Posts Tagged ‘striders’

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#31 – Cool Weather… Does It Speed Me Up?

10 September 2007

Letting the dogs outside at daybreak Sunday morning we were greeted by a loudly honking flock of geese flying overhead. They were flying south. Is summer over?

At least for today, it was. Setting out for our five mile run at work during lunch, one of my co-workers wondered aloud, not altogether jokingly, if he should’ve worn a long sleeve shirt. It was a “chilly” 63 degrees under overcast sky with the added benefit of a steady misting rain to keep us cool.

It felt great! We maintained a rather zippy 8:45 pace (yeah, for us that’s zippy) yet I had energy to spare. One co-worker is infamous for his love of hot-weather running – he never struggles even in 90+ humid degrees – yet today he didn’t have quite the pep that I did. I’m just the opposite – hot weather really wears me out but weather like today was almost perfect, especially the mist.

So maybe it’s true, that runners are faster in cooler weather? My goal this year is to run a 20-minute 5K but my confidence waned as summer wore on. After a 21:07 in March, my 5K races were all 21:30 to 21:45 with no trend to indicate impending improvement. I complained about this to Steve at Striders and he advised that I would become fast again as the weather cools down. Could it really make that much difference?

If today was any indication, it was a good boost for my confidence heading into this Saturday’s 5K – The Bridge Run. The forecast for this weekend is calling for morning temperatures in the 40’s, similar to when I ran my best 5K in March. Will the cool weather speed me up? I’ll find out in a few days…

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#10 – Learn to Exercise Prudence

21 April 2007

It’s Saturday morning and I’m signed up for the Striders Saturday Classic 10-mile race. Sadly, I’m sitting here writing this entry instead. Why? I’ve decided to be conservative and rest a minor injury.

Last Sunday I ran 16 miles exploring the countryside, then Monday I ran 6 miles; after the Monday run my left achilles became quite stiff and sore. It seemed OK during the run but when trying to stretch out afterward, I had far less range of motion. Even walking was difficult the rest of the day.

Fortunately Tuesday it felt great and I even got through softball practice with no problems. So Wednesday I set out for a 5 mile run and after one mile the achilles got stiff again. I should’ve stopped right then, but I was running someone and didn’t want to leave him hanging, so I toughed it out. Oops. The stiffness and soreness returned.

This time I hadn’t regained full range of motion by Thursday, a day later. Still, I went to softball practice and survived, but this time I could notice that my ankle wasn’t 100%. By Friday the range of motion was back to normal, but not without a feeling of tightness when pushed to the limit.

Alas, reasoning that 10 racing miles on the road would bring the problem back as bad as ever, I decided last night to skip the race. My ankle feels good now, but if it’s only “Tuesday good” then trying to run 10 miles could lead to a more severe injury. What a bummer – I was really looking forward to this race as Striders puts on good events and the course is reputed to be quite hilly. I even got a cool bib number: 88. Reminds me of a certain quote from Back to the Future! “When this baby hits 88 miles per hour…”

I believe I made the right decision, but it’s not easy to pass up a fun race, especially when I currently feel OK and could probably have finished. Further straining my achilles, however, could have grounded my running ways for a long time.