Thursday, June 14, 2007

89 Miles Down, Plus: Your Fashion Tips

It’s amazing how quickly the week can get away from you: I skipped a run on Monday for whatever reason, and that guilt carried into Tuesday’s swim (but was mitigated by the Cavaliers game—it was still awesome to be there) and only mounted yesterday.

Despite it all, I covered 7.33 miles at lunch today (that leaves 11 miles to go!), including a 1.11-mile warm-up and 6.2-mile run at 8:42/mile pace. And I think I have found my very comfortable pace for distance-building between 8:35 and 8:45/mile. For months I struggled with running too fast too soon: remember the whole 7:37/mile on my first 10-miler? Silly G!

Now I can start running at a comfortable pace without having to brainwash myself, burn in the heat or insist on singing to gauge my intensity (although it’s still fun).

While I didn’t understand the importance of the long-and-slow when I started running, it’s all making sense now (and I definitely wouldn’t have made it to 14+ miles by now). It had been my impression that if I had built endurance at a slower pace, I would never be able to improve my speed. But that’s just silliness. And I know that many, many people tried to explain the concept to me, but sometimes you just have to make sense of things yourself.

I am, however, still working on my pace and trying to find my optimum intensity. And getting back to my HR monitor could help. I haven’t used it in the past month because I suffered some pretty awful chafing from the thing on one of my long runs on a hot day.

Aquaphor is the stuffSo, as I get back to understanding my HRM, I’ll also be a big fan of skin protectants like Aquaphor (I received a sample of Aquaphor from the Cleveland 10-miler in April and have become a big fan; I’m always skeptical of free samples, and was pleasantly surprised), which has really helped me recover my pride from my recent wipeout.

Today’s run took me back inside: after the wipeout and the car incident, I’ve decided that on days when I really want to intently focus on my stride or pace or anything but my surroundings, I will either run on a [bearless] trail or at the track (Kent State also has an outdoor track, so I might check that out soon too) despite my previous prejudices toward the perfect terrain.

But alas, someone had let their children run rampant on the track, so it became an obstacle course at times. At least this time, as opposed to the bear, car and ground incidents, I was bigger. I didn’t make anyone cry this time, but there were a few close calls and severe tackles.

What are your favorite shorts? My other distraction on my run was my shorts. So, I wanted to know if anyone had any running fashion tips: what’s a good running short? I have spent most of my life utterly opposed to wearing shorts, but after spending 1-2 sunny runs in pairs of dark cropped pants, I’m ready to be converted.

While the shorts I already own are good for general exercise, they’re not made for distance running. In fact, they’re good for 3-4 miles, but then get a little… cranky, we’ll say. I’ve been checking out different styles online, would like to get opinions and will eventually check things out in person before I amass a new collection of runnable clothing.

The Cavaliers games have started so late in the finals that my superstitious running routine has been utterly shot—at least now we know what the problem has been. Sorry Cavs fans! And I had something bad-for-my-stomach to eat today, so I was whipped when I came home and couldn’t head out for a bit at 9 p.m.

One final funny note:
Salty is an awesome runner from the blogosphere who kicked butt in a 5K on Wednesday. I was reading her race report, in which she logged that her first-mile split was 5:50, and realized that her first-mile split was my running-for-my-life-from-my-fear-of-bears “split” from last Sunday’s run through the wilderness. I felt like I was literally flying at that pace, and she ran it in a mid-week 5K race. How awesome is that? Way to go, Salty!


miss petite america said...

i'm a fan of running skirts. they cover a multitude of upper thigh sins. you can find them with just spanky pants underneath or compression shorts. both work well.

but on the flip side, i also wear the really short biker type shorts. they're like a second skin so they don't ride up. if i'm feeling modest, i'll throw a skirt over it.

The Salty One said...

G, I can't tell you how much I relate to the whole have to learn these lessons myself thing. I am stubborn and rather take the long hard way and figure it out on my own than listen to somebody else. I'm getting better about taking advice in my old age, thankfully!

As for shorts--my first real running shorts were the previous version of the nike tempo track shorts. I'm not as crazy about the latest version, but a lot of people really like them. They're solid, although probably not a runner runner's shorts--more of a fitness runner's short. My favoritest right now are a pair of Hind Flash shorts I found on REI's outlet online. There's still a good selection of them there. I wear shorts almost year round. I HATE running in pants if I can help it!! You too will join us short-lovers and will never go back to the cropped pant. Heh.

Thanks for the shout out!

PS Cavs :( Bummer.

JenC said...

I have a hard time finding a pair that I like, but I am partial to my Adidas running shorts. I think I just got them at a place like Dick's.

I also wear triathlon shorts for some of my runs. Pearl Izumi makes a comfortable pair.

I want a running skirt though, so let me know if you like it if you get one.