Holy Wind Tunnel and more Decisions — October 28, 2021

Yes, the N’oreastah, mostly missed us, we got a bit of rain, a little wind and lost power for four minutes this morning. Nothing bad compared to down on the Cape and Boston area, which got hammered from what I have seen and read. We got lucky this time, but will get ours at some point in the not too distant future, I have a feeling.

However, the leftover 20-30 mph breeze this morning made me procrastinate a bit. At 39 degrees and the winds still out of the Northeast, made the wind chills rather chilly. I waited a bit for the sun to warm it up to about 41 and headed out the door. The sun felt good, especially since we haven’t seen it all that much lately!

Today was supposed to be a 6.0-mile easy run, but even before heading out the door, I had decided to do the Middle Road Loop. I knew that those 5.0-miles would be more than enough. My gift of prophecy was spot on. 🤪

The run was pretty routine — me attempting not to speed up and the body saying okay and sulking. However, the sulking about having to run slowly stopped pretty quickly once I got on the Middle Road. Between the traffic (jumping onto the dirt shoulder) and the wind, I was thrilled that I had saved plenty of energy for that stretch of road.

Running into that stiff headwind, I even thanked myself for wearing my running vest under the running jacket, skull cap covering my delicate ears and gloves for my cold, cold hands. That didn’t last too long.

Once I struggled up the hill in front of the Town Office, the wind became less of an issue. Enough so that by the time I went up Blake Hill, I was whining about how much I was sweating, trying to find a place to put my gloves (the damn jacket didn’t have pockets). With sweat running down my cheeks, the skull cap had to come off and having to hold on to that sweat soaked cap with my bare hands was not too enjoyable. Then the unzipping started — no pleasing this runner today with the layering.

See, the struggle runners have to endure, first we are freezing, then just right and usually sweating our arses off towards the end. Very seldom do we get it just right. Layering is a good thing, even when you have to carry bits and pieces or stuff them into your shorts and look like you have bulges where they don’t really exist.

When I finally looked at the watch at the end of the run, I did what I was supposed to do. I was able to run an easy 5.0 miles (ca. 8 km) as I planned. I even kept all the splits all in the easy range, despite it not feeling all that easy on the Middle Road at times when those gusts would come shrieking down the road.

Oh yeah, that was that dump truck coming down the big hill in front of me, that had to stay way too close to the white line because of the other dump truck coming barreling down the hill behind me. They met just about the same place as I was running. Which meant that I had to go pretty far into the ditch to ensure we were all happy about the outcome.

Choices

During the run, I did make a few decisions about the direction I am going to go over the next few months. I had seriously thought about attempting to train for an April 10th marathon, but the left Achilles still isn’t quite ready for longer runs and I would have had to start the program I wanted the second week of December. Since I still can’t run over 8.0-miles without struggling with the Achilles, that probably is still too soon.

Plus, with me still nowhere near getting back to a gym and their treadmills, due to the high number of hospitalizations in our area, my exclusively outside training during the Winter would leave a LOT to be desired.

Could I train properly to accomplish what I want for my next marathon? Probably not — because my head, and body, wouldn’t be in the correct place to brave the wintery conditions up heah in Maine on a daily basis at this point in my life. Especially, for the amount of mileage and time outside that the plan would call for. Things I didn’t really even think about when I was younger…well let’s just say I think about things a LOT more than I used to and would rather be safe, and in one piece, than sorry.

Yes, I know that numerous people do it and run a great marathon. However, each year I get older, I feel the cold more than I did the year before and also know that I don’t bounce nearly as well when I hit the ground (which you tend to do more than a few times over the course of running outside in Winter). The idea of attempting marathon training without access to a treadmill didn’t seem all that ideal for me at this time in my life.

So, I have pretty much settled on this Winter being a repeat of last Winter — mostly maintenance mileage. Taking days off or playing on the elliptical when conditions are crappy and not stressing out over how the training is going, amount of mileage, and attempting to be ready for an early April marathon that is not Boston.

In a way, it is also a relief.

Especially since both of the run clubs that I tried their 2-week free offers, are still in the — how can I incorporate this product into my coaching practice stage. Neither were developed nor active enough for me at this time to pay the monthly premiums they were asking.

As a result, I decided to go back to using the Stryd training plans, even though I won’t really run by Power anytime soon. The Stryd plans seemed to do as much as the other programs, were a little better integrated with my Garmin, and the price was much more reasonable.

The Stryd training plans will give me some guardrails to bounce off. I will use this time to play around with some ideas I have about integrating my training into more of a run-by-feel during the run. With Stryd kicking in, with a quick beep/buzz to remind me to change my pace during a particular kind of workout. Otherwise, it needs to stay out of the way during the run. Then I can worry about looking at the data after I am done to see how close I am to the paces I wanted to achieve for that particular workout.

I still am not going back to obsessing over all the datapoints that Stryd does provide. However, it will be interesting to see how it matches up when I use different shoes or how I run differently when wearing multiple layers — or not.

So, I accomplished a lot today with my running and feel good about the direction I am heading. Although, when I do start my marathon training, I may revisit one of the run clubs because I really believe that that marathon training program will help me attain my goals.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Maine Marathon might have another entry for 2022. Until then, I think that I will work on my base training, strength training, get back to the gym at some point, hopefully, in the first quarter of 2022. Then train for a faster 10K or half this Spring. After that, chase a fast for me 5K on July 4th over in Winthrop before marathon training takes over during the Summer/early Fall.

Oh yeah, I ran in the Karhu Ikoni 2020, and they did alright on the dry pavement, but something wasn’t quite right with the right foot and insole combination. So, I will probably put the Curex insoles back in, even though they aren’t as cushioned and save them for dry pavement and days above 40 degrees. As it gets closer to freezing, they just don’t have the same level of cushioning, and they are firm to begin with. They might even go to the back of the garage until next Spring when it warms back up again.

Although there were two pairs of shoes that were wrapped up for Christmas today. Either of which I have a feeling will be more like what I am looking for.

Yes, I am forever hopeful.

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