my desktop via weather.com (56F), but I didn't give it a second thought - I assumed that it was in the mid-50s.

A couple miles into the run, when I was already soaked to the skin and finding it fairly windy, it gradually dawned on me that the desktop temperature was clearly the one that was incorrect...

(Actual temperature: 43F. Steady rain, windy...)

I did 12 miles easy, along the west side, and I have to say that miles 4-10 or so were pretty much the coldest run I have ever had! I was wearing a long-sleeved wicking shirt and RaceReady shorts - no gloves, no jacket - socks were soaked...

I amused myself by trying to think of the last time I'd been that cold - there was a very cold Zodiac harbor cruise in Antarctica - and I seem to remember sitting in a terminal at JFK very early in the morning on a frigid New Year's Day (maybe mid-teens?) and thinking that airport design is not really suited to temperature extremes...

I stopped at the Chelsea Piers vending machines on the way back uptown to get another bottle of ersatz Gatorade to refill my fuel belt bottles, and I actually was a bit worried about whether my hands were going to work well enough to feed the bills into the machine - unscrewing and rescrewing those little bottle tops is a fiddly job at the best of times - it took me about five minutes, all told, and I was somewhat surprised I was able to manage it. Of course I was getting colder and colder as I stood there pouring away and trying to get the bottles back into their holders!

But I was damned if I was going to call my run off just for a bit of cold weather - only it is a pity that the race I am currently training for is sub-tropical (I am much better off cold and wet than overly warm, though I suppose that it is always a good thing to practice mental fortitude in conditions of moderate physical discomfort)!

Anyway, as I say, in every other respect it was a great run, the most enjoyable I have had for some time. I guess I'm getting back into the groove of it, I have had a very solid couple weeks of training now and have regained most of the fitness I felt like I lost on the Antarctica trip, but the main thing is that I am determined to work more consciously on my run training.

The best season I had, in terms of speed and ease, was the one a year and a half ago where I really took the notion of maintaining a low heartrate on the long run seriously. There are other factors, too (like I clearly have to re-lose 10 pounds between now and September if I want my fall marathon training to go as well as it should, ugh!), but I think the low-heartrate thing is HUGE. This past summer and fall I really got out of the habit of doing them that way - I was often running with a faster friend and at a relatively fast pace, and I don't think it translates into easy speed at the longer distances.

With low-mileage distance training plans, of course, there's not the same imperative to hold heartrates low - and yet I would have to say that I felt I more clearly benefited from the Hadd-style training than the FIRST-style (I wasn't hewing literally to either one, but it's a shorthand way of thinking about the basic approach).

So today I held HR really determinedly in the mid-140s, and it was great - very easy running at that pace, it is slow but that's just the way it's got to be - and I am going to try and really keep doing long ones very regularly this way all through the summer...

12 miles easy

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Sounds like a great run, in spite of the weather related issues.

(I hope you had a nice hot chocolate recover drink!)