Friday, February 3, 2012

The Sound of Silence

I headed out for a 16 mile run at about 5:20 this morning. It was "crisp"....about 15 degrees crisp. But the roads were clear, there was no wind, and the schedule said today was a long run of 16 miles. I wore a long sleeve shirt, covered by a t-shirt. Over that I put on my hydration pack, sort of like a Camelback, but made for running and much more comfortable. Over that was a thin windbreaker, then finally my reflective vest. My thinking was that I should keep the hose/straw out of the cold air so it wouldn't freeze. As is turned out, it did freeze about 5 miles out. Not good. Fortunately, it thawed after putting it against my skin.

The first two miles were slow and ended at the top of a long uphill. From that point to the end, I averaged 7:54 and felt pretty good the whole way, with the last few miles more like 7:40s. That tells me the training is going fine.

I brought my iPod, but never used it. Sometimes I can simply get in a mental zone where I don't need the stimulation of the iPod to get me through. Today was one of those days. With the quiet, I was able to hear my feet strike the pavement. It sounds like a small thing, but trying to keep quiet foot strikes led me to shorter strides with less heel striking which leads to a more comfortable, less damaging and faster run. I remembered that when I race, always without music, the sound of my running is a new sensation. One rule in training is to mimic racing conditions as much as possible (or advisable) in training. I hope I can get through more runs without the iPod. I think it could make me a better runner.

At the end of the run I saw Christine driving Nick to school. They stopped a gawked at me. While I hadn't realized it, my face and hair were all frosty white and I had a huge icicle handing from my left ear. Quite a sight.


  1. I always grab my iPod when I run but yet I never wear one when I race either. I forget how nice it is just to hear your own footsteps and your breathing. I definitely think it keeps you more in tune to your body and effort. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. It's always good to zone out on a run. I usually listen to my i-pod before I go running to prep myself for race day. There's nothing like it. Likewise that's the first time I've seen an icicle hanging from an ear. Way to hang tough in tough conditions.

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