The great outdoors

Finally…

This is NOT a treadmill

This is NOT a treadmill

After more than 5 weeks of running inside on a treadmill I finally got to run outside today. I didn’t even mind losing an hour of sleep from changing the clocks last night as I was so pumped just to be finally away from the treadmill. Free from music and podcasts, breathing fresh air and enjoying the sunshine.

With the NJ Marathon only 8 weeks away I am now running longer distances. Today was a 17 miler and I was so glad to be able to do this outside. Not that this did not lead to a little apprehension about what to wear as I had got used to my usual indoor attire of t-shirt and shorts. A quick use of the Runners World ‘What to Wear’ tool showed that I could get by with a long sleeve T, shorts and a hat for sun protection. I added my Brooks Essential vest to keep my core warm and my Brooks Gossamer gloves to keep my hands warm plus my bright blue Zensah’s and I was up and out and ready to run.

Tyler Park has quite a number of hills and after being on a treadmill for a number of weeks I was concerned on how I would fair after running on essentially a flat to slightly elevated platform. I had changed my Galloway Run/Walk ratio to 4:00/0:50 based upon a response from Jeff Galloway to a question I posted on Facebook and set out. I was a little concerned about the new ratio as I had never gone beyond a 0:35 walk before but he’s the expert to so I did what he advised.

I’m pleased to say that it seemed to work well for me. I ran perhaps a little quicker during the run but the recovery time during the walk seemed to help a lot. I covered the first 13 miles in 2 hours which isn’t bad given the terrain and my traditional pace. Here is a link to my Garmin data if you want to see all the charts for today’s run.

As it was really the first really beautiful day of the nearly spring season it seemed like everyone was out in the park and with a smile on their faces. Everyone seemed to be really friendly and gracious. It was lots of ‘hello’s and ‘good morning’s although it seems people can be somewhat taken aback when the oncoming runner (namely me) says good morning sounding like Mr Banks (the father from Mary Poppins). It certainly turned a couple of heads and made me smile. I should just confirm that this was not how I dressed.

Mr Banks (actor David Tomlinson)

Mr Banks (actor David Tomlinson)

It was also good to see a few friends of ours out there. I ran past our friend Mike who lives near the park and can run circles around me. He was no doubt in training for Boston next month. I also saw our friend Lauren who is new to running having recently completed her first 5K. Today was a great day to be out in the sunshine and she was taking her first run in Tyler Park. It is a great park to run in and has many routes and trails. If you are ever in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and want a nice place to run you must check it out. Be aware though it is quite hilly but that’s good right? Here is the link for park information.

Of course, you don’t run 17 miles just for fun do you? You run for the post run treats. Needless to say I parked on the side of the park closest to the Dunkin’ Donuts. Let’s just say I earned my post run treat as shown below. Chocolate milk for the carbs and protein (ahem), a donut and a large black coffee. Yum!

17 miles run treat

My 17 mile run treat

So, there were a few things I learned from today’s run:

  1. It’s better running outside than inside (no brainer).
  2. I missed running downhill.
  3. I am faster outside under my own power than on a treadmill powered by a motor.
  4. Grown ups actually DO play frisbee golf (it’s not just a college student thing).
  5. My ‘Headsweats’ visor is an invaluable piece of equipment in keeping me cool, dry and shaded from the sun.
  6. Running in shorts when the starting temperature is 32 degrees is not such a bad thing.
  7. People are not expecting my accent when I speak to them.
  8. My new Run/Walk ratio seems to be a good piece of advice (thanks Jeff).
  9. Not all dog owners follow the sign to keep their dogs on a leash.
  10. The first spring like day does really bring out the best in people.

Here’s to a great season of outdoor running. šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s