Saturday, August 2, 2008

Long Run In The Rain

Today's workout on the training plan calls for an Endurance Run 75+ min.  Again, I took a bit of liberty with the '+' on the plan, although not as much as last week's half marathon :-)  I decided to do my Olde Town Gaithersburg loop which is 9 miles.

Since I knew I was running long this morning, last night I laid out my Amphipod and filled up the three water bottles.  I also loaded up some Fantasy Football podcasts on my iPod Shuffle - I'm in two Fantasy Football leagues and my first draft is in two weeks - so it's great to use the time on my run to get a bit more familiar with the players and where certain "experts" believe they should be drafted.

I was awoken at 6am by my older son closing his door and starting to play in his room semi-quietly (I was actually awoken around 1:30am as well by my younger son crying - I went into his room to try to calm him down and he pushed me away and said he wanted my wife...can't say I didn't try).  I was tired again, however, I remembered yesterday's run and how horrible it was to run in the heat of the August daytime hours.  I was also pretty excited to go for a morning, long, easy run, so I got out of bed and got into my running clothes.  While I was getting dressed I started to hear the pitter-patter of rain on the roof.  This was going to be an interesting run...

By the time I got outside, the pitter-patter turned into a steady pounding rain.  Ick.  I've run in this before and haven't minded, but I believe those times were when I was midway into my run and then the rain starts.  At that point it's refreshing.  Starting a run in the rain - especially one you know will take over an hour and a half to complete - is still a challenge for me.  I reminded myself how much better this run will feel compared to yesterday's heat and that it may actually be refreshing...that seemed to get me started at least.

By the end of the first mile I was already drenched.  I guess during most of my summer runs I'm pretty wet by the end of the first mile due to the heat and humidity, however, when it is just sweat my clothing has patterns of wet and other areas of dry.  With this morning's rain there was no dry spots on me.  Actually, by the last two miles of my run my shorts were so waterlogged that they started to feel a bit heavy...and these are "moisture-wicking" shorts! 

Despite the rain, the run was very enjoyable.  I ended up keeping a relatively good pace - 11:06/mile with an average heart rate of 151 bpm.  For a 9 mile run in August, I'll take it!

To give some perspective on my conditioning, I have run this route three times.  The first time I ran it was at the beginning of my marathon training - I ran a 11:59/mile pace with an average heart rate of 153 bpm.  The other time I ran it - the week before my marathon - I ran it in a 10:21/mile pace with an average heart rate of 157 bpm.  So, I'm in better shape than at the beginning of my marathon training, but not yet back up to where I was the week before the marathon - but only about :45 / mile off.

One other thing to note.  Due to scheduling this week and the fact that I was fighting a cold mid-week, this is the third day in a row that I'm running.  Given that I was worried earlier this year about running two days in a row on a weekly basis (previous to that I always gave my body a rest day) this is pretty big news.  I still feel relatively pain free.  I had a little discomfort in my hamstring yesterday, so I stretched iced it last night and it felt fine this morning.

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