Spring Training: Week Eight

This week I dealt with a head cold and foul weather, but the training went well despite those things. The cold took hold on Tuesday afternoon, hours after a very good run along my new favorite 5 mile back-and-forth in Scarsdale. I ran along that stretch three or four times this week and it’s likely I’ll be up there quite a bit again this week as we had yet another of our “paralyzing blizzards” mid-week and now have another foot of filthy snow on the ground.

Fortunately, the cold was mild and the temps have been above freezing, so even if I have to run in the streets, they are at least clear of black ice. It’s the little things.

So I had some kind of pre-illness pop in fitness on Tuesday, rumbling along in 15mph winds and a mixture of sleet, hail and rain that turned the road to the consistency of semi-frozen bird shit for much of the run. But I still managed a decent pace.

Even the recovery runs later in the week were okay, consistently below my usual slugtastic 10+ minute mile pace both inside and out.

Then I put on my big girl pants and made a second attempt at doing last Friday’s spectacularly failed speed session again. But this time I did it by effort rather than trusting the treadmill’s pace readout (I also knocked the total down by two miles and removed one 1K repeat, it being a recovery week and all). HR topped out at 93% for the last one, right where it should be — and I felt able to do a fifth, but didn’t so I could save my legs for today’s trip to Scarsdale.

With my cold now over and a fairly windless/slushless day, I was able to cruise along at just under 8:00 for 13 miles in the 81% range. This felt like real progress.

I like my new loop, but it’s a little weird having to run it back and forth several times on longer run days. Today I had to run one two mile section twice and a three mile section three times. I’d run up the road, nod my head to someone shoveling snow, then, half an hour later, I’d come by again and the snow shoveler would still be there. It was very Twighlight Zone.

The disadvantage to running in the street, of course, is that you take your life into your hands. Or, rather, you involuntarily place your life into the hands of insane drivers. The worst offenders are typically SUV-wielding Robomoms with a cellphone clamped to one ear.* These ladies are out for blood. Today’s adventure was with the woman who rolled right through a stop sign at 15mph.

She was close enough to me that I could give her Canyonero a good whack. I have for the most part managed to cure myself of the habit of hitting people’s cars when they offend, but this was so egregious a transgression that I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t think she even saw me at the stop sign, since it was not without some twisted pleasure that I noted her well coiffed head swinging wildly around behind tinted windows, trying to figure out what just hit her car. My hand hurt and my HR skyrocketed because I was so angry at the cluelessness of surburban drivers. But it was worth the pain!

My next race (actually, races: I’ve got two back to back) is in two weeks. I’m feeling pretty good about things. Which is always worrisome.

* Driving while talking into a handheld cellphone is illegal in New York. But — like the laws forbidding riding a zebra in public while naked, or allowing a drunken monkey to play a theremin — it’s rarely enforced.

9 Responses

  1. Hah. I slapped a car a few weeks ago and my hand stung for quite a while. I found the roads in good shape today, although one must be aware of the idiots in cars and, especially, SUVs. For the record, I wore compression shorts, a white long-sleeved shirt, a reflective vest, and my pink hat. People kept pretty clear of me. With, I’m afraid to say, one or two too-close exceptions.

    Glad to see you’re getting out, and that street (if it is the street I think it is) is on the Scarsdale 15K course (on April 11).

  2. I’m running a loop that starts at Fenimore and goes about a mile to Quimby, then I turn around and run along Fox Meadow to Crane. Run back to Fenimore and that’s about 4.85 miles.

    I sometimes mix in some time on Brite and Greenacres for the hills. I should do more time on those in the coming weeks to prep for Scarsdale. I don’t know yet if I’m doing the 15K or 4M. But I’m doing one of them. I’d like one of those little silver bowls, if they’re still handing them out this year.

  3. Lol, I’ve also been known to slap a car or two. Feels so good.

  4. Your Canyonero reference made my day. And I can totally picture what the offending driver probably looked like, since I’ve had more than a few run ins with the type. Well done.

    And now that you mention it, I’d really like to see a drunk monkey play a theremin.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up on the monkey/theramin law. I’ll remember not to do that next time I’m I’m in NY.
    So far I’ve (just) managed to restrain myself from hitting or kicking cars. I think about all those nice drivers who wave me over crosswalks. I once ran 16 MP miles without slowing down, aided by several of these folks. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

  6. Yo, RLAG! Always an interesting read. Thanks :)

  7. Het gaat goed Julie en krijg het idee dat je steeds meer plezier in het lopen krijgt!.
    Alleen die vervelende auto’s zijn lastig en helaas doet het bij een auto geen pijn wanneer je een aanrijding krijgt!.
    Fijne week.
    Rinus.

  8. Sorry, thats Dutch and now in Enlish ;-).
    Nice running week and not to much miles!.
    Look out for the cars and the car have no pain but you have!.
    Have a nice running week.
    Rinus.

  9. I love “she’s blinds everybody with her super high beams, she’s a squirrel squashin’ deer smackin’ drivin’ machine” — luckily petrol is too dear down here for masses of SUVs. Also, we have miles and miles of snow-free trails and bike paths.

    One great thing about short loop courses is being able to compare HR/pace for the laps. That and not having to catch a bus home if the wheels fall off.

    Embrace feeling good about the race — you’ll do well!

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