"It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do." - Allan Sillitoe

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wet N' Wild

Well, that felt a bit more like a long run.

Followed up yesterday's recovery run (46 minutes, average heart rate 139 - found it impossible to keep my heart rate down running into the strong wind so just ran by effort) with my planned long run this morning. Saw Sugar and Sas out on their bikes again as I trundled along. I have been reading a bit and thinking about recovery runs lately as I have been working on my training schedule and feel more comfortable about my slow recovery runs than before. In the same way as strides engage different muscles and connective tissues because of the different gait and stride length. so too slow running seems to be good for using different muscles, especially running on the grass. Gives my legs a bit of break as well as providing some gentle aerobic stimulus.

Just before I was about to leave this morning, it absolutely bucketed down with accompanying strong winds so I held off for a while. When the rain had eased up a bit, I decided it probably wasn't going to get much better and given the strong winds blowing over, even if there was a clear spot it wouldn't last long, so I set off in the rain.

After about 10 minutes though, it pretty much stopped and as it hadn't been too hard and I was wearing a technical Nike compression sort sleeved top, I felt pretty comfortable. I knew from reading Charismatic Kim's blog post the other day that the underpass at the Causeway would be flooded so went over the top there. Luckily there isn't too much traffic at 7.45am on a wet Saturday morning. I was worried about more flooding on the path particularly down near the Burswood Golf Course and sure enough the river had burst its banks and was ankle deep across the path. I managed to avoid this by (rather pathetically actually, luckily no witnesses) shimmying along the golf course fence at the two points where the flooding was the worst.

The rain started up again when I got into East Perth but it wasn't too hard, just steady. Avoided the ever present flooding at the old helipad near Trinity College and continued on along the city side of the river. Stopped for a gel at the rowing club, didn't actually feel like it then but thought I might later and that seemed to be roughly the mid point of my run so took it anyway.

The wind and rain got really strong and in my face as I went over the Narrows and continued on up the Freeway. I found it to be one of those times when you reflect on your motivation and why you are out there running in the rain, wind and cold rather than tucked up in bed drinking coffee and reading the morning paper. For me, I know that skipping or squibbing on my run would lead to a permanent guilt (well at least until my next goal race) whereby every time it got hard in training or the race itself I would be saying to myself, "The reason it's harder now is because you squibbed on that run back in May, you weak bastard". Still, there is also some satisfaction and some fun, in a masochistic sort of way, in slugging along the Freeway in those conditions.

Got to the pedestrian overpass at South Terrace where I intended to pick up the pace a bit. To here it had been a fairly easy, aerobic run but with the hills for this last 4km or so, I wanted to pick it up to a moderate effort. Managed to do this pretty comfortably and finished strongly up the final hill to our house.

Not sure of the overall distance but total time was 1 hour and 38 minutes. Given the time taken shimmying along fences and tip toeing through a couple of other puddles a simple distance/time calculation is not going to be an accurate reflection of my pace but I think I will get on to Map My Run at some stage to work this out as I intend to do this run again, hopefully in better conditions.

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