Sunday, March 1, 2015
Shift in Strategy
I'm losing the war. But, it's not too late to shift my strategy...
On Monday, I awoke to a frozen hell complete with black ice. While I feel comfortable running on, and through, snow, ice is an unpredictable bastard. I left my home donning tights and a jacket, but after slipping twice in my parking lot, I opted to run on the treadmill. I've been good about NOT running on the treadmill and believe the 8-mile run I did on Monday was the first time I've run on the hamster wheel in at least 3 years, but likely 4. Since moving here, nearly 3 years ago, I've never used my gym. I didn't want to run much more than 8 on the dreadmill, but I was pleasantly surprised that on Tuesday I ran without any pain, as I'm typically feeling achy after a treadmill run.
On Tuesday, I ran down to Parkwood Drive, which sits east, or above, Rock Creek. It was freezing and my hands were screaming for warmer gloves. Suffice to say, I was wearing the warmest ensemble of mitten/glove combination I had. After a 2 mile warm up, I started to hammer the hills to get warm, but soon found myself pushing every uphill I could find - short, long, whatever. For the next 6 miles I tempoed up and down hills, tip-toeing around black ice and left-over snow, running nearly every road in the neighborhood. My last two miles were about 11:00, but I didn't know until I checked later, when I was safely under a hot shower. It was old school - hammering hills.
On Wednesday, I ran nearly every neighborhood street between Greenwood Drive and the Beltway. I actually don't mind these runs. I drift off and let the roads run me, never knowing what road to take and when. If you look at my GPS data, I look like a rat in a labyrinth.
On Thursday, it snowed, once again, so I kept the running short and light. I got in 8.
On Friday, I ran 4 miles in the Wildwood neighborhood, then ran the "NIH Loop". I got in 10.
On Saturday, I met a slew of harriers at Pierce Mill. The plan was to run 4 miles hard from the mill towards The Line. I boldly proclaimed that 5:10 - 5:15 pace was doable and that it would be done. Silence. After a 3-mile warm-up, Outlaw, Witty, Dix, Evan, Kieran, and I, started north. There was a lot of cackling going on behind me, but I wasn't interested in conversing. After a 5:30 first mile, I rolled my eyes and proceeded to (try to) get after it. Outlaw did the brunt of the work and the next mile was covered in 5:18. Then another 5:18. Kieran took off and I did my best to stay with him and finished in, yet another, 5:18. I was frustrated that 5:22 pace was all I could muster for a tempo, even uphill in 20 degree weather. During the long, arduous, cool down, Dickson reminded me I needed to do speed work. Of course, I know this already, but I've been bad at it and it was a great reminder. And, he was right. Partly because I'm afraid of the track injuring me (for the umpteenth time) and partly because of the terrible weather we've been having, I just haven't engaged in a lot of (very fast) speed work. Well, it's time to change that; it's time for a sift in strategy. Next week, I'll get after a 1-min on/1-min-off routine OR I'll start hitting the track. Damn the torpedoes. Fuck the torpedoes.
On Sunday, I Met Dix out in Poolesville in the middle of a snowstorm. Thank God for Dix. During, the first 8 miles we ran through the falling snow. We talked about all things running, though we didn't solve any riddles. Although the precipitation came down heavy at times, the conversation was pleasant, but the last 8 miles were covered in a freezing rain. When we stopped, after 16 miles, my zipper was frozen and I could not, easily, unzip my jacket. It was time to go home.
I got in 73.5 miles for the week.