Monday, December 15, 2014

Ugly Sweater Run

Ugly Sweater Run

Getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning never gets any easier, but yesterday morning, I was making my way down to south Charlotte for Phyllis’ Ugly Sweater Run.

Rolling in the parking lot lit only by the street lights, what better way to start my run. The temperature hovered in mid 30s which was just cold enough to make my hands feel numb during the early miles.

Circling back by the parking lot after 5 miles, Richard and Sharon were ready to head out for a quick run before we all started the Ugly Sweater Run. While we often see each other before and after races, we rarely run together so I enjoyed catching with them albeit brief period of time.

Returning with just a few minutes to spare, it was time for a shoe change. My goal for this run was to have an easy 8 miles and then tempo the 12 miles of the Ugly Sweater Run.

Phyllis provides some course instructions, and Peter handled starting logistics. Even before we crossed the bridge; runners had broken in to small packs. Most were dressed in the some sort of Christmas sweater. I found myself running next to this guy that towered over me. In fact, the thought occurred to me that 3 of my strides were equivalent to just one of his strides.  Inching head, there was a small gap between us at the first turn around. He pulled even as we started hitting the board walks again.

Just past this section, I started inching head again. My breathing was well under control, and my legs felt fine. Catching a couple of splits on my Garmin which were in the 6:24 range, this was a pace that was perfect for me to maintain the entire way.

Having the miles marked off in quarters is the nice part about using the greenway. Every minute and half, the realization that the finish was getting closer comes to mind.

Soon, the second turn around arrived, and it was time to head back to the finish.

My legs were starting to feel a little bit of the sting now. Miles 14 and 15, my splits fell in to the 6:30s. But they bounced back once I hit the pavement again: 6:24, 6:25, and 6:23 over the last few miles.

This turned out to be an even better run than I expected. It was the first hard effort since the Derby 50k two weeks ago. My legs didn’t have quite the pop that I usually feel, but it will come. Usually around 3 to 4 weeks after a marathon or 50k my legs start to feel normal again.

Hopefully, they will bounce back a lot over the next 3 weeks. Otherwise, the 4 races of the Dopy Challenge will turn in to a very long weekend. LOL


Sharing one thought at time

The Cool Down Runner


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