Meep Meep

Road running!

Since school has started, I’ll be able to get home when it’s light out three days a week (I work the other two days). Or at least I will until classes really ramp up and I’m stuck working on assignments til midnight.

I have a few general comments on my approach to road running.

1. I am a fairly strict obeyer of traffic laws. Even if there’s no one coming, I won’t cross against the light. I run on sidewalks as much as possible and run opposite traffic when I can’t. I hate when drivers who have the right of way motion me through. I also won’t cross unless I make eye contact with the driver and see them motion me through, even if I have the right of way. If I can’t see them, I will stand there all day if need be. I always give a thumbs-up of acknowledgement, so that I can show I’ve seen them and appreciate it, instead of waving, which could cause confusion. Safety is such an integral part of my profession (engineering) that it carries over into my daily life. I am the poster woman for Defensive Pedestrianism.

2. I don’t pause my watch for stoplights, stop signs, untied shoes, wedgie picks, or any other reasons. I understand that it can skew splits, but those aren’t real splits anyway, if I stopped in the middle. By that logic, I could run 200m 8 times with breaks in between and call the aggregate time my mile time. It doesn’t matter anyway, no matter what, I’m still slow! I also don’t plan on making excuses for the slow times associated with a long layover at a stoplight, or pointing out how many times I stopped. My times are my times. Voila.

Okay, now onto yesterday’s run, specifically. I wore my shoe chains, since there are a lot of jerks on my route who haven’t shoveled the sidewalks in front of their homes, myself included. It was a good idea because while there were stretches of clear sidewalk, there was slush, packed snow, and ice along the way. It slowed me down a bit, as did the annoying long hill that lasted the entire first mile of my run. This is not a flat city. Running on the sidewalks in Duluth is also at times more technical than a trail. Not only are there a lot of hills, there’s large cracks in the pavement, slabs of pavement jutting up just waiting to trip an unsuspecting runner checking her heart rate for the millionth time, and spots where it feels like I’m running sideways due to the slant of the path.

I felt pretty good, certainly better than I ever do running on a treadmill. I had the same problem with my heart rate monitor I did last weekend, with the spikes at the beginning. I don’t know if that’s due to the shock to my system from breathing cold air or what, but I “cheated” and ran at a higher heart rate at the beginning since I was already going pretty slowly and I knew it would settle down. I was right. I power-walked a fair amount up the first hill but that was the only one I had to walk up, and on the way down I was flying! Giggity!

Splits:
18:49
16:21
14:45
17:06 (pace for the last 0.98)
Average heart rate: 140 bpm

After I got home, I put my coat on and walked to the convenience store 2 blocks away and bought some Powerade (Strawberry Lemonade), pretzel M&Ms, peanut butter crackers, and motor oil. Both my car and I were filled with delicious, nutritious sustenance.

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