Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Running Streak: One week in the books

When I mentioned earlier this week that the first day of my streak was the hardest, I had no idea how wrong I was.

In descending order of ease/ascending order of difficulty, here's how the follow-up runs have gone.

Monday: 3 miles. I waited until later in the evening so I could have some company, so I missed another chance to do shorts in December. I took full advantage, however, of a chance to be a running despot.

We'd gone two miles (one lap around Gray's Lake), and I said I'd keep going if anyone else wanted to. Regina didn't want to and left; Cory didn't want to but continued for another mile with me.

I guess I just find two miles to be a weird increment — if I'm going to break a sweat, I might as well do it for three miles/30 minutes; if I'm aiming for a token run streak entry, no point in doing any more than a mile.

Tuesday: 4.7 miles. The target was closer to four, but I was set on reaching the intersection of two trails, and that point happened to be a slight downhill. No regrets, though, not even after the uphills.

My route took me through Greenwood Park, and even in the ugly transition period we're in (from fall to winter), it was so picturesque. There's a pond! A theater shell! Woods! I can't wait to run through it this spring.

This memorial caught me off-guard in Ashworth Park.
Wednesday: 3.25 miles. Our weather had started to turn slightly. Both Tuesday and Wednesday were long-sleeve days, but Wednesday added mist, fog, clouds and raw-at-times wind.

I was intent on getting at least three miles in at this point, however, because I'd seen what a cold front was going to do, and I was scared. So I ran to Salisbury House and back, admiring the many other majestic houses along the way.

Never mind the anachronistic cars outside the Tudor-style mansion.
Just as I was feeling incredibly grateful for having such a beautiful old neighborhood so close to me, I hit one of the steepest inclines I've found in Des Moines. I felt like I was running in sand, it was so dramatic, but fortunately it was short. Hill repeats in the spring?

Thursday: 1.03 miles. The Holiday Running Streak is now officially in peril. Our high was reached at 12:05 a.m., when I was most definitely NOT running, and it was a mere 19 degrees. I'd searched in vain for a relatively warm (emphasis on relatively) time to run and found nothing until next Tuesday, maybe.

So post-nap, I pulled on long johns underneath my tights, zipped my jacket over my warmer long-sleeved shirt all the way to my chin, and basically covered my entire head (fuzzy headband, face/neck warmer and sunglasses).

I did manage to avoid most of the wind gusts, either by smart route planning or procrastination, and I got an A- in dressing. (Socks should've overlapped my tights, or vice versa.) The worst part, though, was knowing how many more days I'll have to dump distance in favor of not catching hypothermia.

Yeah, I definitely take the streak too seriously.

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