November 29, 2007
I can usually feel it when I run two days in a row and today was no exception. “Hey,” my legs whisper to me, “Hey you up there! We’re sleepy, let us rest!” Then my lungs get into the act: “Uh, I hate to tell you this, but those legs are at it again, begging for more than their fair share of oxygen. Can we fire those losers?”
Well, so it goes. I ran 5.4 miles, light-to-moderate hills, cold weather with a little rain, 85% roads 15% trail, average pace 9:30 per mile. I didn’t feel like I was running hard, but it certainly felt like a hard run.
November 29, 2007
Last night I got out of work too late to make it to the PRC’s Wednesday-night run, and I didn’t feel like driving anywhere else, so I ran from home. I decided to a few repeats of a 1.5-mile loop near my house — a loop that included running up The Hill. I was nervous about tackling the incline three times in a row, but I actually felt a little stronger each time. I tacked on some out-and-backs to bring the total up to six miles of slow, hilly running.
The weather? Once again, 36 and raining. Although, shortly into the run, I looked up and could see, against the light of the streetlights, that there was snow coming down too! Yay snow! That lasted maybe 20 minutes, then it was back to the rain. Instead of a cap, I wore a fleece headband-style ear warmer, which I think helped a lot in the chill.
November 27, 2007
It was 36°F (that’s 2°C for all you international readers of my fascinating blog) and raining fairly hard for last night’s run. That’s almost as bad as it gets. (A few winters in Ithaca taught me that semi-frozen slush falling from the sky is the absolute worst.) To my continuing surprise, plenty of people still showed up for PRC’s Monday-night run… although a lot of the regulars were missing. We’ve got a couple of ultra-runners in the group now. One is easing back into running (but should he be?) after making it 80+ miles in a 24-hour race the weekend before last — on a stress-fractured leg the whole time. The other ran a marathon on Saturday. Oh, and also a marathon on Sunday.
I tried to run fast to stay warm, but my fast pace wasn’t all that fast yesterday — 5.8 miles at a 8:55/mile pace.
November 24, 2007
I ran a 10-mile loop on streets and off-street paved paths (the Fanno Creek Trail) this morning. It was a little rough: my legs were feeling pretty dead, probably from racing hard Thursday morning. My calves especially ached. The loop was pretty much the same one I biked way back when; I like the way what was once a long bike ride is now a shortish run. Not that it felt all that short today. I took it slow, averaging about 10:15 a mile.
November 22, 2007
In kind of a last-minute decision, I decided to run the four mile Thanksgiving Morning “Turkey Trot” over by the Oregon Zoo this morning. The run starts in front of the Forestry Center, follows Kingston through Washington Park over to the rose garden (fairly sharply downhill), comes back the same way (fairly sharply uphill), then finishes with what would be a really very exceptionally fun downhill run through the zoo itself if you weren’t running as hard as you could already after all the hills. It’s a self-timed, “fun run” sort of thing, and way the heck too expensive, but the money is supposed to be for a Zoo fund-raiser mostly, I guess.
Having run 5.8 miles the night before, I wasn’t sure how well I could do, but I ended up pleasing myself. Four miles in 32:56, for an average pace of 8:14 per mile! Laps were 7:45 (a short uphill then mostly down), 8:05 (all down until the turnaround, then sharply back up a short while), 9:31 (serious uphill work the whole way — I’m pleased to be under 10:00 for this mile), and 7:35 (the last of the uphill and then the downhill sprint to the line). Good job, me!
A public service announcement: running or walking four miles burns about 400 Calories, or maybe 600 on hills like those. Compare this to the 2000 Calories you burn just sitting around and breathing all day, and you can see that doing a run Thanksgiving morning doesn’t actually give you free license to eat as much as you can that afternoon.
November 20, 2007
It was a pretty snappy run (for me) last night — over 5.8 miles, I averaged 8:45. Over the last 0.8, gently downhill, we were on a 7:50 pace. My calves had felt stiff all day, but once I started running, all systems were go: my legs felt light and strong and my breathing felt good.
This was the coldest night for running so far this season, but it wasn’t a problem. Once again, we got lucky and the rain held off for us. Earlier in the day it had rained a lot, but by 6:00 it was just the puddles to watch out for. I think it was in the low 40s. I wore a middle-weight long-sleeve shirt, my running pants, lightweight gloves, and a light cap. It was about right.
Another thing I noticed was that my shoes, the ones with which I had run 17.5 miles on the muddy trail on Saturday, stunk something awful. I had rinsed them off well, but I guess whatever smells bad in mud hadn’t come out. Last night after the run I took out the insoles and threw the shoes into the washing machine. Hopefully the detergent will help. Ech.
November 19, 2007
So far this fall, the Portland area has seen what I think is uncharacteristically mild weather. The rain, in particular, has really held off. Even on rainy days, it’s been clearing up by the time of my evening runs. All well and good, but I have been wanting to get some training on muddy trails, to better prepare for Hagg Lake in February. Saturday morning, the weather obliged. The Wildwood was pretty damp and getting damper, though I didn’t hit any serious rain until the last mile — just a lot of dense smaller drops… you know, the usual Oregon stuff?
I parked on Saltzman Road, off Skyline. I’d never been up on that part of Skyline before — past the Skyline Restaurant and the cemetery, and it was kind of interesting. There’s always more to discover in Portland. It looked like Skyline itself had a decent sidewalk for running, and some nice views. And the restaurant looked like it had car service! Anyway. Saltzman Road, gravel to begin with, quickly comes to a some closed gates and a tiny parking area. It’s a mile downhill along Salzman until the Wildwood crosses it, very close to milepost 16 on the trail. Then I ran to milepost 23 3/4 and back. One more mile back to the car, and that adds up to 17.5 miles. I was only planning on running 16. What I hadn’t noticed was that my usually-trusty Garmin Forerunner 305 was losing satellite reception fairly regularly. This made the handy little odometer on my wrist a lot less accurate than usual — it was showing a considerably shorter distance than I had actually run. By the time I noticed, I was already a little past milepost 23, and by then my higher brain functions had shut down enough that doing the math based on the mileposts seemed like a lot of work. Eventually I did the work, observed that I was already three-quarters of a mile too far, and turned around. Three quarters of a mile doesn’t sound like much, but you double it on a day like that, when you drank too much the night before and haven’t eaten much that morning, and you really feel it. The last two or three miles of the run were the toughest. I found myself groaning and grunting to myself a bit. Eventually I made it back to the MINI, dried off, changed clothes inside the car, and stiffly drove home. Fun!