Thursday, January 3, 2008

4 Run 2, Week 3 (BTHR): Of Knees & Nerves


I went for a run at 4:15 pm today, doing a total of 3.7 miles. The temperature was 28 degrees, (or 20 degrees if you count the wind chill factor).

I'm not going to mince words: Today's run was lousy. I knew I was in trouble when my left knee started to throb a bit by lap 3. My head wasn't in it either. I had a very cold & distracted run.

And my pace suffered as a result. By lap 4 I'd clocked 36:27 (or a 12:19 minute mile pace), & by the time I'd completed my fifth & final lap, I'd clocked a total of 46:01, (or an 12:25 minute mile pace). This is one of the slowest times I've clocked yet. Oh well. I knew it wouldn't be wise to push it, not with a throbbing knee. I just wanted to finish.

I found it took me 2 laps to stop feeling cold, even though I was bundled "three layers deep" on top & was wearing my heavier fleece -- in the form of a jacket, gloves, fleece hat, & neckwarmer! I just couldn't get my body moving. I felt stiff in the cold wind, & the resulting resistance made it more difficult to get the body parts going. I tried not to let the wind get the best of me, & while I felt like I could handle the weather from a physical & emotional standpoint, I just couldn't seem to go very fast!

By the middle of the fourth lap, I honestly couldn't wait for my run to be over, & almost packed it in, thinking I'd run just enough to complete the requisite 40 minutes scheduled for today. I know, that doesn't sound like the same person who wrote all of those glowingly positive little posts yesterday about motivation & mind over matter. But it wasn't for the reasons you might think. It had nothing to do with the cold, & everything to do with me worrying about my knee & other things that are beyond the scope of this blog. (Let's just say that, for me, today's run was more about problem-solving than fitness.)

While I remembered to take my 2 daily glucosamine chondroitin pills, I'd stupidly forgotten to take my usual pre-run Ibuprofen. It's not that my left knee was throbbing to the point of excruciating pain, which it wasn't (or I would've stopped), but some thoughts were certainly creeping into my head about how it would be just a lot easier to stop right on the 40 minute mark, instead of finishing out the final lap.

But then lap 4 came around soon enough, my left knee was not throbbing anymore, & I thought, "What the heck, I might as well finish out the lap. I know I can do it, & nothing's really stopping me?" Clearly, there wasn't anything, aside from possibly my knee. Thankfully, it didn't act up in the final lap.

What can I say? Today's run was just one of those runs. Not every one's going to be a gem, but the important thing is to keep going & not let one bad performance put a dent in an otherwise decent few months of fairly consistent running.


Considering the sub-freezing temperatures, there were a surprising number of people by the lake today. And by that, I mean there were more people walking around the lake than just me & the usual security guards that patrol the area. ;-)

Appropriately enough, the people I saw were bundled up to the hilt. A few of them were just walking to their destinations (i.e., surrounding restaurants & shops, etc.), but some of them were actually walking around the lake. One fellow was walking his young husky, a beautiful grey & white dog who was probably enjoying being in his "natural" element -- cold weather! (There wasn't any snow on the ground today, but I'm sure he would've loved that too!) Judging from the expressions on the faces of both the dog & the man, I think it'd be safe to say that the dog was definitely enjoying the walk slightly more than his human companion, whose face was bright red & scrunched up in a manner that truly defied description. ;-)

Of the people I counted who were walking around the lake, there were about 4 people (& one dog!) who were doing multiple laps. I was the only one running at that particular moment.

I usually see more people running at this hour, but now the weather has gotten colder, it's been mostly walkers. I think most people have gone indoors, to their gyms!


Eric Gervase said...

Think of it this way.. You braved the cold and won. I hate bad runs... but they make the good ones that much better. Here's my measuring stick though.... Are you glad you went now that you're done? If the answer is yes, then I count that as a "win".

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks, Eric! You are absolutely right! If we only had good runs, we'd start taking them for granted after a while, eh?! ;-)

Well, to answer your question, I'm usually glad that I've run "after" the run is over! ;-) Hahaha! But seriously, I know what you mean. And today, it was even truer, as I appreciated the finish even more after overcoming various obstacles!

So do you like running in the cold, or are you more of a warm-weather runner?

Eric Gervase said...

I don't mind cold weather running. I'd say that I may have more tolerance than most. If it's really windy, then it's not a lot of fun. That's not to say that it would cancel a run for me. I hate treadmill running, so I would probably opt for uncomfortable outdoor over boring indoor. But, I'm human. I use the treadmill occasionally.

cyberpenguin said...

Totally agree with you, on all counts!

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