This week’s watchword was “endurance.”
Five out of eight sessions were done by necessity on the treadmill, and that took a lot of mental endurance, given how long some of those runs were. Doing two runs on Christmas also took no small measure of endurance, especially since my outside world was a frozen hinterland populated by crazed Christmas morning drivers.
I even managed to take a spill and bash my hip and elbow, which had nothing to do with snow, ice or bad drivers. I tripped on an uneven sidewalk panel. That was pretty silly. At least it happened toward the end of the run. I took the second run of Christmas day inside, since I figured I’d already pushed my luck and was fortunate to have come out of that encounter with gravity unscathed.
One unfortunate aspect of running on the treadmill (aside from the boredom, the noise, and having to smell myself) is that I’m still too chicken to attempt very fast running on it. I skipped Wednesday’s planned 20 second strides, since the treadmill takes about 10 seconds to get up to speed anyway, by which time I’m already fiddling with the controls so I can stop the belt lest it propel me through the back wall of our guest room.
It was for this reason that I also went rogue on my training on Friday, when the plan called for 12 repeats of 45 seconds at 2M effort, with 90 second rests. 2M pace is about 6:15 for me now. Since 45 seconds isn’t that much longer than a stride, I decided to again forgo the dangers of fiddling with controls while trying not to get thrown off the back of a high speed conveyor belt. I compromised and instead did six 90 second repeats at 5K effort, with 90 second rests.
I was so sick of the treadmill that I moved the run outside on Saturday, where I was met with a still-frozen over running path. So I did about three miles on the roads, then moved to the path and ran through the slush and ice alongside the iced over path. That was like running in sand, and I felt the effort’s effects on today’s 18 miler: the stabilizing muscles in my inner thighs, hips and ankles all asserted themselves this morning. I won’t run in snow again.
As for the long run today, that was also a tough one, owing to the now-familiar winter winds. In shorts and a tee shirt (62 degrees, in December!) I did two repeats of a six mile loop through Scarsdale and White Plains, during which I was pummeled by a steady 7-10mph headwind (with gusts up to 15mph) for all the north-to-south sections. I’d forgotten how hilly that loop is, so I then decided to move the run onto the running path (since the very warm temps overnight melted most of the snow and ice away). I thought that perhaps being on a tree-lined trail for part of the way would shield me somewhat from the wind, but I must have been delusional.
I met up with Jonathan, who was struggling through a longish run with the last few at half marathon effort (straight into the headwind, of course). We traded complaints for a few minutes and then he ran on. He waited for me after his torture session and we jogged the last mile together back to the car. I made our traditional Long Run Sunday Pancakes, then passed out for an hour and a half on the couch. Thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day.
Coming up in Week 7, a recovery week consisting of a mere 60 miles. I’ll do some tempo running at 5k and 10K effort, capping the week with a 16 miler with the last 75 minutes at marathon effort.