Thursday, April 14, 2011

9 mile run of death and other training tales.

Well this week I've been able to get three back to back days of training so I'm starting to re-establish a pattern. Monday I went for a 9.45 mile run Tuesday some lifting and the sufferfest bike intervals and yesterday my first swim since Saturday, while it's not the ideal plan, I am coming back from a crash and burn week and some harder early season trianing than I've done in the past two years.

On Monday my 9 miler could be know as a run of death for two reasons, hills and traffic. Adjusting to life back in Waterbury has been a little bit of a change because for the past 5 years I've had established running routes out in Wolcott, 2 days a week do the 8 mile loop, on the long days I had a 12, 15, and 20+ mile loop set up. At my new place one of my dabblings has been to try to set up new routes that aren't going to get me killed by traffic or lead me into "da hood". While Bunker Hill is not "Da Hood" it does have traffic, dogs, uneven sidewalks, pot holes and some areas of questionable character. Likewise it has Hills and I don't mean the gentle rolling type. While Bunker Hill Ave. is a long gradual climb some of the surrounding side streets can have some nasty little or in some cases big climbs.

On Monday my goal was to run from my house to Holy Cross High School and run part of one of my old High School training loops before looping back home. Only problem with this was I would have to cross West Main Street/ Chase Parkway in Waterbury, which is a busy drag as it connects the West Side with Downtown and there are three highway exits within 2 miles of each other on this stretch. I started my run down Bunker Hill Ave which was pretty tame, there are plenty of sidewalks and crosswalks, as long as you paid attention to traffic you were fine. I cut up a Deleware Ave and another side road which took me up a pretty nasty hill, and left debating if leaving the fuel belt at home was a wise idea. i cut down a few more side streets and got a nice down hill run to West Main Street and as I saw the packs of cars lining up at one of the exits. Running at rush hour wasn't my most brilliant idea.

But being the type of adapter I am I decided I would run down Chase Parkway past the last I-84 exit, then shoot down Straits Turnpike into Watertown and go up the backside of Bunker Hill into Waterbury. The only problem Straits Turnpike is a major State Road, and after I had risked life and limb in a narrow shoulder on Chase Parkway, the one on Straits Turnpike wasn't much bigger. For a good two mile stretch I had cars whizzing by at 60mph ( afterall we all know that the speed limit of 45mph is the minimum right? yes I'm guilty of this too.) less than a foot away from me. I traversed the boondock section of Straits turnpike I kept trying to tell myself good things about this section is it was realatively flat and it was a residential as the minivans sored past, followed by a BMW, followed by some kid in a rice burner trying to set a state speed record. There were some moments my thoughts flashed back to one of my training partners, I'll just call him B. B had been a pretty decent runners in the 70's and 80's One night after a swim session I noticed and odd scar on his leg and the fact that he sort of limped. when I asked him about it he was like "yeah about ten- fifteen years ago a car hit me from behind when I was out on a training run, completely shattered my leg they had to put a steel rod in and when they went to remove it they would have had to rebrake the bone that grew around it so they just left it in." It was a sobering thought that wasn't helping as I was running with traffic, knowing at any moment I could be subject to "death by Honda" I mean come on if you have to die on a run it should be something bad ass like "I finished the Boston Marathon at 90 then had the BIG ONE" or "I ran out of fluids at Badwater" not "yeah some teeny bopper was looking for her Ke$hia CD and plowed her civic into me."

After about a couple of miles it turned into a commercial drag with Car Delaerships on either side, a few shopping plazas and sidewalks. Except for dodging the stop and shop rush, things went smoother from here, until I turned the corner to go up the Hill. The backside of Bunker Hill is a nice little climb and from Straits Turnpike to the Waterbury City line it's covered by sidewalk then back to dodging traffic for half a mile, then the nice little right hand turn at Our Lady of Loretto Church, and up the hill back home. seeing the outline of the hill was kinda intimidating but once you strat grinding it out it's not so bad. From here the run uneventful except for the fact I was thirsty as hell. Next time I do anything close to 10 miles I'm brinign the fuel belt. I managed to churn up the climbs at a pretty good rate, and finished my run in about 1:22. I don't think I'll be doing this loop again but it wasn't too bad of a workout.

The last two days I was indoors for bike training and the swim so I'm hoping to get out for my first outdoor ride today, at the very least I'll be running. Well that's it from me I'm burning daylight.

Happy Training



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Charisa said...

Traffic running kills me too!