Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rain and Snow Saturday 10-Miler

So far, this new year has just been terrible weather-wise for running. First, we had that week of snow January 10-14 (in which I did absolutely no running at all even though I was still training for Mountain Mist which was on January 22). Since then, we've had a few days here and there of "freezing rain" or "icy" conditions (so our group doesn't plan to meet), and then it turns out to just be a light drizzle. This is seriously frustrating! To top it all off (for me), Rick was on travel January 25-28, so without childcare, I stayed inside instead of running all but one day. I don't tally my monthly mileage, but I can imagine that January's would have been pretty low. I did manage the 31 miles of Mountain Mist and then an 18-miler on January 29th, but many of the other days were zero miles! I can handle the cold, but not the rain or heavy snow!

So today our group had decided on a 10-miler at 5:15 a.m. We had met earlier this week for a run in the 20 degree (windchill) temperatures and faced a brutal wind that day. We can handle the cold, at least the cold in Alabama! I was pumped to be able to run, and the weather only called for a 10% chance of precipitation. We always check it on the hourly forecast just to make sure, because who wants to wake up early for nothing? So I woke up, got ready, and got in the car in the garage. As soon as I start pulling out of the garage, I see these little misting raindrops all over my windshield. At that point, I thought about pulling right back into the garage and going back to bed. I'd gotten that far so I decided to at least drive to our meeting spot. The rain continued (but it was so light!) as I made my way to the parking lot of the nearby school. No sooner had I parked when I saw Jennifer's car pulling in next to mine. She immediately rolled down her window and said, "I'm still not sure!" and I quickly agreed as the rain pelted my face from my rolled-down window. But then, another car appeared, this time my friend, Angie. Shortly after that, here comes Kristen. So the four of us are sitting in our cars trying to decide what to do when I see Angie putting her hat on and getting out.

"Are you really running in this?" Jennifer and I asked incredulously (Kristen may have been too, but I could not see her very well from where I was). She said yes. I didn't want her out there alone, so I started thinking that I might try it too. The thought of being miserably cold and wet was so unappealing to me! The wind really picked up then. The rain starting whipping through my car even though the window was only open a little more than a crack. I think that was when Angie decided that it was not letting up at all and changed her mind about running. She quickly sought shelter in her dry car! We all sadly agreed that it was a no-go and headed for our homes. My friends probably think that was the end of the story, but I have a confession! As soon as I made it home, the rain really did let up. I sat watching my windshield in my driveway, and, noticing no rain, turned the car around and headed back to the parking lot. I was hoping some of my friends would do the same. No such luck! So back home I went for the second time, and still no running.

I laid back in the bed, running clothes and all, and waited for the rain to pass. When I woke back up, it was time for a solo run. I decided to make the best of it. I hadn't done any speedwork in awhile. I'd been focusing more on endurance for the Rocket City Marathon and Mountain Mist. So I decided to try our original plan of the 10-mile run but to try it at a 7:30-8:00 minute pace. That is roughly what I'd like to do in the Myrtle Beach Marathon in a couple of weeks. I have a really hard time motivating myself to do speedwork or marathon-pace workouts. Today I also felt a little tired, I guess still from Mountain Mist (a rough "formula" is one day of recovery for each mile raced, and I am only two weeks post-race so that could easily be a factor). But I put in my music and set off, with Rick's borrowed Garmin, of course! I took a couple of miles to warm up and then fell into a 7:45ish mile pace for the next few miles. I didn't feel like straying too far (and ending up with anything over 10 miles) so I repeated the greenway a few times during the run and added the neighborhood from this day. Believe it or not, along with seeing a bunch of puddles everywhere, about halfway through my run I started seeing snowflakes! They fell very lightly and didn't accumulate, but they still made for a nice "apology" from Mother Nature for her earlier plan-cancelling rain. Near mile 8, I already started running out of gas and slipped to an 8:10 pace. The next two were back to sub-8, though it was a struggle. The overall pace turned out to be 7:57. I had paced myself so I was right in front of my house at mile 10. As soon as the Garmin beeped the mile, I stopped, relieved. Ohhhhhh, that is a little frustrating to me, to feel so tired after 10 miles and to have to run 16 more than that in the marathon in two weeks. There was no way I could have kept up that pace for 16 more miles. Based on today, I am planning on 8:00 minute miles for the race, but I may have to aim for 8:30 instead. I just hope to be able to recover more before then. Judging from the recent winter weather we've been having, I'll be given lots of days to do just that.


  1. Having just run my fastest half at a 10:38 pace...I'm so envious. I can't say I don't know how to get faster, because I do know what I need to's the DOING it that's so hard. I usually run with a couple of friends who are set on a 10:00 pace so to do anything else means making a break from girls I LOVE. I've toyed with the idea of keeping my runs with them (only about 12-16 miles a week) and then adding in solo runs to gain speed and extra mileage...BUT, since I also bike and swim, fitting it all in is even harder. So for now, I live vicariously through posts like this!!!! THANK you!! :D

  2. Hi Dana, Glad you liked the post. I refuse to give up my training runs with my friends, and they are mostly 10 minute miles too. There is more to running than being fast, and I love those runs too much to sacrifice them for solo speedwork! I get most of my speedwork in during the races and find that I get faster as the season goes along. My endurance training (marathons and ultras) also helps me run faster in the shorter races. I am not a good example in training to get faster because I hate doing speedwork that's not a race! I would imagine that your biking and swimming will help you run faster, simply because you will be getting a cardio workout in and will be stronger because of it.