Sunday, March 11, 2007

Traffic Jam

Well, since the 25th hour was recalled early this year, I didn't get out to Heartbreak Hill until a little on the later end of things this morning. When I parked at City Hall, I was surprised that there weren't that many cars there - usually there are about a half dozen or so when I get there. I guess people are adjusting to the time change.

I set the Nike+ to a 5k distance and was off.

Out on the road, there they all were - runners on their own, dog walkers, fitness walkers, running clubs - you name it. The carriage road along Commonwealth Avenue was just packed with runners everywhere in ones, pairs, groups and otherwise. There were parents with strollers, dogs being walked and dogs running with their humans. In fact, I saw one beautiful Golden out there pulling his human along at a fairly good clip, it was kind of amusing to see the struggle of the runner who wasn't quite up to their dog's speed.

Of course the dog was faster than me, but that's OK.

After spending a season on a treadmill, I am beginning to recognize profound differences that, while subtle, really are noticable. For example, if I start to drag a little on the treadmill, the belt will pull me along. If I need to speed up or slow down on the street, it doesn't involve pushing any buttons - just adjusting my stride. But the main difference was the breeze.

See when you sweat on a treadmill, there's no breeze to help blow it off your face or dry you off a bit. Outside, between the wind resistance and any breeze or wind blowing, the change is huge. The good thing about the treadmill though was working on my speed. I ran a consistent pace today around the 12:30 mark without straining, fatigue or breathing issues. If I hadn't gone ankle deep in a puddle passing the Johnny Kelley statue on my way down the hill, I might have gone on for another mile or so towards the fire station and back.

Next Sunday is the Ras Na Heireann and I'm psyched because I'm going to spend a couple of days running outside this week just getting ready. If the rain comes through as planned, then I'll spend some time on the treadmill looking forward to running in the fresh air once again before having a run, a pint and some potato leek soup. Then I'll be in a real congestion of 2700 runners taking a scenic tour of Somerville.

But today was all about the company and joy of a good run up Heartbreak Hill.

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