I got to run today.
We have been lucky and been in a stretch where the snow has stayed to the South of us, which means that the roads are in great shape for running. As I have said before, in this cold, you gotta deal with it or get on the elliptical-those are the choices.
The climate app in Strava claims that it was 28F with a feels like 24F…I wonder where in the hell that thermometer is located? My thermometer at the house read 14F when I left the house and 19F when I got back. Oh well. I trust the ones at the house more than what I see online. Then again, I live in the place that the weather gods love for it to be different than it is a mile away.
I felt pretty strong at the start but focused more on running comfortably while cleaning up a couple of bad habits that I have picked up over the past few months. Nothing serious, but I could tell that I am getting a bit lazy with some of my form stuff, and if I continue that, I will be setting myself up for some hamstring issues later in the Spring.
Miles 1 and 2 were right where I wanted them to be, and I slowed coming back out of Pepin.
However, even though I was focusing on good running form while coming up Philbrick Hill, it was like the balloon popped when I hit the 3.0-mile mark. There was zero umph left, and I walked for a bit.
This kind of stuff drives me crazy!
One minute I will be running along fine, pushing a little bit, but not feeling bad at all, and then the next second, I am walking, and yes, it usually happens going up a tough hill. Today I also knew that the tank ain’t anywhere near empty and that it was an “in my head issue”, so I decided if Philbrick Hill was going to kick my arse, it was going to kick it good.
When I got to Manny’s mailbox, I decided to do five hill repeats to the Brand’s mailbox. About .1, not a long-distance, but it is in a challenging part of the hill, and I knew it would get my attention. Especially with that 5-10 mph headwind.
Boy, did it!
Usually, I got through this section of the hill at about a 10:00 to 11:00 minute pace – yeah, slower than you know what. I wanted to focus on picking up my knees and pushing harder than I usually do going up hills.
I didn’t try to max out the effort. I stayed in control, went about 80-85% effort, and focused on keeping my running form compact but having an actual stride, not a survival hill shuffle. I managed to get the pace in the 8:30-8:40 ranges. Not super fast by any stretch, but a lot faster than I have been doing this section.
So I let the hill kick my butt multiple times and felt better about the walking. I even walked from the Brand’s up to the top of the hill. I needed to at that point and had earned it. Perhaps that is what I need to do. If I am on a training run and wimp out on a hill, then as extra motivation for next time, I need to pick the most challenging part of it and do repeats until I feel I have atoned in my mind about letting the hill beat me mentally. I need to do something to “earn” the walking.
Especially since once I am over the hilltop, I seem to run just fine again.
The last mile wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.
I am noticing some more severe wear on the front of the outsole of the Meraki’s. It is my typical wear area, but I am already to the white midsole on both shoes, which is not a good sign. The rest of the shoe shows normal wear after 150 miles, but I will be watching closely how much this wear through area affects my toe-off/paw back style of running. So far, I don’t notice it when running, but it is pretty smooth upfront now and could be an issue in nasty weather or on wet roads.
Although I have two pairs of trainers waiting in the wings for when they finally need to go away, I want to get the Meraki to 300 miles. But I am not sure that will happen, which is too bad because I do like the Meraki a lot. For the price, if I get 200 miles out of them, I will still be happy.
Overall, not a great run, but better than I thought it would be when I stopped and walked on the hill. Doing those five hill repeats was not easy, but I needed to do them. If for no other reason than to get my mind away from the idea that I can wimp out for free on hills.
Running can be such a mind game at times.