Sunday, December 15, 2013

Running Streak: Week Two

I am 18 days into my running streak. That's right; I have gone for a run 18 days in a row! This, pehaps ill-advised idea is all part of the Runner's World 2013 holiday running streak, which has me running at least one mile a day, every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

For those of you who have been following closely, I last posted a week ago on Sunday, where I squeezed in a quick one mile run right after volunteering at the Hot Chocolate Run. It's now seven runs later. The good news is that I've gotten over my cold. The bad news is that the weather has gotten crazy.

Here's a recap of the second full week of the running streak.

Monday: Honestly, I almost posted on Monday after this run because it was so crazy. Monday was truly a cursed day all around. I had meetings planned at work, so I had to get in my run in the morning before my workday (second shift hours on Monday) started. Anyone, seeing the weather outside would have made arrangements to go in early and use the very nice, dry, and warm Smith College gym. I am clearly not a reasonable person because I saw the weather -- temperatures in the twenties with freezing rain and a light wind -- and thought, "Too bad. But I guess I can go for a run anyway."

I realized, about a half a mile in that this was truly folly. The roads were slick with frozen rain. Icicles were handing off my hoodie. I had bundled up in warm tights, a thermal tech shirt and hoodie, gloves and a hat. This was perhaps the only smart thing I did all run. I was, surprisingly enough, actually comfortable in temperature. My hoodie did a great job keeping me dry and warm.

I had to move slowly, because of all the ice. I wasn't worried though because I had my cell with me. Unfortunately, however, my cell died about a mile and a half into the run. At this point I was running along the KC Trail towards the Bike Path and began to take very cautious steps -- if I fell and hurt myself I wouldn't encounter any runners or bikers with the terrible weather.

I ended up running probably around four miles at 11:00/mile pace because of the ice. I ran through Wentworth Farm to get home and had to stop and tiptoe along every bridge because they were completely frozen over. Luckily, I made it in one piece.

Tuesday: I did a one mile treadmill run at the gym before my aerobics class. Extra bonus exercise courtesy of wanting to keep up the steak!
Wednesday: I was again back at the gym and on the treadmill. I ran 3.5 miles without any difficulties (and a minute per mile faster than on Monday's cursed ice run). This was definitely my best run since being sick with a cold last week. I was back!

Thursday: Yikes! We had a lovely holiday lunch at my office on Thursday. I had a delightful grilled cheese with a glass of wine, which I enjoyed very much. That is, until my afternoon run. Lunch was a bit heavy and a bit late, but I did take an hour to walk around town between my lunch and my run. Clearly, with so heavy a meal (plus alcohol -- seriously a dumb move), an hour of digestion was not enough time. I ran three miles, but felt terrible. I felt nausious and had to take walk breaks so as not to be sick. Uggg!

Friday: By Friday I realized I had gone many days without doing any sort of resistant training. I went to to the gym where I did a 20 minute weights session focused on upper body and then did a two mile run. We had had another office lunch on Friday, but I kept it light this time (salad with salmon) and skipped the cheese cake they offered for dessert. This made all the difference!

Saturday: For anyone who isn't questioning my sanity after the story of Monday's run, you will after you hear this. Seven degrees! That's right. Saturday's run took place in seven degree weather.
Because I am sensative to the cold and think that anything having to do with weather in the single digits is madness, I was a bit smarter about this run than Mondays.

Smart Thing #1: I did 25 minutes of exercise indoors before my run. I was plenty warm as a result.
Smart Thing #2: I only ran a mile. My only goal was to keep up the streak.
Smart Thing #3: I wore "all the clothing," as I like to put it. In addition to the clothing I wore on Monday, I added my North Face coat, which in general is "good clothing" and not "exercise clothing", but I needed all the help I could get. By some miracle, I didn't feel like dying during the run; however my left calf, which bothered me so much during the Cider Donut Run this year cramped in the last tenth of a mile.

Sunday: Today was my recovery day. I spent 25 minutes stretching. We had a snow storm overnight, so things were a bit moist outside, but the weather wasn't terrible -- it was in the mid-20s. I really didn't want to go out, but did so for the sake of the streak. Any easy one mile run was all I had to do, and I did it.

Two and a half weeks down on the streak is going strong. All this winter running is starting to make me feel like a "real" runner. I am even thinking of doing a February race and joining the local running club. I am also starting to think I need a pair of trail shoes. I've been dying to get a pair, but running in the snow and slippery conditions that the winter in New Englan has to offer is really making the case for getting a pair sooner rather than later. We'll see what happens with the money situation.
Keep posted for next week!

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