|Here's what my workplace looked like yesterday. Pretty!|
But I was worried about today. Today's run called for four five-minute intervals at half-marathon pace (which for me right now is supposed to be around 8:40). I knew I'd need a bigger course than my safe golf course hill, and I also knew that the sidewalks would be iffy and the traffic would be, well, there. But as Samwise Gamgee says in The Lord of the Rings, when there's a run on the schedule, there's nothing for it. You get up, you put on the right kind of clothes and you go.
Sure enough, just as the first of the five-minute intervals cropped up, I hit a patch of crappy sidewalk. We're talking ice like rocks and patches of slickness where there had been melting yesterday and re-freezing overnight. And there was no veering into the road, because rush hour traffic starts picking up around 6 a.m. here. I might have cursed a little. The first interval came in at an 8:52 pace. Blah.
But after that, as often happens, things improved. I got out of the residential stretch of the road and found that the sidewalks were much clearer around the little strip malls and shops further on. I was able to find my pace and stay steady. In fact, I found myself battling my constant problem of going too fast. Even the hardest of the five intervals, entirely up a hill, came in at an 8:42 pace. I haven't hooked the Garmin up, so I'm not sure what the fastest one was, but I did have to reel myself in twice when I saw 8:02 and 7:56 on the little screen.
As the stars gave way to the rising sun (AMAZING stars right now!) and the intervals ticked by, my spirits lifted. When it was time to cool down and head home, the sidewalks got crappy again but it didn't bug me. I ran 7.25 miles total and could have kept going.
When I walked into the house, the kids and Dan laughed at my frozen hair. Yes, sticking out from under my fleece beanie, my hair was crusted with white frost. I hadn't paid attention to the temperature, but when I looked at that moment, the needle on our little kitchen-window thermometer said 19 degrees. Makes me wonder how cold it had been at 6 a.m. when I first set out in the dark!!
I also noticed that, when I took the Garmin off my right wrist, which is where I always wear it, my right hand was noticeably colder than my left. Dan said he's experienced "cold watch hand" syndrome too. Apparently I need to make it looser, so the blood can get to that hand and keep it warm. Weird. Anyone else experienced this?
So I am pleased to note that as of today, November 3, I have yet to resort to the treadmill. The treadmill is a huge pain for me because I have to go to the rec center to use it. That means adhering to time limits, and even my weekday runs now take at least twice as much time as most rec center time limits. My friend Christine (I love that woman!) bid on my behalf on a 10-punch pass to Flatiron Athletic Club that was in the silent auction at her kids' preschool and won it for me. But FAC is now a 25-minute drive for me.
So I plan to run outside as much as possible to avoid the time limits. It'll be better for my running anyway. And the frozen hair makes me feel like a bad-ass. :^)