Sunday, March 6, 2011

Waking up from Winter

I haven't written in weeks and it isn't because I had too much going on, it's because I had nothing going on and there wasn't much worth writing about. February was a really difficult month for my family and while I usually hate to see my birthday month end, I was happy this year to put it behind me. I had some good training in the first half of February including some good swimming and running, then we took off on vacation to Mexico for a whole week. Ahh that was good stuff: sun, sand, SCUBA diving and good old fashioned relaxing. I needed that and I decided that I'll be taking a February vacation someplace relaxing and warm every year. I did a little beach and sightseeing running while we were down there, but we left really early for dives and it was too hot to run later in the day, so I just relaxed! It felt good too and by the time we got back, I was refreshed and ready to jump back in.

This first week back didn't go exactly as planned, but I got in some speedwork Tuesday night up in Inwood (brr, chilly) and that felt so good. My legs complained a little the next day, but I think they were mostly happy too. Wed I was sick but got in my morning swim anyway, hoping it would help shake whatever was wrong with my guts but I ended up resting on Thursday night and getting in a make-up run on Friday afternoon including some of the Coogan's course which I knew I'd be running on Sunday morning. I didn't feel great on that run but it felt really, really good to just get outside.

The weekend brought with it the threat of icky weather and the urge to stay in bed. I got out early on Saturday and met up with my friend LW to meet the Inwood Hill Runners for the first time in WEEKS for a Sat run. I was excited, but my legs were cranky and I was afraid I was out of shape. LW and I decided we'd cap the run at around 6 miles if possible since we had the race Sun morning and we set off heading north. The group decided on a West side- East Side loop of upper Manhattan/Harlem and we took off. I was struggling somewhere between mile 3 and mile 4 and actually pictured myself writing a blog post titled "struggling" or something else equally creative. LW and I shared this sentiment and considered the idea of hopping on the train once we crossed from W 155th over to E155th St instead of running up the East side back to Inwood, but when we got there we both felt good enough to keep going. That was a huge mental victory for me and I was happy that I kept going because I felt good and the sun was making a surprise appearance. Our plan to cap our run at 6 miles sort of flaked and we thought we'd be finishing up around 8 miles, but I may have miscalculated the route forgetting that we'd run an extra 1.6 miles from home to meet the group. Whoooops. Oh well, in the end we clocked 9.3 miles in around 1:25 with lots of hills, running along the railroad tracks and the sketchy trail south of Dyckman St. I was really, really happy with myself for finishing that run. With my avg HR in the 150's I also got a boost knowing that I haven't lost as much fitness as I let myself think.

I think the combination of sun and sweat on that long run was me shaking off my Old Man Winter coat and waking up for what I hope will become a really great spring. Heck, baseball players aren't the only ones who get Spring Training!

Coogan's recap coming very, very soon. :) (like in the next half hour).

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