Sunday, November 29, 2015

Running lessons: Running "naked" may be a good thing

It's been a good couple of weeks.

Last weekend, I did a run on Saturday morning with my buddy, David. It was pouring rain when we met up near the Blockhouse post office to head down the trail towards Mahone Bay but temperatures were mild and we hadn't seen one another since his daughter was born four months ago so there was no way we were going to let a little rain stop us. We covered 10 kms in a little over an hour, talking non-stop in an effort to catch up on one another's news. Our lives are so busy it's hard to find time to run together these days but, my goodness, I enjoy it when we do.  David's terrific company and we've known one another nearly 15 years now so it's comfortable hanging out together. We're hoping to squeeze in a 7k trail run out near Hirtle's Beach before Christmas but a lot will depend on what kind of weather we get in the next few weeks.

On Sunday, the weather improved enough that I was able to take Patti out for one more spin before putting her away for the winter. I didn't go far - just down to Peace Park, where I was hoping to take a few nature photos. My friend Renee has been encouraging me to work harder on my technique by shooting in manual mode. As it turned out, I wasn't happy with any of the nature photos I took, but quite like the portrait I snapped of Patti before leaving the park. Be sure to check out the link above to see samples of Renee's work. I think she's wonderfully talented so really appreciate her coaching.

I only managed one run during the week because I was super busy at work and we had a fair bit of nasty weather, but it was a solid 6k, followed by 5 or 6 strides, which felt really good. I can finally sense my muscles getting "juicy" - as if my training is starting to pay off.

This weekend's runs were terrific too. I headed out on my own yesterday morning and did an easy 13k run to the Cookville Bridge and back. The weather was a bit dreary but temperatures were mild and my legs felt reasonably good - despite a long week at the office. High points included getting beeped at by Santa Claus (maybe because I looked like an elf in my matching green jacket and running cap?), spotting an impressively large eagle in the tree near the bridge and discovering a couple of old wrecked cars just off the trail. I can't believe I hadn't noticed the cars before given that I've run past them hundreds of times in the past five years. I suppose, the underbrush hides them for much of the year but still... It's interesting to think about how they ended up there. From their position, it looks as if they were left to rust away after an accident but it's odd they weren't hauled out and sold for scrap at some point.

Our old friends, Gail and Marcus, came up from the valley for a visit last night. Since we stayed up late talking, Husband and I were slow getting out the door for our planned 8k run today. I was worried I might be too pooped to enjoy another run so soon but, as it turned out, I felt fine. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself to slow down. By the time we started the run, temperatures had dipped to 2C and I was wishing we'd started earlier - until we reached our turnaround point, that is. The setting sun was largely hidden from view but its light created a wonderful "cotton candy" effect that made the return journey especially lovely.

I can't say how fast my runs were this week because I'm running "naked" these days - by which I mean "without my Garmin". It's an old 305 I stopped wearing a few months ago when the battery started acting up. I keep thinking I should replace it but, for the moment, I'm enjoying the freedom of being without it. On shorter runs, I push myself to run a pace that feels "comfortably hard". On weekends, it's all about running slowly enough to feel good at the end. Listening to my body - instead of watching the clock - seems to be paying off. I can definitely sense that I'm getting stronger and faster, and I felt something very like a runner's high a few times lately. Here's hoping the progress continues. Maybe running naked is what I needed to get back in the groove. It would be nice to start marathon training from a solid base in the new year.

Hope you're enjoying the fall running season too!

Just for fun, here's a photo I took of Nemmie "Black Friday" know, because every blog needs some cat photos. lol!

1 comment:

  1. Every blog DOES need cat photos! I've taken to starting iSmoothrun, but leaving the sound down so I can run however I feel like, yet still look after and compare how I felt to what the numbers say. Several of my buddies have a fitbit, or similar, but I just don't see the attraction. It's only in the last couple years I've started running more regularly with a buddy, and I love it! I'd also love to run 10 k per hour, and have wind to chat!