One week and over 40 miles down.
And it is only the beginning. I didn’t quite hit the 43 mile (69km) ‘typical’ week goal, but I’m good with what I did this week for a few reasons.
It’s been really cold.
And I’m prepared to run in the cold, but my phone isn’t. When my phone decides 50-odd minutes into a run to give-up, that really disturbs my flow. It appears that my phone isn’t going to do well when the temperature falls below freezing. With some careful fumbling and awkward running, I can cradle the phone in between my layer to warm it, kinda. Not ideal.
Speaking of layers, I’ve got clothes to run in cold down to 20°f (-6°c). Even that wasn’t going to pass on Friday when it was 9°f (-12°c), a respectably miserable wind chill, and a long run to tackle. I was already behind from missing my Wednesday afternoon run and losing portions of my runs to phone crashes. It was time to take a drastic action.
Getting an inside track
Friday was my long run, and the (hopefully) coldest day of the year. It was no secret as the weather forecasts saw it coming as a huge contrast against our unusually warm mid 30s. Cold like that is an obstacle to me. Do not want. I took to problem-solving. Luckily, in my Facebook a week or so ago, I got served an ad for Promedica Wildwood Athletic Club.
They are located literally around the corner from the park where I do most of my running. Being familiar with where it was, and the Promedica name being a prominent healthcare provider in our region that I’ve even looked to work for, I checked them out. Thursday night, I filled out an online form to get in touch with them. Friday morning, I got a call from their Manager, Clint, asking me to come in and try them out. They had a really nice, though fairly small facility. A lot packed into a compact footprint. My interest was upstairs.
Running in circles. Or ovals.
As I came up the stairs to their indoor track, the small size of it really hit me. One mile on this track required 14 laps. That is around 377 feet per lap, and I have 15 miles to cover. My phones GPS didn’t get along with the steel and concrete structure, but at least with the track, if I kept count, I could track my distance.
While the temperature was comfortable enough for shorts, the track has its drawbacks. For one, running in one direction the tilt of the track near the corners made for some uneven impact on my right leg. My knee felt that difference over the trails and paved surfaces I tend to frequent. Secondly, it was tedious. I’ve ran on indoor tracks before in my dabbling years as the University of Toledo has a nice Rec Center. I know from that experience that I can’t keep count well without a trick, so a trick it was to be.
Using a combination of a memory peg system and mental imagery, I ran that 377 foot loop 210 times. Each lap was mentally different as I imagine the surreal to keep mindful of my lap number. I was carrying scythe while running through a desert fed by sand falling out of a hourglass sun for lap 87. When I made it into the 100s an extra sun or moon was in the sky. The number 2 is a clothes hanger, or as I’ve worked it by relation, a coat. All through the twenties I wore many odd and fanciful coats. It was odd, but it relieved boredom and kept me mindfully aware of my lap count. Whatever works.
A busy couple weeks ahead
This week has some special events at work this weekend that may play hell with my schedule, but with any luck the weather will lean warm and I can get some extra miles in here and there. I have my first race of the year, Dave’s Ten-Miler, in just two weeks and while I don’t realistically plan on running with the pros, I do plan to test my own speed and improvement at it. I would also love to network with some of the area runners. My schedule is odd for many of the running groups I know of in the area, but I’d love to know more faces at the races.
Always improving. The site I mean…
You may find some things have moved around on the site, and that’s intentional. As I pursue this project, I’m learning more about WordPress. As I learn and have time to experiment, I will be constantly improving this site with little functions and features. If you haven’t seen it already, I’ve split log posts and blog posts (need to work on that wording…) off into separate pages. I’ve made the homepage static with a progress tracker at the top. I’ve also planned a couple more pages that need me to do more writing yet.