Winter has descended out of the great white north and assaulted my peaceful Texas town. On Wednesday it was 82 degrees. The next night it got down to 29 and each night since then has gotten down to the upper 20s or low 30s. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 25.
I had a 20k race this morning and it was a brisk 36 degrees this morning at the beginning of the race and only warmed to 42 by the end. This was accompanied by a pleasant 15 mph wind out of the north that in addition to cutting through all of my clothing also made the hills harder than they already were. I actually had to break out my tights for the first time this year. My spandex shorts might not be anything to look at, but I'm hot in black tights; if they were fashionable I'd wear them all the time. I also had on a long sleeve underarmor (prevents bloody nipples, don't you know), a long sleeve technical shirt, a half-zip light weight pullover, running gloves and a hat.
I'd heard about bloody nipples, but never experienced a problem until last race when I wore just a technical shirt instead of my normal spandex shirt. After 13.1 miles the nice smooth fabric had rubbed my nipples raw. They weren't bleeding yet, but they hurt for a couple of days. Some guys put bandaids on them, others use vaseline, I'll just stick to spandex.
I know at least one reader was worried about my obsessive need to continue to run despite my calf injury. I partially took his advice and didn't run after my test run last Tuesday until today. I actually went in and got a massage on Friday which really helped relax the muscles and work out some knots in my recovering calf.
I used today's race as a training run since I'm signed up for the Dallas marathon next Sunday. I was trying to run a pretty even 10:00 pace and wound up averaging 9:52. I picked it up to 9:00 for a couple of miles in the middle to simulate my planned marathon pace and it felt okay. The calf was completely a non-issue despite the fact that the course was nothing but constant hills. The only real issue was a blister on my little toe caused by lacing my shoe up too tight. I had to stop, untie the shoe, and loosen it up after about 10 miles because it was getting really painful. After that, not a problem. The calf was macanudo; not even sore.
I've been tapering down for the Dallas marathon next week and this week will be really light with just a 5 mile run on Tuesday, 2 miles on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, and 1 on Saturday. The weather next week is predicted to be clear and low 40s which will be perfect. The course if flat and fast and unless something changes I'll be trying to run about 9:10 pace and break under 4 hours. That would knock a full hour off of my previous time of 5:00.
Anyway, I'm at close to full health and I think with another light week I'll be ready to put in a good run.