Monday, February 22, 2010

Runner's Log 2.21.10

I tried to keep up my training schedule as best as possible in Vermont.

They had a fabulous gym in our hotel (pictured below), but with so many other things to do it was hard to be focused.

I did work out in the gym once over the weekend and I count tubing as cross-training; dragging your tube up a hill is hard work!

I went in to this week a day behind and facing an 8 mile run yesterday.

As of yesterday it is exactly 4 weeks until the 1/2 marathon. I made the decision no more travel until the race and I gave up alcohol for Lent. The next 4 weeks are going to be all about training.

Yesterday was a big day, an 8 mile run. It was a beautiful day - sunny and warm. OK, for all of you in CA it was 40 degrees but that is warm for us and probably close to the temps on race day. I really needed to get in an outside run. I needed to get in practice on hills and see if I fixed my previous wardrobe issues.

I downloaded a runner's map of Central Park. If I ran the entire loop of Park Drive that was 6 miles. Next I used MapQuest to calculate the distance from our apartment to the park: 1 mile. It worked out really well, if I ran to the park, did the entire loop, and ran back that would be my 8 mile.

I really was comfy on the couch and I just didn't want to do the run outside. Luckily Michael was there to really push me and get me out the door. Even though it would be under pace, I gave myself 2 hours for the run. I was more concerned about finishing the distance than making good time.

It was hard getting to the park, crowded sidewalks, traffic lights, and a slight uphill grade the entire way. I jogged some and walked some. I hit the park and went north on Park Drive. I wanted to hit the Great Hill while I was still fresh. The Great Hill is the steepest hill in the park, it has the sharpest uphill grade but it is the shortest hill - there are a ton of hills in the park and all of them are pretty tough. The park was packed, half of the city was out walking, running, cycling, roller blading - at least when I was jogging I was passing the walkers.

It was rough going - my legs weren't getting tired but I was getting out of breath. I would jog and try to push myself a little further but then I would have to walk. I just kept thinking in my head, just finish the distance. Luckily along with the uphills there are downhills too, at least something to get me started at a jog after an uphill.

I didn't wear a watch but I have my iPod loaded with a particular set of songs that is just shy of an hour. I don't know the exact time at each song but I know when I'm getting close to the end. I also didn't know the exact miles as I was going around the park but I had an idea in my head of where I was and how much farther I had left to run. As I hit an hour on the set list I was thinking I was more than halfway done with the park loop - this was very encouraging. I started the play list again and kept going. Finally I was headed north, up towards the gate at 90th St. I passed the 72nd St transverse and all I could think was 2 more miles (20 blocks/1 mile to exit the park and then 1 mile home).

At last The Met was in my sights, that meant just a 1/2 mile to exit the park. At that point I was very motivated and I finished the park loop and the mile home jogging the entire way. I knew by my set list I was under 2 hours and I really wanted to get home and check my time. I really wanted to complete the run in under two hours.

I did the 8 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes! Yay! That works out to 13 min 8 seconds a mile - below sweep pace. I'm really encouraged. I worked out my wardrobe issues - except for the socks. I need to get some different socks but it was a great day.