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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wind Chill Factor

I used to believe that I was a hot weather runner. I loved the feeling of a good sweat, and running in the hot weather just felt right. I know now that it was simply because I've never been good at warming up my muscles. When the temperature goes up, the muscles take care of themselves.

Today, it was not warm. In fact, when I woke up, I decided to hold off on my run until later. This was partly due to the fact that I dreamt about being hit by a car, and that doesn't exactly encourage a person to run before sunup. Also, it was under 30 degrees and kind of damp, so I figured I'd wait until the sun was high and the temperature went up.

My evening run was not too much warmer than a morning one would have been. To be honest, I don't even really mind the cold. You can always put on more clothes to fight it. The trouble comes when the wind starts. Today was one of those days when the wind seems to be coming from every direction at once, and no matter which way you turn, you're swallowing cold air.

Something about cold wind just sucks all the air right out of my lungs. My first half felt great with only a slight headwind. My legs felt strong and my head felt clear. Then I turned around into a blast of cold air.

It's like the feeling I used to get when I'd go down the hill on a roller coaster. There's so much wind coming at me that I can't breathe any of it in. But today I got lucky. Even though I was running city streets, I didn't get caught by many stop lights, which meant that I didn't have to interrupt my rhythm, and it's a lot easier to deal with bad weather when you don't have to start and stop.

I made it back to my uphill last mile, and actually felt like I had something left to give, and so I did. I pushed it as much as I could, and had my best time for a outdoor run yet.

The reason I enjoy writing a blog about running is that it gives me something to think about while I run. It's easier to hold a pace when something else holds your attention, and you don't have to stop and think about the pain in your legs. Now I try and think about what aspect of that day's run I could write about. No doubt, I'll run out of ideas at some point and I'll focus on some odd thing that happened during mile two. For today, however, thinking about a writing topic got me through miles 2 - 4, and sheer will finished me off.

It was the first time in my training so far that I've had back-to-back runs below Boston Pace, and tomorrow I get to rest and do yoga.

And sleep an extra hour.

Today's run:
45 Degrees / Sunny, Windy
5.3 Miles
37 minutes, 54 Seconds

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