Winter may be plodding along, but for the last few weeks I've been on kind of a runner's high. Without really thinking about it, I let my weekly mileage creep up past 60. This is the point at which my body starts to feel really good. And while I know I need to ensure I am running smart miles, I still gotta do what feels right.
I was scheduled to run the Valentine's Day Marathon last Sunday. I went up to Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday to check out the course and got kind of a bad feeling. The "packed snow" on the trail felt more a toboggan run to me; my only real option was to run the race in spikes, a prospect I did not relish. (I know many folks who ran and enjoyed the race, but I doubt I would have). Instead, I met up with my downstairs neighbor Melissa for a long run in Central Park. We caught a ride down to 103rd and did a pretty quick lap before deciding to hit the streets up to Van Cortlandt to see the end of the marathon. We ran up 8th Ave to 155th where we jumped over to Harlem Speedway. Still a bit of snow and ice on the path, but nothing too bad. We then ran up 10th Ave to the Broadway Bridge, cruised up Corlear Ave, and finally did the last half mile or so on Broadway. It came to 15 miles in exactly two hours. Not bad. Not bad.
The rest of the week was a runner's dream. The weather gradually warmed and I was able to get in at least one run a day. On Thursday, as the warmer temperatures and sun did in the last of the January and February snow, I mapped out a route to City Island. As part of my new adventure running column over on New York City Runs called Run the City, I've committed to writing up one such run every couple of weeks. The run to City Island was a great run, although the last few miles on the return trip kind of did me in. I had not brought enough water for a 19 miler on a warm day and didn't feel like stopping to buy any.
Fortunately, my legs recovered nicely and I was able to join Melissa for an early run on Friday morning through the hilliest sections of Riverdale. We did a very cool figure eight route that offered nice variation and periods of recovery while also providing the kind of leg burning pleasure I look for on hills. As my daily schedule begins to shift, I suspect I'll be doing more work at 6:00 a.m. than I have in the past (and I'm actually looking forward to that). I'm also very much looking forward to starting a Tuesday night track workout. Haven't figured out where or how yet, but by this time next month I WILL be doing speedwork on Tuesday nights.
Of course, it's snowing again today. Not sure what that means for my running this week, but I guess I knew it was too soon to put the insulated tights away.