Monday, March 16, 2009

Running to Stand Still

6.54 miles/:56 mins/8.46 pace

It's true that things hardly ever go as planned. What's the quote about making plans and God laughing? This evening Erin and I were to take a long trail run (10 miles) at Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO. It's 72* here today, and with the time change, I was looking forward to a late afternoon/evening run in the hills. Just about the time the mountain lions emerge. Erin called this afternoon and had forgotten about a meeting she needed to attend. She has a real job, unlike me, so these things need to be taken seriously.

On to plan B. It was 1:30pm, giving me just enough time to get in a run by myself before the kids got out at 3pm. I headed out towards the foothills and started cussing. The wind was ridiculous. As in, you're running and practically standing still. Isn't there a U2 song about that? "She's running to stand still" or something...I'm looking at my Garmin and seeing my pace at a nine minute mile and I'm pissed!

There is truly nothing more frustrating than wind. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I kept thinking that at least the run back would be quicker/easier, as long as the wind didn't shift and start blowing the other direction. I remember once Ken and I rode our bikes about 25 miles east of Boulder, fighting the wind the whole way. We knew, however, that the ride back would be swift and easy. That is until we turned around to find that the wind had switched direction and we had to fight it AGAIN the whole way back to Boulder. I actually think I ended up in the ER that night, dehydrated.

Anyway, I'm happy to say, that the wind worked in my favor on the way back, but I was so spent from fighting it on the way out that I felt like crap. Plus, I'm not used to running in warmer weather (and yes, 72* is considered very warm in CO) and I had no water. I was wasted by the time I reached the car. Not one of my favorite runs.

I had low energy, both physically and mentally on this run, so I'm going to do my inventory from last week:

how much sleep the night before - 9 hours, pretty decent
what is my mood today - upbeat, optimistic
any aches or pains - nope
what is the weather - see above
what did I have for dinner last night - ate out at favorite restaurant - felafel wrap
did I have alcohol last night - yes, 1 beer & 1 glass wine
what time of day did I run - see above
what did I have for breakfast - peanut butter/honey on wheat
what was the course like - gradual climb for first half

See? This doesn't make sense. Given the above, I should have had a decent run. I can't make rhyme or reason of any of this. I'm going to start going to bed late, eating pop tarts for breakfast, and being in a bad mood. I truly think part of the problem is that I do my best running in the morning. Afternoons I tend to have low energy and stomach issues from having eaten lunch. It's all I can figure.


  1. Well, the wind probably didn't help. Also, sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. Real good physiological explanation, huh? I set a 10k pr while easing my way out of a hangover once. I was having back spasms 10 minutes before the gun. Then there have been times when all the training, diet, mood, weather and other data told me I should kill a particular workout and I tank it. Some of this stuff makes no sense at all.

  2. Good thing you avoided those mountain lions. You should probably look into getting a hydration belt or something to carry water with you on those runs, you never know what can happen. It is strange that when you have, what appears to be, ideally prepared your body for a good run, didn't work out that way. Maybe morning running is your thing or it could be a mental block. I guess the only thing to do is experiment until you find the combination that works best for you.

  3. It is strange isn't it, how different runs can feel. Sometimes you feel like crap, but when you run out the door it's as if you're flying. Other times it's just plain hard going.

    Wind can certainly try to hold you back. I always picture myself as some warrior fighting with the elements. I also feel that wind is a great metaphor for life: in runs and in life wind can make it hard to move forward, but in the end it's just that: wind! And you're stronger than some stupid wind!

  4. The course looks great. I admire anyone who races those hills. I train in Florida and the biggest hill we have is the overpass going out to the beach. I am going to start doing some out of state races next year (and hopefully Boston after that) and I am a little concerned about the hills. I just do not think the treadmill will give me the training I need! It should be interesting.