Thursday, July 31, 2008

Torrential 12

6:45a.m. and I'm running. Who's the man?
One thing I've learned from running in the morning is that I know that the first few miles will be the worst. This was certainly the case today, as I felt like boo boo for the first 20 minutes or so. Then it started raining. OK, this is going to be a good run. Adding to the initial feeling of crapola was that the first couple miles were downhill. YUK. I was trying to get my rhythm, trying not to run too fast and trying to wake up all at the same time. None of it felt very good. Then it started raining. OK, this is going to be a good run. The good news was that after that initial downhill, I had a brief flat and then some good climbing. Just before the climbing it started raining. OK, this is going to be a good run. At this point, I'm sure you'd like to see just what that initial down and following climb looked like. Well, I just happened to have used MapMyRun to plot my route.

(Don't forget the elevation profile!)

The route itself was an out and back, and not terribly exciting. In fact, running on Route 16 pretty much blows. Cars going no slower than 57 and plenty of trucks. Not ideal, but the running on Dolly Copp/Pinkham B Road is great. There's even a little dirt road thrown in there, so I don't go crazy from running on pavement the entire time.

When I headed out the door, it was cloudy, but dry. Then at 21 minutes into the run, it started. The rain came. It was serious. It rained on me for the next hour and a half varying in intensity from a noticeable rain all the way up to full on drenching downpour like you can barely imagine. Throw in a little thunder and lightening, and I was loving it. I love run in the rain. Give me a monsoon over heat any day.

Felt really good on this run. My calves were a little tight, but it would come and go. My quads felt great, which I was thrilled with. My right calf has been tight this morning, but it will work itself out.

I played a bit of a mental game with myself on this run because the turnaround point for the out and back left the run at 10.5. (It was the only obvious turnaround point on Pinkham B Road. In fact, aside from a tree or rock, I don't think there would have been another.) So, I needed to add 1.5 to make it a full 12. Of course, a piece of trail at Great Glen was a no brainer, but I waited until the end to add it on. Much easier to do the add on first. But, on the way back I never had any thoughts of cutting it short. Plus, it was really coming down when I got back to the trail system, so there was no way I was cutting out. On top of it all, I was feeling really good, which always helps.

A week or so ago, I was speaking to someone about music and running. This gentleman wrote a column for Runner's World 10 or 15 years ago about running and music. Last month, Runner's World published another article about music, which basically used anecdotes to detail that hard driving and upbeat music is the best thing to listen to while running. The exact opposite of the article they ran 10-15 years prior. The author, with whom I spoke, did a great deal of research, including lab work (runners on treadmills), to determine that mellow, more even music is the best thing to listen to. The reasons were that faster paced music caused runners to try to match the pace of the music, which probably wasn't conducive to the pace they were trying to run. Thus, they tired faster. Plus, the extra effort they used to get themselves "up to speed" also contributed to their tiring. In other words, Runner's World is crap, and I never want to miss an opportunity to point that out. Then again, I'm somewhat talking out of my ass since I haven't had a subscription in 10 years, but I stand by my statement because it's my blog and I can say whatever I want. Don't forget this, though: I'm an idiot.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because today I had Jack Johnson in my head, and I thought that that makes good long run music.

Not too slow, not too fast. This one is just right said Goldilocks.
Of course, with me, no good music can actually stay in my head. So, as I was running up the last of the hills in mile 10 in a downpour with cars whizzing by I was singing this...out loud...

Before I ran my PR in the 3000, I listened to that song over and over and over again, while I was warming up. Indoor track, sophomore year of college. Yes, Human League pushed me to a 9:08 3k. I'm not well.

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