Monday, August 26, 2013

Seventeen Miles

Sunday, August 25, 2013:

I’ve never been so glad to get back to air conditioning in my life!  We ran in the park as usual, but with a forecast in the high 90's we started early enough to be at the park before the gates opened at 6:00 am, and were running by 6:05.  The temperature was already 79 with a dewpoint of 70.  My visor cap was dripping from sweat within three miles.

I ran 3.5 miles on the paved trails first, while the sun came up, to avoid running on the rutty, irregular grass/dirt trails in near-dark.  Then I ran a loop of 6.3 miles and another of 7.1 on the grass trails, each time returning to the car to refill my water bottle.  The last loop was difficult for me, very hot, and the 20-ounce bottle that I was carrying ran out before I finished.  The sun melted my stamina away, and the only saving grace was a nice 10-mph breeze, without which I might have quit early.  Though I was trying to do a 20/20 run/walk, I walked more than that in the last mile or two, and felt like I was finishing a marathon. Uff-da.

Sunny Morning in the Park
Photo by Sunshine
Whining:  I found myself leaning to the left today, starting around mile four or five.  I don’t know why this happens, except it’s probably related to a lack of "core strength."  I should work on that - I wonder if I will.  It happens only once in a while, usually on a long run or a marathon (happened in Honolulu), but once it starts, it’s hard to fight it.  Further, my body wants to turn in the direction that I'm leaning, and toward the end of this run I had trouble landing my feet where I meant to put them, not exactly what you want on a rutty trail.

More whining: Both knees hurt a little bit in the middle of the run, seemingly in the knee joints themselves.  This was not a familiar feeling; at least I don't remember it in the 11 years since I started running. Caused by the heat?  Happily, though, the pain went away.

Loops: 41:25 (3.53 mi, pace 11:44), 1:18:34 (6.33 mi, pace 12:25), 1:30:19 (7.09 mi, pace 12:44), total 3:30:18 for 16.95 mi, average pace 12:24.  It'll do for today!

Saturday, August 24:

The St Croix Valley Runners now meet at Browns Creek Park on Neal in Stillwater, 7:00 am.  We had a big group this morning, at least a dozen runners.  I ran with Charley, who wanted to go short and slow, as I did.  We finished 2.4 hilly miles in 25:14 for a pace of 10:31, better than I needed to do, actually, with a long run scheduled for the next day.

Thursday, August 22:

Afternoon In The Sun.  After returning from Mayo Clinic we three went for a short run in the park in 84-degree temps.  I ran 3.3 miles in 36:49, for a pace of 11:09.  That's faster than I intended to go, with the temperature so high, but for only three miles it wasn't a problem.  I did have to stop for a "natural break," for which I was punished by the thorns of a buckthorn shrub.  I was eight minutes away from a porta-potty but I wasn't going to make it.

As usual, I ran the uphills and walked the downhills, to minimize the pounding on bones and joints.  No pains today at all.

Tuesday, August 20:

Short recovery run.  I ran 3.01 miles in 34:17 for a pace of 11:43, plenty good for today.

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