This morning I managed to talk myself into getting up and making it to the Terrier group run. It definitely didn't hurt that the weather was pretty nice outside. While I was running to the meeting point, I was noticing how many leaves were on the ground and the sound that they made crunching under my feet really made me forget that I was in NYC. It also made me wish that someone would rake them into a huge pile for jumping purposes.
We did our normal strides workout (approximately 0.50 miles) and then we were given our running workout for the day. Coach Spencer explained that we would run up the West side of the park to 102nd Street. From there, we would run around the upper loop of the park, which includes the Harlem Hill. We were supposed to repeat the upper loop 3-4 times, but the key was to keep the whole workout aerobic and to not go into anaerobic effort. While I still need to do the heart rate threshhold test to really figure out my HR zones, I think I can mostly tell on my own that sustained effort in the 180s is really too high for me, so I was going to aim for more in the 170s or so.
When we started out on run north, Coach Robert said that we should keep on the trails and side paths as much as possible instead of the main road. We all took off and started running. I was keeping up with the group for a while, but then I remembered the aerobic versus anaerobic effort part and realized that I needed to slow down a bit, so I fell behind from the group. And then, I literally fell.
Remember all those leaves that I loved at 5:45 in the morning on the way to the run? They turned sinister and were hiding all sorts of rocks and ruts on the Bridle Path that we were running on. I stubbed my toe on a rock and just fell down. No real harm done. I landed on my hands and right knee. I have some really tiny scrapes on my hand and I got a little bit dirty, but otherwise only my pride was hurt.
The first time I ever went running with Drew, I hated it. I think I really hated it because it proved that even though I looked like I was in shape physically, I really wasn't cardiovascularly. We couldn't have been running for that long before I was trying to figure out a way to end this. The best way I could figure out how to do that was to trip myself. I didn't actually do it, but I thought about it the entire time. How best to do it to make it look natural, etc. Once I told Drew that story, he (jokingly) told me that if we were ever running and I did fall, he wouldn't help me up because he thought that I'd be faking it. That was all I could think of today when I actually did fall ... and didn't even do it on purpose!
After getting up and dusting myself off, I then took a wrong turn and ended up almost all the way on the East side of the park. I must tell you that I'm really fantastic at running on the road in Central Park. When I veer from the road, I inevitably get lost. Which is what I did this morning. Oops. As soon as I realized that I had gone too far East, I tried to wind my way back to where I wanted to be.
Finally, I made it to the 102nd Street transverse. By the time I got there, it was really pretty much time to turn around and run home. I did start running slightly further north, but upon consulting my watch, I realized that I needed to head back home at this point and skip the loops on the hill.
For some unknown reason, I decided to run home on the Bridle Path as well. The only explanation I can offer is that I really wanted to try to figure out where I got lost. I definitely see what happened now that I know the right way to go. However, I wasn't done there. I was almost home (somewhere between 72nd and 59th Streets), when I got lost again. Well, I actually wasn't lost. I just couldn't figure out where I was. I thought I knew where I was, but because of this path running, I was coming at everything from a different angle, so for a minute, I got totally turned around and a little bit panicked. Luckily, I figured it out and made it out of the park in one piece. Obviously, I won't be planning any evening path runs as it's a bit questionable during day light hours.
Even though I didn't do the workout that we were assigned, I did try to keep track of my heart rate and keep it a bit lower than usual. I was definitely more successful with that on my run home than the other running portions, but I'm going to contribute the 193 maximum HR below to the fact that I fell and I probably scared myself. All in all, even though it wasn't the workout I set out to do, it was still approximately 5.9 miles in 59:23 (10:03 pace), not including the strides. I have to say approximately because I just did the best I could with figuring out the mileage from gmap pedometer. There isn't the best map for Central Park trails.
Run to Meeting Point
Distance: 0.81 miles
Maximum HR: 183
Average HR: 168
Run to 102nd Street
Distance: 2.3 miles
Maximum HR: 193
Average HR: 177
Distance: 2.8 miles
Maximum HR: 181
Average HR: 164