Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Soon?

The sidewalks and path were not exactly ideal – lots of patches of wet snow and ice, and it was melting quickly to cold puddles.  However, the air temp was not too cool, 31 degrees and light on wind; with the sun shining brightly it was a pleasant last Sunday in February for getting in a long run (a step-back week, so not that long).  With shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and a Salomon vest I just won from Fleet Feet (thank you, Fleet Feet Chicago!), I was very comfortable for an easier paced 12-miler.  The path was pretty messy for about 50% of it, at least on the outbound leg, but the sun was doing its job as the return trip seemed much better.  Lots of sun going south and a light headwind, so when I turned back with the sun and wind at my back, I was unleashed and picked up the pace a bit.  By the end, it had warmed to 37 degrees, the sun was brilliant and the blue sky felt awesome – I swore spring had arrived.  Shorts and a vest - don't forget!  Of course, it wasn’t going to last – shortly after my run it clouded up and started to cool down again.  Well it was a nice taste of spring – I know, I know, it’s still a bit too early for that, at least in Chicago.  But it was a great morning.  And much, much, much better than a week ago…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wet 'n' cold fun

Cold, rainy, windy.  …Pretty much as predicted.  Temps right around the 32 degree mark.  When I woke up I thought I had lucked out, there was no ice, sleet or rain, the ground was clear and dry.  But as soon as I got outside it started sleeting.  That was alright, but then it changed to a really cold rain shortly after that.  The first 10 miles were basically face-first into wind and rain.  At about the turnaround point near 71st Street I didn’t think I could take it anymore, but after turning to head back north the wind was at my back and the rain lightened up.  I instantly felt 80% better, except I was completely soaked head to toe, and my hands were really cold.  Squishy shoes, cold legs, numb hands and face, and wet clothes – my legs didn’t want to go very fast and I felt a little weighted down – the last 7 miles went a bit slower.  I really just wanted to finish more than finish fast.  I believe a crow even tried dive-bombing me at one point, what the heck?  Okay did I just say that the long runs were my favorite run of the week?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19, 2011

Well it was cooler weather today as predicted, but it wasn’t too bad.  This was one of the earliest mornings I got out for a run this winter.  I didn’t see anyone running or walking for at least the first two and a half miles, but saw some local police in their patrol cars watching some of the areas on the path, I guess that is reassuring.  Also saw the sun rise today right about the time I was turning back home midway through.  Although it wasn’t particularly stunning, it was still nice to experience it again.  After a good couple weeks of great training runs, I probably had one of my less optimal runs today.  Tired, less energy, perhaps a result of getting less sleep last night, some continuing foot pain, and probably still recovering from Thursday’s run.  But all in all, I was okay with my pace and the overall run, and the sunrise and blue sky were beautiful.  Only a couple of patches of ice on the Lakefront path where the snow had melted and refroze.  Otherwise it was clear and dry, great for a run or a ride.  Today was 8 miles, finished in about 58 minutes.  Tomorrow is back up to 17 miles.  Seems like I was just doing that not too long ago for the Twin Cities Marathon.  But that's my favorite run of the week!  Time to ice my foot.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Running 2011!

Reviving the running blog...  Here's to warmer weather holding out a little bit longer, sure would have been nice to have those 60 degree temps last a little bit longer.  Well, it is February, so I can't really expect warm weather anyway (never stops me from hoping for it).  But we've had some pretty cold and windy weekends this season, so a weekend in the 30s won't be too bad (though chance of sleet and freezing rain - yuck).  I'm at the end of the 8th week of an 18-week marathon program so the mileage is shooting up there, and I'm beginning to feel the early stages of excitement for the coming Illinois Marathon at the end of April...