I went for a run at 4:15 pm today, doing a total of 3.7 miles. The temperature was 28 degrees, (or 20 degrees if you count the wind chill factor).
I'm not going to mince words: Today's run was lousy. I knew I was in trouble when my left knee started to throb a bit by lap 3. My head wasn't in it either. I had a very cold & distracted run.
And my pace suffered as a result. By lap 4 I'd clocked 36:27 (or a 12:19 minute mile pace), & by the time I'd completed my fifth & final lap, I'd clocked a total of 46:01, (or an 12:25 minute mile pace). This is one of the slowest times I've clocked yet. Oh well. I knew it wouldn't be wise to push it, not with a throbbing knee. I just wanted to finish.
I found it took me 2 laps to stop feeling cold, even though I was bundled "three layers deep" on top & was wearing my heavier fleece -- in the form of a jacket, gloves, fleece hat, & neckwarmer! I just couldn't get my body moving. I felt stiff in the cold wind, & the resulting resistance made it more difficult to get the body parts going. I tried not to let the wind get the best of me, & while I felt like I could handle the weather from a physical & emotional standpoint, I just couldn't seem to go very fast!
By the middle of the fourth lap, I honestly couldn't wait for my run to be over, & almost packed it in, thinking I'd run just enough to complete the requisite 40 minutes scheduled for today. I know, that doesn't sound like the same person who wrote all of those glowingly positive little posts yesterday about motivation & mind over matter. But it wasn't for the reasons you might think. It had nothing to do with the cold, & everything to do with me worrying about my knee & other things that are beyond the scope of this blog. (Let's just say that, for me, today's run was more about problem-solving than fitness.)
While I remembered to take my 2 daily glucosamine chondroitin pills, I'd stupidly forgotten to take my usual pre-run Ibuprofen. It's not that my left knee was throbbing to the point of excruciating pain, which it wasn't (or I would've stopped), but some thoughts were certainly creeping into my head about how it would be just a lot easier to stop right on the 40 minute mark, instead of finishing out the final lap.
But then lap 4 came around soon enough, my left knee was not throbbing anymore, & I thought, "What the heck, I might as well finish out the lap. I know I can do it, & nothing's really stopping me?" Clearly, there wasn't anything, aside from possibly my knee. Thankfully, it didn't act up in the final lap.
What can I say? Today's run was just one of those runs. Not every one's going to be a gem, but the important thing is to keep going & not let one bad performance put a dent in an otherwise decent few months of fairly consistent running.
Considering the sub-freezing temperatures, there were a surprising number of people by the lake today. And by that, I mean there were more people walking around the lake than just me & the usual security guards that patrol the area. ;-)
Appropriately enough, the people I saw were bundled up to the hilt. A few of them were just walking to their destinations (i.e., surrounding restaurants & shops, etc.), but some of them were actually walking around the lake. One fellow was walking his young husky, a beautiful grey & white dog who was probably enjoying being in his "natural" element -- cold weather! (There wasn't any snow on the ground today, but I'm sure he would've loved that too!) Judging from the expressions on the faces of both the dog & the man, I think it'd be safe to say that the dog was definitely enjoying the walk slightly more than his human companion, whose face was bright red & scrunched up in a manner that truly defied description. ;-)
Of the people I counted who were walking around the lake, there were about 4 people (& one dog!) who were doing multiple laps. I was the only one running at that particular moment.
I usually see more people running at this hour, but now the weather has gotten colder, it's been mostly walkers. I think most people have gone indoors, to their gyms!