Thursday, August 25, 2011

How Cool!

Ahhhh... 68 degrees and low humidity. How sweet it is! I've been feeling like the tone of my blog has been more negative than I would like. I'm not used to dealing with injury and I obviously don't like running in extreme heat. Then I went from feeling proud of my consistency to feeling disappointed by time off to rest my back and a couple of missed days.

Yesterday was another missed day. I slept horribly Tuesday night and overslept Wednesday morning. Then I decided an evening workout on the hottest day so far this month would make this morning's workout less likely to happen (or at least less productive if it did happen). So no workout on Wednesday. To be completely honest, if it had been a cool evening, I probably would have gone out to run some hills. But the heat chased me indoors.

I felt like I might be slipping into a funk and missing yesterday didn't help so I needed a good day and a good run to help me get back on track. Today was that day and it involved a first... relaxing sightings... personal insight... progress... and an all-around positive vibe.

I actually got up early today because I had a lot on the schedule. I was out the door at 6:30 and set out on my usual 8 Mile course. I ran down to Route 66 State Park but when I got there, the gate still had a padlock on it. I've lived in Eureka for three years and today was the first time I got to the park before 7am. I assumed the park opened at sunrise since it closes 30mins after sunset, but apparently it opens at 7 o'clock. I guess every time I've gone for a run earlier than that, it's been around town but not to the park.

I paused for a minute to contemplate my options... I could hop the fence, I could tack on 2 miles somewhere else in the run, I could try going the long way around to the other park entrance... just then, the park ranger drove up and opened the gate for me. I'm glad I wasn't hopping the fence!

About a mile around the 2-mile loop, I came across my first group of deer. I was the first person in the park for the day and the deer were everywhere. I took a moment to hang out in the quiet of the park with a few of them until a mini-van came by and reminded me I should get moving.

A little farther into the loop, I turned a corner and stood facing a young buck. I couldn't help stopping again... it was too nice of a morning.

When I got on my way again, I was surprised by the chill of the breeze. I sweat more when I stop moving and my sweat isn't evaporating so when I got going again, I gave a little shiver. The rest of the run went really well and I kept thinking about how much the temperature helped. I've always known that I run my best in the 40-70 degree range, but today I realized just how much the temperature affects my running. I kept a significantly faster pace today and it felt great. When I got to the hill on Central, I charged up it feeling surprisingly light. On hot, humid days, I slog up that hill with heavy legs struggling to suck in air. On cool, crisp days like today... "Num, Num, Num, Num, Num!!!" I gobble them up and eat those hills for breakfast! Hot days are my kryptonite.

I averaged 6:53 per mile and felt great! Then I took a quick shower before turning around for a PT session that went really well. My back is feeling good and recovered amazingly quickly from Sunday's tightness.

After slumping for a couple of weeks, today felt like a turning point. I'm back in business!

Goal For The Day: Speedwork. (Didn't happen.)
Distance: 0.00 Miles.

Goal For The Day: Middle Distance.
Distance: 8.20 Miles.
Time: 56:29. 6:53 Avg. (7:12, 6:48, 6:51, 6:51, 6:47, 6:53, 6:47, 6:59, 1:16*).
Route: To Rte. 66/1 Lap/Home.
Conditions: 68 degrees! 6:30AM.

Notes: Feeling re-energized and ready to go. Just in time... the mileage is ramping up and the next month is really important. I hope this trend continues.

Daily Miles: 8.20 Miles.
Blog Totals:
  Run - 213.43 Miles.
  Bike - 98.53 Miles.
  Swim - 8,150+ meters.

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