Dec 28, 2009

Windy run at Valley Forge

When I woke up and saw the sun shining, I immediately thought, "I need to run at Valley Forge Park".

Then I went outside with the dog, and realized it was freezing cold and windy as shit!

Too bad I already told my husband about my idea -- off to the park we went, bundled up in our cold weather gear; thank god we remembered to pack it for the trip.

As usual for wintertime running in Pennsylvania, it was miserable at the start, but once the sweating kicked in full force (after about 10 minutes) all was well. The wind kept things interesting -- the gusts were so strong it was even hard to go against them downhill. Forget about uphill -- we were crawling.

There's something about running outside, with the wind in your hair and the sunshine on your face, that makes everything feel right in the world.

Results (from Nike+): 5.08 miles in 50:25 -- 9:55 min/mile pace

Here's a map of the route we ran.

Physically, I noticed two things about my body during this run.

One, it takes a lot to get me out of breath. I wasn't really gasping for air at any point during this run, not even on the first super-long hill heading up to the visitor's center. When I took a quick potty break around mile 4, it only took a few seconds for my breathing to completely return to normal.

Two, my legs were HURTING. Holy shit. Ow. I ran the 5 mile loop at the park many times during my 6 years living in the Philly suburbs, and this was by far the most painful attempt. I know it wasn't from going really fast -- a 10 min/mile pace is "nice and easy". I have a suspicion that it has a lot to do with living in the flat lands for the last year. All the walking and running that I've done has been on essentially flat terrain. Very boring and also not as good of a workout as hilly terrain. Maybe I can blame my crappy deadlift PR on that too? :-p

In any case, my legs were so brutalized that I had to walk up the second half of the super steep hill around the 3.5 mile mark, despite taking the shortcut through the grass. That was a first for me, I can usually run the whole route without stopping. I will conquer this route next time I'm back in PA visiting husband's family.

Speaking of running, I'll be posting about runs a lot more in the next few weeks because we're signed up for the Critz Tybee Half Marathon. I'll be doing training runs in addition to my usual CrossFit workouts.

I love that we are the kind of couple who signs up for a race in the city where they got married as part of an anniversary trip. :)

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