Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Don't shoot yourself in the foot

My friend M is in town from Minneapolis on business. This guy is a real runner and looks the part. He is very lean and just looks wicked fast when he's standing still. He is a dedicated runner. He ran this morning at 5:15 in Minneapolis, cleaned up, drove to the airport, flew to Phoenix and made it our meeting by 1:00 PM. I think I would have stayed in bed and caught a few more zzzz's knowing full well that I sit on an Airplane for 4 hours.

M also brought the good weather with him. We had a real live thunderstorm with rain … (yes we have dry thunderstorms on the desert from time to time). It cooled the temperatures off considerably. I expect that the temperature will be no more than 80 or 81 at 5:00 AM Thursday morning. It should be very nice. I think M has an up-tempo run planned. I will be plodding along on my one hour figure 8 double loop.

This morning, I had planned to run 7.5 miles at my easy-run pace. I woke up 4:50AM as usually, but unlike most mornings, I didn't hit the snooze. Instead, I hopped right out of bed, jumped into my shorts and singlet, grabbed my shoes, socks and watch and headed out the door immediately.

For some reason, I’ve taken to sitting on my driveway to lace up my shoes while Mr. Garmin is trying to find 3 or 4 satellites. The three minutes I save by getting outside as fast as possible is evidently subconsciously meaningful to me. Perhaps I do it to look busy. I suppose that standing around in the middle of the street at 5:00 AM staring blankly at the face of my Garmin 201 while waiting impatiently for the little black bar to move slowly from left to right looks pretty stupid. On the other hand, I’m the only person in my neighborhood outside at this hour in the morning. So it really get’s down to that unanswerable and Zen-like question: If no is up to see you acting stupid, are you acting stupid?

Evidently, the answer is yes. So instead, I sit on my driveway tying my shoes while the Garmin sits on the drive way churning through billions and billions of calculations. At the end of the satellite synchronization cycle, I find out that once again I am located 20 feet from my house.

With the high tech gear ready to go, I left my driveway heading down hill at a blazing 9:20 pace and kept everything steady for the first 1.5 miles. Unlike yesterday, I focused on running economy; trying not to flail about. When I turned the corner and started heading east I got blasted full in the face by the wind. Funny I didn’t notice the wind when I was running west. Shortly thereafter, the rain started. Nothing too serious actually. The rain was little more than the sky spitting at me, but it was still annoying. I couldn’t wait to turn the corner again at 3 miles and head north for a while. By the time I was again heading west both the rain and wind stopped so I didn’t get any advantage of the wind at my back.

The wind and rain not withstanding, I was moving along at a decent pace (somewhere around 9:15) through the first 4 miles, and looking forward to the back end of the run. I was feeling strong, just me and the road, when the pain in my left big toe started up. It’s a familiar stabbing pain, not to bad at first, but very focused in the joint. At 5 miles I decided that the reward for running 7.5 miles this morning just wasn’t worth aggravating the toe any more than necessary. I need the darn thing for my 5k on Saturday. So I stopped running and walked the ½ mile back to my house.

I hope you all enjoyed your runs this morning. Mine was OK.

Training for the week:

Sun 7.5 Miles - 9:10/m pace
Mon 5.0 Miles - 9:24/m pace
Tue 6.7 Miles - 9:32/m pace
Wed 5.0 Miles – 9:13/m pace

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