Thursday, November 30, 2006


While most of Tucson is no doubt cursing the recent developments in the weather, I'm pleased to say Mother Nature is doing me a solid. The kids woke before sunrise, and a quick check of the temperature showed 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the sun made it over the horizon the mercury had dipped to 27, which is when I headed out the door for my last workout. Duncan warned me some time ago about the potentially freezing starting temperatures at the marathon in Sacramento, and mentioned I should try my best to acclimate to running in colder temps. This is easy to say but hard to do when the average temperatures in Tucson during my runs have been hovering around 50 degrees.

Not so today. A freak winter storm brought sunny skies but a piercing cold. I'm talking about the kind of cold that brings out freaks that look like this. I ended up wearing two light long-sleeved shirts, shorts, gloves and a cap (tights are reserved for 25 degrees or colder). The cold air shocked my lungs as I started the workout with 10 minutes at 6:30 pace. This was followed by two sets of 5 minute accelerations with ten minutes at 6:35 pace or so in-between. The five minutes was spent with one minute at 5:50, 5:40, 5:30, 5:20 and 5:30. The goal was to get through all the gears and remind all the muscle fibers that they are still "on call" for the weekend. The first set found me feeling a little rusty with the combination of the cold and a day off, but by the recovery portion I was moving along smoothly. The second set flew by with no trouble at all, and after an easy mile I took another two minutes to practice getting up to around race pace and staying there before cooling down. All told it was seven good miles at a fairly brisk clip, but sandwiched between two days off it will hopefully serve the purpose of keeping the fire lit for Sunday without burning me out.

The toughest part of dealing with the cold was the bike ride to daughter Haiden's school with her perched on the kid-seat behind me. I neglected to wear gloves or a hat, and while cruising the downhill in the shade of Sabino Mountain with the wind on me my teeth were chattering. Haiden was tucked behind me, out of the wind and wearing two jackets, a hat and gloves, so she arrived without a complaint.

My sleep has been great this week, and all in all I have quite a sunny disposition given the task ahead of me. This cycle really has been the favorite of my three go-arounds with Lydiard training, and I really find myself looking forward to Sunday. Thanks for reading.

Training: 7.25 miles, 45:27, 6:17 pace, w/2x5 minute accelerations and 1x2 minute acceleration


Blaxabbath said...

I hope you enjoyed the cold today because, after seeing frozen water on my run this morning, I've been sitting around just spraying aerosol cans non-stop.

Mike said...

So THAT'S how you get your hair to do that. I always wondered.

The Freak said...

CFCs! CFCs! Noooooooooo!!!!

I feel for you, even though it's 30 degrees colder here, I've at least had 30-odd years of experience with sack shriveling cold.

Yes, it does. Yes, it is. Right now. As we speak. And I've been indoors for half an hour. Yes, it's that cold.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I've been reading your blog off and on for a while now and thought I'd post.

Odd weather these days... but it sounds like you got in quite a workout.


Anonymous said...

And Best of Luck on Sunday!

Love2Run said...

Would you believe we had mid 50ies up here in Canada today? The marathon course looks set up for a PR but watch out for the hill around 11 miles. Have a great race!

Anonymous said...

I soooo wish I could have gotten out in that brisk weather to run. Sounded like fun. (Damn knee!)

Looks like you are all set. Good luck this weekend!

D said...

Good luck this weekend Mike!

ian said...

Go get 'em, Mike. Can't wait to hear about a fast, smart race.

Anonymous said...

hee hee! Thanks for the visual - that picture is funny. I have a hard time figuring out what to wear - I hate being cold!

Good luck & glad the cold front paid off for you!