With my first 5K right around the corner (2/13) my wife thought it would be a good idea to actually try to run for that long out on the open road.  I have been so focused on swimming that I haven’t run almost at all so doing at least one run at this distance sounded like a good idea.

We mapped out a route using map my run in the hills of Torrington.  I wrote all of the turns on a little sheet of paper and marked the points where each mile ended.

The first mile was up a steady long grade.  It was nice because it helped to get everything warmed up.  I have been reading about Pose running, more on that in a future post, and focused on landing softly on my mid sole.  about 3/4 of the way through the first mile we turned down a hill.  The first mile flew by effortlessly.  I watched my heart-rate monitor and tried to keep my HR at 160.  As it moved higher I slowed my pace down.  I just picked 160 more or less randomly.  It felt like a comfortable pace.  My goal was to do an 11 minute mile.  When I hit my stop watch at the mile marker I noticed that I had done a 10 minute mile!  I was psyched.

The second mile was about the same.  Nice comfortable pace, everything went smoothly.  Even the traffic lights cooperated.  I had plenty of energy reserves, and as I heard my sister-in-law closing in on me, I just leaned forward and opened up the gap.  Once again, as I got to the end of the second mile, I noted a slightly slower pace, but still sub 11 min/mile.  The third mile was up a long slow grade.  this is where the heat started kicking in and, for the first time, I start to feel it.  I was really struggling to make it up some of the steeper parts of the hill.  I finally made it to the top and started a really steep descent.  As I made it down the hill I felt a really strong wind blow over me, it felt amazing!  I let myself build some speed down the hill and then used that momentum to sprint the last half mile.  I crossed the three mile mark averaging about 10:20.  The sprint lasted me almost all the way through the half mile.  The last .2 miles (we ran 3.3 miles) were up another steep hill.  I ran out of gas half way up the hill and had to go back to a slow jog.  I also hit a few patches of ice, and walked for the first time.  Not because I was tired (though I was) but because I didn’t want to risk falling.  All in all I averaged 10:27 which I’m very happy with!

Heart Rate Info:

Max: 179

Min: 130

Average: 163

Pace: 10:02

Distance: 3.3 miles

Elevation Change: 1170 ft

Total Time: 33:56

The route.

I’ve decided to track what I wear and how I feel at various temperatures and conditions to help me figure out what worked best.

Weather Dress Info:

Temperature: 20°F

Wind:  12MPH


Lower Body:

Polypropylene base layer by Duofold

Layer 8 pants over the base layer

Two pairs of Bridgedale Speed Deamon Socks.

Upper Body:

An Under Armour cold gear compression shirt.

A Layer 8 cold gear shirt.

A pair of warm insulated leather gloves.

A Nike reversable knitted cap.


I started out pretty chilly.  We jogged a little to warm up, but I felt cold before getting going.  Not uncomfortably cold, but chilly.  As I started to run the wind bit into my face and my ears felt cold.  I pulled down my hat to cover as much of my head and ears as I could.

By the end of the first mile, I felt fine.  Perfect actually.  By the second mile I started to get warm.  The sun was beating on me, and my head and hands were very hot.  I could feel the sweat coming down my forehead.  There was a big hill at the beginning of the third mile and as I made the turn to start down the hill I felt a huge gust of wind.  If I had been standing there, that wind would have been horrible, but as I ran down that hill the wind felt like such relief.  I just turned up the speed and hoped the wind would continue.  After that I sprinted and when I got to the end I was pretty warm, especially my head and hands.

Lessons Learned

I think for windy weather in the 20’s this setup was pretty spot on.  I think the only changes would be a lighter hat and gloves.  I have another hat, and I picked up lighter cotton gloves so I should be ready for whatever this weekend race brings.

Weather info from www.wunderground.com.

Elevation and distance info from: www.gmap-pedometer.com