Oh, right. I remember now.

I remember 2007. Or at least I remember my paces from 2007. ‘Cause that’s what I’m running these days!

This week was the first one during which I attempted anything resembling training, after four weeks’ rest and recovery from my blowup in Sacramento. I’ll post a detailed report after tomorrow, but I thought I’d do a post of early observations and random news.

Lots and lots of runners I follow are mourning their downtime-induced loss of speed. I know exactly what they’re talking about. My tempo pace is probably 30-40 seconds per mile slower than it was two months ago. 8-10K pace is about what my tempo pace used to be. Recovery runs are only a little slower than they used to be (although I always ran them on the slow side once the mileage got above 70 mpw).  I haven’t attempted much in the general aerobic range, but I’ll be dipping my toes back into that world tomorrow.

Along with speed, it seems I’ve also lost endurance. Whereas doing a 10 mile recovery run used to be easy, I’m getting tired right in the 6-7 mile range.

So I’ve got some work to do.

The weather has not exactly been conducive to good training. We’ve had the coldest winter in NY that I recall, save for my first year here (1985), in which this transplanted Californian simply couldn’t fathom sub-zero windchills. I also had not familiarized myself with wool and spent that winter freezing my ass off (because I was 20 years old and broke all the time) in $5 cotton layers purchased from the tables of Senegalese purveyors along 14th Street in Manhattan.

Anyway, it’s been cold. Plus it’s snowed, which partially melted, then refroze, leaving my beloved 11 mile running path an unrunnable sheet of pockmarked ice. Yesterday I had my first real intervals session in months scheduled. But my local rich high school’s million dollar Mondo track was covered in the morning’s fall of snow, so it was back to the treadmill again.

My first race of the season, a four miler, is in a month. After yesterday’s foray into running at 93% effort, my expectations are low. Still, since it’s in Central Park I’ll be able to use it as a good gauge of fitness. I honestly don’t expect to run sub-7:00 (the time that would gain me the coveted first corral bib qualification). Maybe I’ll surprise myself, though. How much fitness can I regain in four weeks? We shall see. Given the bad running conditions and how slow-as-shit I feel lately, I am glad not to be under pressure to train for a marathon in early May anymore.

In other News About Me…

Since I find it easier to lose fat when I’m not running 80-95 mpw, and I’m sporting more of it than I’d like, I’m once again on the wagon and keeping my chubby little mitts away from Nutella, roasted cashews and my various other calorie-dense weaknesses. This plan will partially go to hell at the end of the month, when we celebrate Jonathan’s birthday. But since we’re both sporting tight pants these days, it should be a fairly restrained celebration.

I committed (as it were) to be an alternate on PigtailsFlying‘s team for June’s Green Mountain Relay in Vermont. Like most other things running-related this year, I’m taking a “fuck it, I’ll try that” attitude. The introvert who needs six hours of alone time each day screams “Nooooo!” at the idea of spending three solid days with a bunch of strangers, much of it in a confined (very confined) space (and mobile too, which is sure to bring out my motion sickness), during which sleep and personal hygiene are considered non-essentials.

But the same introvert who misses the moments of pleasure and surprise in spending time with strangers is bellowing from the other shoulder that this could actually be fun – if I only reoriented my perspective from one of discomfort and deprivation to one of adventure and discovery. As my sister pointed out, it’s only a few days. And good blog fodder. But, then, so is the stomach flu. Don’t I sound like a great teammate already? No wonder I’m an alternate; Pigtails has met me exactly once, but I guess that was enough!

I’ve got no signs of injury. Anywhere. Even after my faster (cough cough) running on the treadmill yesterday. Nary a niggle. Nothing. I’m wondering how long this will last. All season, if I’m careful. I hope.

8 Responses

  1. So it is cold in Holland(Heemskerk) and the half marathon Egmond is chancel for the first time in 37 years!.
    So many runners and bikers are not happy this weekend!.
    But i wil run the half marathon Sunday and see what is happend in the colt!.
    Take care Julie and always run whit fun..
    Rinus.

    • Wow, yes, Rinus, I’ve followed the weather in Western Europe since I’ve got friends/family in England. You all are not used to those temperatures and all that snow. Good luck and bundle up!

  2. Good post Julie, you know I’m in matching slower shoes these days, and I’m just as curious to see how fast we get back up there. And yeah, shittiest winter in forever, too damn cold!

    Cool about the relay, I had to laugh at the 6-hour private time introvert, again, totally relate. Bet you’ll have a blast despite yourself (though yeah, it does sound like ick to a hermit). :-) Good on you for putting yourself out there and taking chances!

  3. I don’t envy your crappy weather — although maybe you’d call 37C crappy. And it’s not as though you can shovel lane 1 to get a workout in like Trevor: http://tinyurl.com/ycuerku

    The relay does sound like fun. I’ll cross my fingers for you that PF breaks a leg ;)

  4. Glad to hear that you’re getting back into the swing of things. I hope you get to go to GMR. As part of that team from last year, I know that they’re good people and that you’ll have a blast if you go. I know sitting in a smelly van filled with a bunch of strangers doesn’t sound like fun, but it really is.

  5. Things I learned during my first 200-mile relay (as our team ran for second place, two minutes behind an all-male team):

    - Pack immodium and tums. We never had a chance to eat any real food, and running hard and snacking wrecked havoc on our stomachs. Starbucks oatmeal was an amazing savior though.

    - My motion sickness stayed away, although no idea why. Might try non-drowsy dramamine during a regular running day sometime and see if you can tolerate it if need be.

    - Practice running in the dark and with a headlamp — like on a tempo run. I found it difficult to run fast on an unlit road by myself.

    - Make sure someone brings a GPS loaded with the driving directions … we had directions for everyone’s running legs all figured out, but no driving directions. So we spent a lot of time with a flashlight and map. Duh.

  6. Heh. I had to laugh at your 6+ hours of alone time comment. My inability to be around the vast majority of people for…hm…any extended amount of time is just one of many reasons I’ve never done a relay. And some of them sound fun – but…eh, just can’t do it. Running has always been a solitary thing for me, thus, the whole team thing just seems too weird to me.

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