I ended up taking yesterday as a rest day. Drew got up and went to the gym early, but I slept for an extra hour and then spent the rest of the morning getting ready for our Turkey Day. His parents were joining us before they had to catch a flight, so we had a pretty early dinner (more of a lunch), so it was well worth skipping the gym in favor of making and eating a special lunch.
Drew and I had thought about waking up early today to go hit some Black Friday sales, but we were lame and didn't go. I wasn't 100% sure I really wanted to brave the crowds anyway. Instead, we planted ourselves on the couch and watched lots of TV. We didn't get up and moving around until well into the afternoon. Drew wanted to head off to the gym and I decided to go for a run.
I have a 10K race coming up next weekend and I figured that although in our group Terrier runs, I generally run somewhere around 6 miles total, I don't generally do it in one straight shot, so I might want to try that out before the big race. So, that was my plan today. To do something I've never done before ... run the Big Loop in Central Park!
I didn't get to the park until a little after 3:30 and I was wearing running tights, shorts, and two long-sleeved shirts. I didn't take gloves or any ear coverings. I ended up being okay without the gloves, although they would have been a nice addition, but I really wished I had a hat/headband with me. The temperature was in the mid-40s and although I was probably dressed appropriately for the temperature, I wasn't dressed appropriately for the wind! I also didn't really factor in that the sun was setting and it'd be dark by the time I got home.
Because we spent most of the day glued to the couch, that meant that we didn't eat or drink a whole lot in our laziness. Which meant that I started the run off feeling a tiny bit hungry. In order to try to combat that, I brought some Shot Blocks with me. I'd never tried them before and figured that this was as good of a time as any to try them out. I ended up having two while running and they were sort-of everything I'd heard that they'd be. They tasted okay, but got stuck in my teeth. They also made me a bit gassy, which I didn't really like at all. I ended up deciding to give the rest of them to Laura because I didn't think I'd use them again.
I ran the Big Loop in a clockwise direction (which is against the majority of traffic). Running this way is the way that the New York City triathlon takes you, so that was a nice taste to see how that run would go. I am not really sure what route the race next weekend will take, but even if it's the opposite direction, I think I'll feel fairly confident while running since I'm so familiar with the route in both directions.
While I was running, I really concentrated on keeping my heart rate below 180 as it seems to me that somewhere in the mid-170s is really where I feel most comfortable. I know it's not the fastest that I can run, but I can keep running there for a longer distance, which seems to be the key to all of these endurance sports. I also really thought that it'd be good for me to have a standalone time that wasn't tied to a triathlon to compare next weekend's race to. My Westchester running time was 1:06:16 (10:41 pace) and I guess I'd like to get my 10K race pace closer to 10 minutes per mile.
Today I was able to shave 3 minutes off the Westchester time and I never felt like I was going too hard. I'd think that in the race it might be possible to get another 1:16 off that time to get down to 10 minute miles, so that's what I'm going to aim for.
Distance: 6.10 miles
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 173
We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!
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