Thursday, July 19, 2007

One Month Later...

After a couple weeks of “will-I-or-won’t-I?” I’ve decided that Saturday’s four-miler is, in fact, for me!

(I'm officially one month into my recover from my dumb sciatic problem process: two weeks yoga-and-rest, two weeks yoga-and-run-lite. And now I'm back to... normal?)

I headed out around 7:30 p.m. (after a vicious fight with my will and fatigue) to run around my neighborhood. I was halfway through my 1-mile walking warm-up when I ran into Anya, our former grad assistant who now works in Hudson. What’s funny is that I was just wondering during a music-free run the other day how many people I know live in our apartments without me knowing. Well, there’s one!

It’s a handy little neighborhood: our apartment buildings are on the right side of the street, a hilly condo community is on the left. After I talked to Anya, I passed a number of people walking, cycling, running and strolling with dogs. Aside from the devilishly ominous clouds looming overhead, it was a pleasant evening to be out… and not remotely as mugging as my excuse-making self claimed it would be.

One of my biggest obstacles with running recently (yes, aside from the nagging sciatic thing) has been route boredom. I’ve run every square inch of the Stow and Kent areas, and won’t be hitting the trails on foot or alone for obvious reasons. And sticking around my 1-mile roundtrip street has been less than thrilling.

It has, however, been several months since I incorporated the condo development across the street into my run. As it turns out, it has some better-than-remembered hills. Granted, these aren’t Kent hills, or even some Stow hills, and definitely not the last-stretch-at-St.-Malachi hills. But good enough.

So, weaving in and out of the development, I had intended on running four “laps” of my neighborhood. Without the development swoops, it’s about one mile per lap; my goal was to run four miles. Adding the extra swoops, as it turns out, packs on some extra distance. And by the end of my run, I had completed a total of 7.10 miles, which included 1 mile walking and 6.10 miles running. Not too bad for a girl just getting back into it.

What surprised me most was the relative evenness with which I ran the miles: 16:00 for the first walking mile and then 9:01, 9:08, 9:06, 9:14, 8:59, 9:09 for each additional mile. It matched my target pace, and I was happy to be so “even” on my first run back.

I could definitely tell, though, that my body wasn’t used to the impact of 6+ miles. Physically, I felt strong running the distance—in fact, I hit my full stride and second wind right around mile five—but felt some serious stomach sourness from the jostling and had even more acid reflux. The last couple of miles was a fight between mind, stomach and [the rest of my] body that luckily turned out not so bad!

My only problem was that I felt generally s-l-o-w, as I have felt for the past month. While I was glad I maintained an even pace and a time that I had targeted for my distance training, I don’t know that I could have run much faster—even if it wasn’t a high-intensity run for me. On the other hand, it could just be my how-will-I-run-on-Saturday fears arresting my mind. We’ll see.

Saturday is just a measly run in the grand scheme of things: Jen C. will be completing her first Ironman at Lake Placid, and I’m really eager to hear about the big race. All the best to Jen C. and her husband on Saturday!

Previous days' notes: I ran a smidge on Monday at the track and then walked a while with Melissa. We were engrossed in a conversation about medical procedures; you really should only do that while walking. And Tuesday was swim, swim, swim: 1,800 yards free. It was a super strong swim that added well to my up-the-yardage plan in the pool. I'm trying to add some yards each time I swim. With no excuses. Until, of course, I run out of lunchtime minutes in which to swim.


miss petite america said...

i drive to places to run if necessary. maybe that's not so eco friendly, but if i were to run only where i live i would go nuts!

don't worry about being "slow" (which is not slow at all!!) you're just getting restarted. what's important is that you listen to your body.

Joe said...

You're running and swimming again? Great!

You've got to do something about that route boredom. That is a serious problem.