Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not what I expected

The Friday morning weather yesterday, that is. You might think I would have looked outside to see whether or not it was raining... You would be wrong.

I bundled myself against the wind and (potential) rain in long tights and my windbreaker/rain jacket with the hood zipped on. I even put the hood up over my cap for maximum weather resistance (albeit severely impaired side vision).

I ran into a little impediment before I ever left the house when I fired up the iPod, and it went quickly from a partial green power bar to a red bar, threatening imminent power loss. Pshaw.

I didn't want to waste any more time trying to recharge it before I left (on top of that already whiled away lying in bed), so I just plugged it in and headed out without it. I thought I might detour by my house after an hour and pick it up for the second half of my run.

So, the weather. Not. Raining. (That's a good thing, actually). It was really windy, though, and cloudy enough that rain was still a possibility. I kept the hood on anyway, thinking it might keep my cap from blowing off. It is possible that I might have looked like a dork. But there were other people out wearing hoods, if not the stylish hood/hat combo.

After about a mile I got a little warm around the head, though, so I flipped back the hood. I never did need to put it on, as the only rain I got was a few sputtery drops at one point.

So, the plan. (The one I didn't know if I could accomplish in the "storm.") Twelve miles, with ten at about a nine-minute pace, give or take. (9:09 or below was my bottom-line goal.). It didn't seem like a deluge of rain was going to deter me, although wind could still be a factor. And there was the lack of iPod factor, which totally throw me off my pace. Oh yes, I had a multitude of factors to fall back to to excuse potential failure!

My two warm-up miles were, I think, boosted by wind at my back, and came in pretty fast at 9:50 and 9:41.

Then it was time to kick it up a gear. (Just one gear, we're only talking 9-minute here!) I liked that my mile 3 (first pace mile) started on a downhill. That's always a nice boost, even though I turn the corner and head back uphill in the second half!

Despite the uphill and running into the wind, the next few miles were right on track (and better) at 9:03, 9:03 (again), 8:47, and 8:56. I stuck around Grand Avenue Park for a few laps--I wanted to hit six miles before I moved on.

Then I had to make another decision--whether to veer home and get the iPod, or just keep going without it.

On the pro side, I had the iPod itself, which would surely ease those remaining miles. Also, the trip home would add another mile to my distance (helping get to the final total, not making it longer than intended).

On the con side--and it was a big con--I didn't know whether stopping at home would psychologically throw me off my pace. I knew I wouldn't be tempted to stay (much), but I wasn't sure whether I could resume my goal pace after a visit home.

Since I was doing quite well achieving a nine-minute pace sans iPod, I decided to go the distance without it.

My next few miles took me to and through downtown Everett. Those miles came in respectably at 9:01, 9:09, and 9:05. I think that 9:09 mile included the block where I was passing Everett High. I usually go by before school starts, and it is a bit of a pain with milling students, school buses, and crazy parent cars zooming up to drop off kids then rush to work.

Sometimes I'm a little later, when everyone (mostly) has gone to class and it's fairly quiet.

But today I must have hit it between classes, because I have never seen such surging hordes of teenagers moving en masse! I tried to navigate around them but I was definitely delayed and slowed by several seconds. At one point I was even forced to stop! I'm sure that's the 9:09 mile.

Once I got into the double digit miles, 10 and above, I had hit my stride and kept it below nine minutes the rest of the way. Yes, part of that was downhill. :) 8:48, 8:42, 8:57, and the final .15 mile that took me to the door of Starbucks was a restful 8:58 pace.

I got myself a nonfat mocha (recovery beverage) and walked home to get ready for work. Er, the rest of the day, anyway. I'm sure work will be involved at some point.

Highlights of the rest of the morning included a delicious maple bar at work (goodbye party for an attorney leaving juvie) (and yes, that maple bar ate up--so to speak--about four miles of my run). Then I headed back downtown for a massage. The massage therapist was new at my hair salon, but she did a great job. I definitely felt stretched and refreshed afterwards!

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm tackling a long run. Fingers crossed for decent (non-horrible) weather!
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