A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Neither wind nor flurries.....nor mud


I'm sure you're all waiting on the edges of your seats to find out if I ran my 9 miles inside or outside yesterday. Well, in case you couldn't tell from the picture above, I ran them outside. Thankfully, the bike path was mostly clear of ice and snow. There was just a lot of it in the surrounding woods. The snow flurries let up after the first mile and the sun even came out for awhile.

I bundled myself up with running tights, nylon "swishy" pants, SmartWool socks, short-sleeved shirt, long-sleeved shirt, and the liner from my ski jacket which is fleece on the inside and nylon on the outside. Originally I was going to wear Jason's balaclava but decided to just go with my headband instead. I struggled to decide if I was too warm or just right. At times I did feel too warm, but when the wind picked up I was glad I was wearing the slightly heavier jacket. Thankfully, the trees broke most of the wind, but there were some points where it was quite chilling.

I'm not going to lie; the first two miles were ROUGH. The first half mile had wind. Just after the first mile the creek had crested its bank and left a giant mud slick all over the path. I had to stop and use a stick to dig the mud out of the treads of my shoes. Rocks kept getting stuck in the mud in my shoes and causing my gait to go all wonky. My tights were not cooperating and kept sliding down. Around mile two I stopped again to yank them up and tie them tighter. But then I was afraid that the pressure on my abdomen would cause intestinal issues. I alternated between being too hot and too cold. My headphones kept working their way out of my ears and bouncing around until I remembered they needed to be adjusted. Just before mile three I had to go "off-road" to avoid a low-lying area filled with icy water. It wasn't really until mile 3.5 that I felt like I was going to make it.

I saw very few people and even less wildlife. The greyness of the woods was kind of a downer. Yesterday's run was the furthest I'd ever gone on this particular path so I didn't even have the comfort of familiar landmarks after awhile. Regardless, I took it slow and made it to the halfway point feeling pretty good. I took the following picture looking further up the path as a reminder that there is even more to explore:


Once I hit the 4.5 mile mark, I ate some of my Sports Beans (which were hard as rocks by this time) and drank some water as I walked a little bit. Then it was back to running. I was still feeling pretty good at this point. I picked up the pace a little bit. I passed quite a few people walking their dogs. Dogs always make me smile. When I had about three miles left I saw a deer trot across the path in front of me. A few seconds later an older couple walking a beagle rounded the bend. The dog immediately froze and then started barking at the deer with that bay of a bark that beagles have. It made me laugh.

Then it was quiet. The path was empty again and I could feel stiffness and pain in my hip flexors. I'd already taken the time to stretch them as I waited for a traffic light earlier. Apparently it didn't help. I felt slow and sluggish. I paused for a short walk and a quick drink hoping that more hydration would help. I had less than 2 miles to go. When I get to this point I try to speed up instead of slowing down. My thought process is that if I go faster I'll be done sooner. I imagined passing that big pile of logs that means I'm almost to the end.

And then I was there. I was done. My Garmin beeped, I hit the stop button, and I slowed to a walk. I stopped and used another stick to scoop yet more mud out of my shoes. I walked the quarter mile back to my car. I chatted with a man walking his dogs as I stretched. I even had enough energy to stop by the library on my way home. I'm sure I was quite a sight what with salt dried on my face and mud on my pants and shoes.

When I got home I peeled off my jacket and immediately felt how soaked my other layers were. As soon as that jacket was off I started to shiver. I probably should have done an ice bath but instead I stripped off my sopping clothes and jumped into a warm shower.

I took the rest of the evening easy but I wasn't completely sapped of energy. That's a good sign for me. Today my quads are a little sore and I'm a little tired, but otherwise I'm feeling good.

This particular run was supposed to be done at a 10:55 minutes per mile pace. I tried my hardest to start out super slow at the beginning. As you can see from the splits chart, I did go slower at the beginning. You can also see that I really started to feel good around mile 4 and 5. But you can also see that once again I failed at running as slow as my plan wants. And you know what, I'm okay with that.


Route:--Elev. Avg:0 ft
Location:Hines, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:03/01/09Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:12:10 PMDifficulty:0 / 5.0
Weather:Light Snow
 21 F temp; 70% humidity
 21 F heat index; winds N 20 G 29

Distance: 9.00 miles
Speed:5.8 mph
Pace:10' 17 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)

Posted from bimactive.com


celmore said...

Good job. Nice pictures. Looks cold.

kristen said...

Way to suck it up. I would not have enjoyed the first few miles of that either.

Aaron Cunningham said...

Wow. Good on ya for getting out ther in that weather. Bleah. :)

Good run. Nice speed too. That being daid, try taking a look at your heart rate and see how it looks compared to the speed. Ideally you want to do the workout that provides the optimum results.

My hip flexors got really tired on the first half dozen long runs I did last year, and after that I haven't had any problems.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

Aaron - I have a heart rate monitor but I don't really like it. It's also separate from my Garmin (didn't buy the heart rate strap for the 405) so I'd have to wear two big bulky things on my wrists. Maybe I'll incorporate heart rate training for the next half-marathon if I can find a way to tolerate the chest strap.

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