10 June, 2012

The Great Outdoors

I'm going to say something now that I never ever ever expected to say:  I think I might enjoy running outside better than running on the treadmill.

Sure, the weather is difficult.  73 degrees first thing in the morning isn't that hot, but the 90% humidity is definitely oppressive.  Outside, I also have bugs, people, cars, and an occasional pet to contend with.  But I also have a changing view.  I can focus on the running rather than on the treadmill timer telling me when my interval is ending.  I can't actually see the exact distance traveled every second, or the speed I'm going, so I just focus on what feels right at the time.

Yesterday, we were planning on heading over to the 2.5 mile trail around Wilderness Lodge and Ft. Wilderness.  We loaded up Scott's bike, and got out early enough to avoid the rain.  It started sprinkling while we were driving, so instead of driving another 20 minutes, we decided to just go through Independence.  We plotted a 1-mile course (yesterday's prescribed run was 2 miles - so this was an out & back) starting at the school.  The area around the school was dead silent and picturesque, but that early in the morning the neighborhoods we went through weren't much different.  We saw a really small alligator in a pond, some construction guys up on a roof, and not a whole lot of other creatures stirring.

Two miles is what I generally do in my 30-minute "conditioning runs" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I knew I'd be ok with that distance.  I've been doing intervals of 20 seconds running/40 seconds walking, and this really seems to work the best for me.  If I try longer running intervals, I can barely make it through 5 minutes before I'm winded and my face turns purple.  Even at 20/40, I've never gone the full half hour on the treadmill without skipping a run interval or two on the second half.  During yesterday's run, I hit every single interval, and really only half-assed the last one (which was up a pretty steep hill - I felt like I was jogging in place!).  I did the entire run in 30.15, which even on the treadmill would be a decent time for me.   My first mile was 15.05 minutes, which is almost a minute faster than my first outdoor mile last week.

Right now, I'd say realistically there's a 50-50 chance I'll complete all 10 miles of my race in time. But there's 17 weeks between now and then.  Anything can happen.  Next week's run is 3 miles, and Scott and I are both leaning toward going back to Independence.  This will be my first more-than-a-half-hour run, and I'm really excited about it.  


mamajoy said...

You are an inspiration! I'm gonna pray for cool weather!

Jamie the ParkHopper said...

cool weather would be great...but you might have more success praying I get transferred someplace cold!!