Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Speedy Tuesday

My work schedule has changed a bit with the ending of the school year. Job B was school nurse at a local charter high school for three hours a week (doesn't seem like much, but MN law is 'silent' about the need for a nurse for schools with fewer than 1000 students). That job ended at the beginning of June and I am back to my regular schedule of just one (full-time) job (aka Job A). This involves going in to work at 11:30 am on Tuesdays (no moaning, I have to work until 8:00 pm).

The bonus: I have all Tuesday morning to get my run in. So what did I do today: hung out around house, threw in a load of laundry, toured my neighbors garden, went for a hike on the SHT with a friend, tried to locate information on my dental plans website (no luck) and ... oh yeah, ran to work. My original plan was to run very easy today, wasn't even going to use my inhaler because I was going to take it so easy. Sunday's 20.2 mile run on the SHT seemed harder than usual and I thought it might be a good plan to back off a bit. [Note - ran half of that run with Wayne - and if he had not been meeting me out there I would have totally bailed on the run, that's how unenthused about it I was. Took me an hour and 20 minutes to even 'warm-up'].

Ended up leaving for work a bit late and needed to run fast to get there on time (also ended up using the inhaler due to the high humidity - always a killer for me). Ran 2.8 miles in 22.21. I don't often mention my running times as I am not all that fast, but the last couple of weeks have me feeling a bit more speedy. The route to work involves some significant down hills so this was a gravity assisted time - at least for portions of the first mile and a half. The last mile is flat, and occurs on a wide road with minimal shade.

I left home and headed west, losing a few feet of elevation in the first block or two. Then it was waiting to dart across a busy road, dodging cars flying up the curvy highway at speeds exceeding the posted limit. Took me a while to get across as just when I thought it was safe another car would come flying around the corner. Once across it is two blocks on the flats and then around a corner and down hill for 4 blocks. This section parallels a city park and a river. Beautiful area. Then it is on to the uphill portion of my downhill run (only in Duluth). I zigzagged up and down the hillside as I made my way west until I finally hit Atlantic Street, where the real fun began!

This is a four to five block section of steep street. In the winter I dodged plows and potholes here. This summer it has apparently been slated for resurfacing. I turned the corner and found a street that had all the tar removed and consisted of exposed, decomposing concrete with each section at different levels from the one next to it. Who needs technical trail!?! The work crews were at the top of the hill and ahead of me was a truck going downhill, carefully picking his way through the torn up street.

I headed down the hill, figuring the truck would stay ahead of me. Then I got closer to it, and closer and eventually realized I would be passing it. Now, being a courteous runner I knew I should pass on the left... so I did, commenting to the driver as I went by that I didn't think I should be passing him ;-> He just laughed and said something that I didn't quite make out. Coming up the hill was another vehicle. He pulled over a bit to let me - and the truck - get by (by then I had pulled back into the right lane) and was smiling as I passed, having witnessed the preceding incident. In the meantime I am concentrating pretty hard on the road surface as a turned ankle here would have meant painful road rash (at the minimum).

Once I reached the bottom of the hill it was flat road way for the last mile into work. By then I was feeling pretty hot(thermometer said 80 when I got to work), my heart rate was up in the 170's and I kept telling myself I could back off a bit and take it easy. But another part of me was saying - "Keep it up, see how long you can do this. Good training for Saturday's 5K".

I kept it up, even crossing the road in an attempt to take advantage of a little bit of shade. Got to work with 5 minutes to spare, even after waiting an eternity for the light to change so I could cross the street. I was dripping and am eternally thankful for the shower near my office (though the water had not been run in awhile and was quite brown at first).

I am feeling pretty psyched about the possibility of a PR at this Saturday's 5K (Knife River Solstice Run/Walk).

Tomorrow is trail maintenance day on my section of the SHT. Will be meeting at 5:00 pm and working on weed whipping (lots of tansy and tall grass to clear off of the trail) and hopefully benching a section of trail that is at a nasty angle - very annoying when running or hiking.

No knitting news - have been too tired of late to get much knitting done after work, etc. Cast on a hat, have the ribbing done and need to start the crown. Will be incorporating some colorwork and hope to have pictures up in the near future of that.

yellow lady slippers near Mission Creek
blue-eyed grass in the Piedmont area
yellow swallow-tail butterfly near Spirit Mountain
monarch butterfly near Forgotten Park
orange and yellow hawkweed
A&Dubs drive-in restaurant is open


Wayne said...

Wow - 6 minute miles, passing vehicles on the road... I can't wait to hear what's next in your running world!

Way to stick it out on Sunday. Good thing I didn't know you were thinking of bailing as I would've suggested you, Jon, and I just go for breakfast! :)

wildknits said...

And I would have taken you up on the offer ;-> It is a good thing that we met for the second half of the run - made me get out the door and run even when I didn't feel like it - knew there was a method to my madness!

Chris said...

I can't picture running yesterday - it hit 95F or so here...