Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stubborn Streak

I derive a lot of inspiration from reading others peoples trials and adventures in running. At least two of my runs so far this week were made a little better thinking about some of you. After the frustrating week I had last week, the feedback was pretty unanimously in favor of more rest. I decided that this week I was just going to concentrate on the miles and not worry about the time. Does this sound more than a little bit familiar to anyone? I'm beginning to sound like a broken record even to myself.

Tuesday I headed on over to the track. Bryan joined me. He wanted to run some laps as well as part of his training for the bike tour in less than 2 weeks. David is my current inspiration for speed work. He busted out 12-400's this week. Man oh man, I'd be thrilled with 6 or 8. But now I have a goal. The old track had just gotten a fresh layer of new dirt. It was nice and soft but pretty rutted up due to the rain on Monday. I was forced into what is probably lane 3 to avoid the worst of it. I put in a 400, 800, 600, 800, 400, and one last 400. The 600 was supposed to be an 800 but I pulled up short with a side stitch. I don't remember having a side stitch since running as a kid. All my times are about 5 to 8 seconds slower than the McMillan calculator.

Wednesday I headed out for 6 miles. I fell into a very comfortable pace that I felt I could keep up for a long time. The main goal was just to stay relaxed, not pushed or hurried or stressed over speed. My final pace was nearing 9:00 and I felt refreshed afterward.

Before heading off to bed last night I mapped out an 8 mile route beginning at our church. My plan was to put in the miles right after the meeting, stop at home to shower and head into work a little late. When I got up, I started thinking about how it has been staying light until nearly 6:00 p.m. When I leave the meeting I get to work early so I decided push the run to the afternoon, leave work a little early and take advantage of the longer days. Only one obstacle lay in my way. The forecast called for rain. I don't pay much attention to the forecast, but at 4:00 the rain began. I was initially bummed and wished I had run in the morning. It wasn't raining then. But then I thought about Steven. He has commented often on his blog that if you won't run in the rain, then in his area, Oregon, you'll miss a lot of runs. I decided that if he and Mike could run in the cold rain in Oregon, I could run in the relatively balmy 60's in what we call rain.

I was out the door at work 4:45 and off to the Santa Fe River Trail at the dam for 8, in the rain. I had at least packed my baseball cap to keep the rain off my glasses. I pulled into the lot and lo and behold I was the only car there. I headed on up on top of the dam, fell into a groove and rain be damned. Luckily the weather was just showers, no winds or lightning. I was just one solitary guy out enjoying the weather. By mile 3 I was about as wet as I was going to get. You guys know what can happen running in a wet shirt. I've suffered through this before and bloody, sore nipples are no laughing matter. As a preemptive strike, I flipped the shirt up over my head. I'm usually too self conscious for this but I wasn't likely going to be seeing anybody else in the next 5 miles (I didn't) and any possible embarrassment on my part or theirs would be worth not suffering the dreaded rawness. Running bare skinned in the rain is not such a bad thing. I felt downright primal and the best part is I'm sitting here now pain free.

The pace for the romp in the rain, 8 miles in 1:04:32, 8:04 miles per minute. Where that came from I can't quite figure out. I was just out for a easy run and got rewarded with a near 8:00 pace and it felt easy. Last weekend I couldn't keep up an 8:00 pace for more than a few feet without feeling as though I was going to die. Running is such an unknowable thing sometimes.

I've been chasing a mileage goal for a while and this was supposed to be the week to get there. But with the extra biking I'll be doing with Bryan and the 20 miler on Saturday, taking Friday off is probably the prudent and wise thing to do. Thanks for the advice and the inspiration and hopefully we'll all keep learning something together.


Jessica Deline said...

I love running in California rains. Plus no one else is out there which I guess worked out for you and your shirt incident! :)

Wes said...

Having a super thin rain jacket will prevent those bloody nipples! LOL. You may be putting to much pressure on yourself. 8 minute miles is awesome. Way to freakin go!!

PLANET3RRY said...

Toss some bandaids in the glove compartment and you never have to worry about bloody nipples.

Congratulations on getting out in the rain and getting your miles in! Make sure that you give your shoes plenty of time to dry out before running in them again!

Ryan said...

Great story below Darrell!

Sound like an exhilarating trail run! I'll take that warm rain any day, if you did that here in New England your nips would have frozen = ) I agree running can be very temperamental sometimes! Have a nice weekend!

Backofpack said...

Yeah, those of us in WA think the same thing - run in the rain, or never run at all. I've whipped my shirt off twice - once at the beach when I didn't know anyone and I was over dressed, and at the R2P relay last year when it was 99. I was with two vans of runners I knew, but was so hot I didn't care. Didn't do any good, I still overheated the ticker.

I think about bloggers and their comments while I run too. It's funny how someone you've only met online can offer that "oomph" to go that we sometimes need.

I think you are doing great Darrell, and I don't think your modifications will hurt your training. Eugene is creeping ever closer...

DREW said...

You've got a 20 miler planned for Saturday? You're going to be in awsome shape for Eugene. I'm going to try and plod out 6 miles somewhere in the 8:00 range this afternoon. I don't think it will happen. I'll try to remember your run in the rain!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

sweet, that's awesome you got a "primal" run in :) running in the rain, yay!

Sarah said...

Glad you overcame your rain phobia and got out there for an awesome run!

Joe said...

The rest is helping, Darrell...will be interested to hear how your 20 miler went.

Bloddy nipples are no fun. I use paper tape on mine for runs in the rain or anything over 10 miles. Cheap and effective and easier to tear off than a bandaid. If you want more details, email me!! The same stuff works great to prevent blisters as well.

Dang, that was a good run in the rain for you. I'm sure pleased. The track work, side stitches or not, is helping. You are indeed preparing well for Eugene.

And isn't it cool how the wider community can help each other?? i sure appreciate it too!!!

Rae said...

Running in the rain can be so fun (sometimes)!! It just makes you feel like a running ninja or something! Hope this week is a good one for you!

Journey to a Centum said...


You can't be a rain wimp dude! Great job getting out there! I use the little square bandaids to prevent a wet running shirt from sanding my nips off. Runners nipple is like the equivalent to a paper cut in the office. It seems like it can hurt more than blowing out your knee.

Keep up the good work and I'll see you at the finish line in Eugene! I hope you will wait for me to finish!