Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Good One and Rough One

After nine miles this past weekend, I took Kathryn to Radnor yesterday for a two-mile "family run." Kathryn hasn't been doing much over the holidays, so I expected she might struggle. After about three quarters of a mile, she started feeling it, so I encouraged her to slow down (she had the pace, about a 10:00 clip).

The last part of the run wasn't easy for "the Rabbit." I kept encouraging her, though, and she responded. I told her how impressive she is running this length, while "her brother is sitting on his duff at home." She laughed and perked up. It was like that on and off the whole run ... laughing and groaning. Near the end, I said, "Finish this for your Mom ... you've earned it." She sprinted the last 100 yards, then turned to me and said, "I think I'm gonna barf."

"No, you're not ... you did great," I said truthfully.

So after that wonderful run, I woke up New Year's Day thinking I'd make it four days in a row pounding asphalt, after scarfin' some breakfast. Dori asked for my famous hash browns, which I whipped up along with some bacon. Breakfast was delightful. Dori had two plates, then ate two plates of blackeyed peas, cornbread and cookies at our neighbor's house for lunch.

Ninety minutes after breakfast, I was outside, bundled up and running. The temperature was 34 degrees with gusty winds up to 25 mph. The first two miles were mostly uphill into a brisk northwest wind. Yes, it was very cold. The worst part was scaling Castleman Drive west of Hillsboro Road, expecting a bit of a break at the top; instead, the wind blasted me in congratulations. After another steep climb up Lindawood, I turned left instead of right, cutting off 1.5 miles of my planned run. I ran about four miles instead of 5.5, and it was rough the whole way. Total climb, according to usatf.org, was 350 feet, while total elevation change was 700 feet. It felt more like 700 and 1,400. I almost felt like a cold was coming on, when you have that 90% feeling at the beginning of a scratchy throat and sniffles.

I'm at 15 miles for the week with three days left. I don't expect I will run tomorrow, but now that I have a base, I need to find a race. The weather looks better at the end of the week, so another run or two looks reasonable. I will avoid hilly courses, however, and "take a break" on some flat runs.

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