In The Morning
The Treadmill Miles
The Park Miles
A New Book and Sushi
“66F, Cloudy, Showers likely throughout the day…” isn’t the first thing you want to hear early in the morning when you’ve got a rather intense interval workout of [9M; 3x1M@6:07] scheduled for the late afternoon. As I got dressed ready for work and packed the gym bag with my clothes and running gear, I carefully weighed all the options available to me: A) Run outside in rain and postpone speedwork for later in the week; B) Take extra rest day and postpone running all together or C) Succumb to the machine and do miles on the treadmill. I had to admit that none of these options seemed particularly appealing to me as I was planning out my day, so I gathered everything I’d need for indoor or outdoor running and resolved to reassess the situation again after work. Still, as I got out of my apartment and found myself in the midst of a torrential downpour, I admitted that the prospect of any running happening later in the day wasn’t going to be good.
The Treadmill Miles
A few hours later, I found myself at the gym still undecided about my running. Work at the hospital was unusually light this morning as most parents opted to keep their kids home rather than subject themselves to the mercy of the weather gods just to come see me, (A rather wise choice in my off-the-record unprofessional opinion…) so I took the opportunity to escape to the gym much earlier than I had planned. Since the persisting rain eliminated any possibility of outdoor speedwork, I surrendered myself to the machines and climbed on the treadmill for my planned interval workout. But instead of setting it for 3 interval miles at 6:04, which I thought would be rather monotonous, I decided in the spur of the moment to do progressive miles – 0.25 miles at 6:07, 0.5 miles at 6:04, and 0.25 miles at 6:00. My reasons for doing this was not only to add variety to an otherwise boring workout, but also to teach my body correct pacing for these type of faster workouts. In the end, my plan worked brilliantly as I knocked out a total of 6 miles on the treadmill with my three interval miles clocking in at 6:04, 6:03, and 5:58 respectively…not so terrible for my first dedicated interval workout of my new marathon training plan.
The Park Miles
I was so inspired by my treadmill speed workout that I braved the rainy weather and ran my cooldown miles in the park. Even as I told myself that it was only supposed to be 3 flat miles, my legs wouldn’t listened and carried me straight through to the upper 5 mile loop of the park! As an added bonus, I even kept my pace at a steady recovery pace of 7:28 min/mi the entire time, never speeding up or slowing down at all! Wahoo! I dare say I’m slowly getting the hang of the whole “run more miles, run slower miles” philosophy to marathon training. And as if that wasn’t enough, I had a bunch of silly, slightly euphoric moments that made the run slightly humorous…
Moment 1: I’m at the entrance to the park and find myself stretching my quads and hamstrings next to a street vendor selling umbrellas in the steady rain. I’m casually looking at him as I go about my business. He catches my stare and asks me in broken English…”Do you want to buy an umbrella? Umbrella…good for running…” I shake my head and chuckle to myself, What? If I’m crazy enough to go running in the park in this weather, does it look like I’d need an umbrella? What could I possibly do with an umbrella while I run? For some reason, this interaction energizes me as I start my trek around the park.
Moment 2: I’m running up Cat Hill at a slow and comfortable pace. In the past 2 miles, I’ve only seen a handful of runners. This is extremely unusual for a late afternoon in mid-July. The thought makes me feel a bit hardcore and a bit more confident. All of a sudden, I see a fellow runner chugging down the hill with a poncho of sorts. Okay, maybe I’m not as hardcore as that guy. I’m thinking to myself as I instinctively track his progress with my adoring eyes. He passes me. I glance back. What I thought was a poncho was not a poncho at all; it was a mylar blanket from last year’s NYC Marathon!
Moment 3: I’m winding down now, flowing through the rolling hills of the western section of the park. Directly in front of me, part of the road was being blocked off with orange cones and a sign labeled “Central Park Conservatory - Tree Work In Progress”. Some city workers were high atop a big crane getting ready to cut down a giant tree by the side of a road. As I ran past, I wondered Geez, what kind of conservatory work would involve cutting down a tree? I thought the whole point of their line of work was to preserve the park environment to allow a safe and natural habitat for animals and wild life to thrive and grow. Hmmm…does PETA know about this? Should someone tell them? I don’t consider myself an environmentalist, at least not a passionate one, so for me to have these thoughts was a bit out of character for me.
Total distance for the day: 11.23 mile @ 7:09 min/mi
A New Book and Sushi
My running day didn’t end there as after the gym I went straight to the bookstore, perused around a bit and picked up my next reading selection! I had finished “Born To Run” earlier that morning on the way to work and had already listened to Brandon’s insightful interview with Chris McDougall by the time I hit the gym so I was in need of an outlet for my new found exuberance in running and marathon training. I spent about an hour at Barnes & Noble, researching and interviewing potential candidates, but eventually settled on “Brain Training for Runners”. Why? Three reasons. 1. Ana-Maria recommended it to me. 2. It is medically relevant. 3. It is guaranteed to improve my running (or so it claims!) Any others who have read this book, feel free to comment…
After making my purchase, I ended the night by indulging myself to some Japanese sushi with a friend on the Upper West Side. I’m not sure if it counts as a recovery meal but it definitely hit the spot and provided a perfect ending to my unexpectedly fulfilling rainy running day!