Day 84 – Swimming through 7 miles

25 03 2010

Stuffing the tiny pocket in my running shorts with Kleenex, I snuffled through a 7-mile run today between two school award ceremonies. I chose the long, straight route thinking these sidewalks would be my best bet for clear and dry. I was mistaken and found myself puddle jumping among mushy, melting snow and testing just how much water my wicking socks could withstand.

Interestingly, (and so many things become fascinating when you have 7 long miles to analyze them…) my right foot was soaked, but my left foot still dry. I concluded that I always lead with my right. Testing the waters, literally today, and protecting my trailing left foot from the elements. My twinges of pain come in my left foot and knee when they surface — so maybe this is my weaker side? Or do I protect it to avoid injury?

The monotony of this particular running route (to Highway 2 and back if you’re from ’round here) is that you see your turn around/end point for a long time. It feels like swimming in open water in a triathlon — when you peek up from the murky water to see the buoy in the distance, but have no landmarks along the way. Just water, water and more water and swimmers passing you if you swim like me! So the buoy doesn’t seem to be getting any closer even though you’re pushing hard. Swimming on a treadmill!

Normally running this straight shot route, I try to do “mild Fartleks” (had to look up the origin, and found this is the Swedish word for speed play — so has nothing to do with gas!) defined by Cool Running as mini-speed workouts for “average runners.” I pick a point in near sight — a stop sign or a lamp post — and sprint to that spot, with a recovery for the next several yards. With my cold today, I did just a few of these and opted to save my lungs…spent more time looking down to dodge the snow piles in my path.

When my cold is over, I INTEND to pick up my speed and do more fartleks and interval training, especially on shorter runs. That’s what the real runners do, I’ve read, so why not try to keep pace?

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