Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Has Anybody Seen Fall Weather and My Pace?

Once upon a time, in a strange little hamlet in Northeastern Pennsylvania...
I wake up this morning, look out the window after hearing the rain pounding on the house all night long, and see that it's snowing. I truly believe that I'm still asleep, because, you know, it's October and it doesn't snow in October. I rub my eyes, look out the window again, and realize it is indeed snowing. And sleeting. And pouring rain.

I turn on the TV, at the exact moment the local weather guy is saying (a wee bit too enthusiastically), "There are wind gusts of up to 50 MPH out there, knocking down trees and power lines."

"Awesome," I think, as I'm digging around in the abyss of my running clothes, trying to find anything remotely warm. Waterproof would be a bonus, but alas, I don't own anything that fancy.
It is my peak week of marathon training. Skipping today's speed workout isn't an option.
So I head out and get some very odd looks from the locals, who are peering out their windows from their kitchen tables...warm, dry, and sipping hot coffee. I am insanely jealous.
After warming up and doing some strides, I begin to turn into a human popsicle. So I figure I need to just get it over with. I am fantasizing about dry clothes as the wind is making the icy precipitation fall horizontally, as well as making me feel as though I'm running in place. I can no longer feel my feet, legs, arms, or face. I'm pretty sure my ears and nose fell off during the second and third strides. So I just take off.
The purpose of this workout is to hit two miles at 7:45 pace, then switch gears to a 7:00 for the third mile. After a four-minute recovery, repeat it, then warm down. Success of the workout is defined as sticking to the paces -- going faster is not better.
Mile 1 -- 7:15 (oops. conscious effort to slow down....)
Mile 2 -- 7:29 (better but still not great, so I think for a second about not picking it up for the 3rd mile in favor of trying to find the elusive 7:45, but then I think that I shouldn't, so I try to pick it up as the wind nearly blows me right into a cornfield...)
Mile 3 -- 7:15

4 min. recovery -- uhhhh...shivering...must start running again...freezing...thinking about running slower...

Mile 1 -- 7:21
Mile 2 -- 7:31 (I honestly thought this one would be right at 7:45. I even had to stop for a few seconds to fend off a random dog. I was wrong.)
Mile 3 -- 7:12

I cut the warm down a few minutes short. I figured that because I'm violently shaking at this point, it might behoove me to get out of the elements as quickly as possible.

So, here I am a hours later, wrapped in several layers of fleece ala the little kid in "A Christmas Story" (when he's so bundled up that he can't put his arms down), drinking and eating anything hot. And the only thought that keeps popping into my head is that this is a frightening sneak preview of what training for Boston is going to be like all winter long. Ohmygod. Where is the treadmill fairy? Serious thoughts going on about my next relocation...

And that is the tale of a workout gone awry. Stay tuned to find out if the girl ever finds her pace and lives happily ever after.


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