Before getting into the snowy, windy, numb mess that was my long run, I want to brag about my new toy- an iPod shuffle! I've never run with music before, so I am so excited to have a soundtrack other than my own thoughts and footsteps. They are great some of the time, but I look forward to having a choice. And the shuffle is so little! I like that I can clip it on and ignore it.
We went to Ed McKay's, a great used book store in town, and they had some iPods in stock. (I am cheap and also like the thrill of finding stuff second-hand that fits the bill. There was no way I'd pay for a new one!) Mine is blue and holds 2 gigabytes, which is more music than any sane person would ever need on a run. I only filled it 75% up and it was counting the time in days. days. That's a lot of music! I can't wait to run with it.
Today's long run was bitter cold because of the wind. It took me about three miles to feel most of my toes, and by then my face had gone numb. At least I was adequately dressed! My legs felt so heavy today. From the beginning my pace was sluggish. I usually run faster the longer I run, but that did not occur today. I started out at a 9:00 pace, but this quickly felt challenging. After mile 7 I slowed down by 20 seconds per mile, and I took numerous walking breaks. If I had planned for that pace or for those walking breaks, I would be happy, but it was pretty disappointing. Long runs are one of my strengths; I usually start easy, feel good, slowly speed up, eat my chews, drink my water, and finish strong. Not today. Despite eating a gel and two packets of double-serving chews, I felt empty, hungry, and tired. Grrr.
I'm not beating myself up over this, but I do want to make sure that it doesn't happen again. What could have made me feel so out-of-sync?
- It was really cold and very windy
- I ran at 12:00 and hadn't eaten since 10:00
- At 10:00 I ate leftover Greek pizza
- I'm fighting a cold
- I ran fast (for me) two days this week, and I haven't done that in a while
- I haven't done a long run since December 18
When I look at all the evidence like that, I marvel at the fact that I got through thirteen miles at all. Next week I may still have to run after lunch, but I will hydrate and fuel better before and I will take my tempo run down a notch or two. This week's tempo pace averaged out to 7:37, which wasn't smart. I should be running those workouts at around 8:00, or 15 seconds faster than my goal marathon pace. I can't control the weather either, but I'll work on fighting this cold with heavy doses of sudafed and claritin, adequate sleep, and chocolate. Chocolate always helps.
So, there's week 5. I'm behind for long runs, but I'm not going to panic yet. Next week I'll do 16 instead of the scheduled 14 and then I'll be on track.