Running in the Evenings

Living in Calgary has its ups and downs. One of the downs is that during the winter, the city is cloaked in darkness from the moment I get home from work till the moment I arrive back to work the next morning, leaving virtually no time to experience daylight hours during the week. It’s frustrating and depressing, as I am not the biggest fan of running in the dark. It’s scary! I prefer running on park pathways as opposed to roads and sidewalks, but hardly any are lit up at night. Not to mention it’s sketchy as hell running in a downtown park alone in the dark where you’ll often find a crew of homeless folk down by the river camping out around a fire. Yeah… not my scene. So this leaves me little choice but to complete most of my runs on the treadmill.

Is anyone even a fan of that thing? Not I. I feel like most of the time I’m running too slow, or I struggle to run at paces I find easy when I’m outside. Also there is little air circulation in my communal apartment complex gym and if someone else is using the fan I am out of luck. I am NOT saying that I don’t appreciate having a free treadmill to use when it is dark and or blizzarding outside, I’m just saying it’s not my first choice of running terrain.

So Friday night I head down for a tempo/interval combo run (since it’s dark out), and I find that someone is already on the treadmill. Plan foiled. I suck it up, suit up and head outside, carefully planning my route so I am a) not running in a sketchy area and b) not going to be bored or annoyed. Surprisingly, everything goes amazingly.

(NOTE: Since I have been neglecting my Garmin lately (however I did charge it on Saturday), I become glued to my Nike+ run app on my iPhone. It’s alright, but since it doesn’t tell you current pace, just periodic average pace, I have to check it religiously throughout a run if I plan to do a warm up or intervals. This is why I am bringing back the Garmin)

I start out my 15 min warm up jogging at about a 10:00-10:30 min/mile pace, which on the treadmill feels like a steady run. I then complete the following twice: 3 minutes at a 7:00-7:20 pace (a hard but sustained pace) followed by 2 minutes jogging. That felt good! Then I ran at a tempo (8:20-8:40) for 12 minutes. That also felt great! After a 15 minute jog I returned home, excited that I met my pace targets, and feeling refreshed from breathing in the cool, fresh night air.

2013-02-22 01Also, did you know that in the Nike+ app, if you turn it sideways when you see the above screen, you can get your split pace (aka per mile pace)? I just discovered this.

Splits! So exciting.

Splits! So exciting!

I kind of wish that you could get even further of a breakdown of the mile, or choose between mile splits and per minute paces since I was doing some intervals. But whatever. Bringing back the Garmin will do that.

Since I had been feeling a little disheartened lately (due to the treadmill blues), I feel as though this run is a bit of a fresh start: new blog, the start of spring, the return to running consistently outside and the return of some confidence. Yay!

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