Thursday 1/10: I almost skipped this one, but I'm so glad I didn't. My expectations weren't particularly high, just wanted to get it done. I decided to run clockwise in the park, a direction I normally hate, but I needed a change of scenery. Well, it turns out clockwise only sucks on the west side because you're running the hills in the steeper direction. On the east side it's really not so bad! I've avoided this for years, but I think it helps that I enter the park from a different spot since I've moved—the northwest corner of the park. Which, by the way, is right in the middle of the Harlem Hills, so no matter which direction I choose, I'm running uphill for the first bit of my run.
Anyway, my legs didn't feel leaden, my lungs were good and warmed up, and my shin was taped and sleeved and feeling fine. It had warmed up a bit and boy, what a difference a few degrees makes! I kept up a 9:30 pace for the 4 miles, which I attribute, in part, to Eminem. I can't seem to run over a 9mm when I listen to his songs. A pretty great run overall!
Saturday 1/12: 9 miles on the docket today before next weekend's ten-mile race. First of all, since Thursday's run my calves on BOTH legs (surprisingly) have been SO TIGHT. Painfully tight. Like tears in my eyes as I roll them out tight. This is the first time this has happened. I had 3 potential running routes, and was pretty much gonna wing it. As I was getting ready, my Garmin totally shorted out. I went to plug it in, the charge screen appeared and then everything went blank. I quickly came to plan B which was to use MapMyRun on my phone. I knew it was gonna be a little warmer so instead of doubling up on the fleece I went for a t-shirt and fleecy sweatshirt. Then I put my phone in the sweatshirt, which I've done numerous times, but maybe because my layers weren't as bulky it was bouncing around so badly as I ran and twisting my sweatshirt around. And the t-shirt kept riding up underneath. This was NOT working, so I stopped and crammed the phone in my pants pocket which kept it in place better, but that meant I didn't have good access to it. Also my shin was itching and burning and feeling generally uncomfortable.
I left the park at 60th St. and ran to the Queensborough bridge, getting stuck at every traffic light and it was too much of a hassle to pause the phone. I was meant to run the entire bridge out and back, but I stopped at the top and turned around, which isn't even halfway, which meant I was gonna have to make up those miles at the end. I left the bridge and ran up the East River Promenade, and every time I wanted to check my mileage I had to extract and then stuff my phone into this minuscule pocket. At one point I stopped for a little leg massage. I just wanted it to be overwith, so I shuffled up to 116th and back down a few blocks until I hit 9 and found an exit off of that damn path. I took the bus home and felt really light headed and nauseous because, of course, I didn't eat that much before and, of course, I didn't bring any Powergel. Lame.
On the walk to the bus to go back home I passed a track on 114th and 1st. I've been wanting to use one to do speed work but the one on Houston is SO far away. I probably wouldn't feel comfortable running here at night until it stays lighter later, but I might be able to get myself to go on the weekend if it doesn't mess with long runs. Also, even though that totally sucked and I lost time at traffic lights or checking my phone, my pace was around 10:30. I had expected it to be way worse. I think I'm gonna go reward myself with a leg massage and a nap.