It's been said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I've been doing the Week of Pi Challenge, every year, since 2020. I look forward to it every year because it's a quirky way to celebrate a quirky day (in more ways than one).
Well, this year I had to make a slight exception.
I'm talking about the day of March 14th,which is the National Day of Pi (you know, the number 3.14, which is used in calculating the area of a circle). March 14th is also my birthday, and I happen to be not only a runner but also a bit of a math dork. Therefore, it's my obligation to combine the two with a week-long celebration of daily Pi runs (3.14 miles).
In lieu of March 14th being the grand finale, this year the Week of Pi festivities actually started on that day instead (due to a scheduled steroid injection, a few days prior, which interfered with the original plan). No big whoop.
Here's a recap of how the 2023 Week of Pi played out...
Day-1...Birthday Pi for lunch
Pace - 9:36
Splits - 9:29 / 9:38 / 9:42 / 9:27 (the extra :14)
The day was cold, but filled with sunshine. I took the first Pi run to the lake and ran three laps over my lunch break. A highlight was seeing my first robin!
Day-2...A warm & windy Pi run
Pace - 9:36
Splits - 9:39 / 9:34 / 9:18 / 9:18 (the extra .14)
It definitely was not my plan to run an almost exact same pace as I'd done the day prior, especially since that first mile was practically straight into the 20mph wind. It's pretty obvious I had a strong tailwind pushing me in the final mile. Although the sun had gone into hiding, I was grateful for the mid-50F temps!
Day-3...Pi for an early morning breakfast
Pace - 10:11
Splits - 10:11 / 10:09 / 10:09 / 9:18 (the extra .14)
With a full day of rain in the forecast (and probable snow in the late afternoon), the wee hours were my best (if not only) option. Thankfully, the temps were mild and the wind didn't feel too torrential. BTW, the snow made a grand appearance right after I'd gotten home from work...giving us a few inches of ground cover and leaving our streets full of snow and heavy slush.
Day-4...lucky Pi on St. Patrick's Day
Pace - 10:08
Splits - 10:05 / 10:14 / 10:10 / 9:31 (the extra .14)
Another (somewhat) dreary and overcast day, the wind was simply insane! I didn't feel like testing my luck (or balance skills) on possible black ice and/or frozen slushy streets...so I postponed the run until later. Ironically, the after-work temps were the warmest of the day. This run went much better than expected, which was quite a relief because I'd been dreading it all day with the wind.
Pace - 10:08
Splits - 10:09 / 10:19 / 10:02 / 9:29 (the extra .14)
The wake-up temps were in the single digits, and the "feels-like" temps were sub-ZERO. So, I elected to stay inside until things warmed up a tad outside. I had so many layers on, it felt like I was dragging myself through mud. Imagine my surprise when I saw the same average pace (and nearly identical splits) as the previous day. Not sure how that happened because the conditions were so much colder and the route was completely different.
Day-6...Pi, Served Sunny Side-Up
Pace - 10:06
Splits - 9:57 / 10:11 / 10:11 / 9:52 (the extra .14)
What can I say? The temps were cold (again), but the bright sun and single-digit wind were game-changers.
Day-7...The Grand Finale!
Pace - 9:24
Splits - 9:34 / 9:21 / 9:21 / 8:54 (the extra .14)
Now this was a grand finale like none other! Not only was it the first day of spring (#finally!), but after several days of dead-of-winter temps, we were rewarded with true seasonal weather conditions. I kept this route a simple out & back endeavor on part of the bike trail. As I was approaching the 1-mile mark, Allison appeared from out of no where, and joined me for the remainder of my run. Needless to say, the two remaining miles went much quicker (literally and figuratively) and I finished feeling like I could have run much further.
Some thoughts on the 2023 Week of Pi:
***No doubt, this was the coldest and windiest Week of Pi, ever. Granted, there were a couple days I was able to wear shorts, but the cold days were extremely cold for this time of year.
***Despite my best efforts, I had a tough time keeping my pace as "easy" as I'd intended. Since I was doing this mini 7-day Pi streak, I didn't want (or need) to turn these runs into speed workouts or tempo runs (but a few of them ended up looking that way). I didn't feel like I was pushing myself on any of them (other than fighting the wind), and I truly was just running "by feel." I guess my long legs, and long strides, have a mind of their own, LOL.
***Starting these seven daily Pi runs on my actual birthday, this year, kind of made the entire week a bit anti-climatic. Usually, I do the daily runs during the week leading up to my birthday, so doing them after my special day seemed a little out-of-the ordinary. That said, Day-7 did land on the first day of spring, so it wasn't all bad.
***I'm grateful for how good that last run felt! Not only was it my fastest (and maybe my easiest?) run of the week, but my entire body felt great the entire time I was in motion. I had been feeling some fatigue as the week had been wearing on, so the final run was the perfect grand finale.
***As in years past, I made it a priority to run a different route each day, and to vary the the time of day. Also, I kept the cross-training pretty light since these daily 3.14-mile runs were the priority.
So that's my story on the 2023 Week of Pi.
Have you ever done a challenge or tribute run in honor of your birthday? Do any "national days" fall on your birthday?
Well done with your week of Pi! Strong wind is so annoying but how lovely you got some milder temps finally! My birthday is in mid February and is only close to Valentine's (which I don't care about) but this year I started running again after my foot injury on the week of my birthday.ReplyDelete
It must have been a fabulous birthday gift returning to running and having the injury gone ;-)Delete
Nice job! I love that you did all your runs outdoors, although the conditions weren't always favourable. So nice that you could end on the start of spring, too. At least that wasn't anti-climactic!ReplyDelete
Are you planning to do it the usual way again next year?
Not sure if I'll return to the "week prior" or do the "week after" next year. The first day of spring, with its fabulous weather, certainly was a great ending!Delete
It's too perfect that starting the runs on your birthday means finishing on the first day of spring. I think that's got to be a keeper.ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday! May all of your miles be tailwind miles this year.
It didn't dawn on me the first day of spring would be the last day of Pi Week until after the fact. I'm glad the weather finally turned...though the crazy wind remains, LOLDelete
The Week of Pi lives on! I actually like how you started on your birthday and finished on the first day of spring. And how amazing that you were able to wear shorts for your first run of spring as well! This is a fun challenge and I'm glad you were able to shift gears (after your injection) and complete it in style.ReplyDelete
It was pretty celebrational finishing with nice weather, and wearing shorts!Delete
I love the Week of Pi! So impressed that you were able to do all of your runs outdoors.ReplyDelete
I haven't tried resuscitating Milly, so it was outdoors or not happening, LOL. That crazy weather last week really had me questioning my life choices, though..Delete
Congrats on another week of Pi and happy birthday!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lisa! The Eeek of Pi is always a fun "little" thing to look forward toDelete
This is so fun! I ran and I also ate pie (a few times), so I was all in! My birthday is May 9, which means that it sometimes falls on Mother's Day.ReplyDelete
Somehow I missed on social media that you were doing these runs. Congrats! I run on my birthday the number of miles that sort of coincide with my age. This year I will run 5.10 miles! :-)ReplyDelete