All posts by Meagan

Winter Running

I was planning on going for a short 3 mile run after work today, but we have another snow storm coming through. The roads are covered and slick, and it is still coming down heavy outside. I just don’t feel like it’s safe to be out on the roads (I really need a treadmill…).

That’s how the roads looked around 11:45 AM this morning. There’s another 2 hours worth of heavy snow on them now. There’s an article on competitor.com called Top Tips for Safe Winter Running by Jeff Gaudette. It’s got some really good information for runners who have to deal with less than ideal running conditions during the year.

For the record, I am not a big fan of treadmills. But if I had access to one and it meant I could still get my run in as planned, I would deal with it. In the meantime, I will try to utilize some of these eight winter running tips. Today I am following tip #6:

Adjust Your Workout
 
 
Although a snow day may be a minor inconvenience, trying to adhere to your plan at all costs could lead to an injury if you slip on the snow or ice. It’s better just to not run, and maybe do some kind of cross training, and push your run to a different day. Missing one workout isn’t going to screw you up in your next race. But getting injured and being out for a month definitely would.
 
I also really liked tip #7- Keep your shoes dry. It says once you finish a run in slushy/wet weather, you should put newspaper in your shoes to help dry them out. I typically just let mine air dry and use a different pair the next day, but I will be trying this in the future. Last, tip #8- Hydrate like it’s Summer, is also a really good one to keep in mind. I feel like I never drink enough during my colder long runs because I’m not thirsty. I also tend to forget to drink water after a cold weather run, because I’m not dreaming of the tall ice cold glass of water like I am in warmer temperatures.
 
For today I will just have to leave the running up to my snow dog, who absolutely loves playing outside in this type of weather:
 
 



A surprise running partner

I had a pretty good run today, which was good because after a string of tough runs I needed a good run. After work I ran 6 miles at 9:57 pace on the roads around our house. It was 21 degrees outside, but it wasn’t too bad because it wasn’t windy. The sun started setting around halfway through my run though, and it started to get colder which made me feel pretty chilled at the end of my run.

Speaking of the end of my run, I was joined for the last half mile by a dog we call Mr. Boy (we don’t actually know his real name). He is a free roaming dog that lives down the road from our house. I often see Mr. Boy all the way in town, which is quite a feat for a dog the size of a Jack Russell since that’s about 6 miles away. Every once in awhile Mr. Boy will be out making his rounds when I’m out running and he’ll join me for a little bit. Typically he runs out in front of me on the road and will look back and bark occasionally. It’s highly entertaining. He ran down our road with me and up around the water tower, but stopped before we got to the house. I ran inside and got my camera, but he had already gone on. Maybe I’ll get a picture of him another time to show you.

One other item of note from today’s run: I ran in my new pair of Asics GT-2170’s. This is my third pair since they switched from the 2160s to the 2170s, and I love them. They feel great right out of the box, although I always make sure to break them in before taking them out for a long run. These ones are dark grey and pink, a new color for the shoe (as far as I know).

Now I just have to keep the puppy away from them….

Running Rules

Not much to report today. I didn’t go for a run because it was already dark when I got home from a long day at work. So I decided to do the p90x Cardio X workout. I had a mentally-taxing/stressful day at work, and the cardio x is my favorite workout. I like just getting to jump around and have my heart rate up for around 45 minutes, and it helped me unwind from today.

I came across an article recently called “A Runner’s Rules“. Some of them were real rules runners should follow, others were funny, and others were just true. Here are some of my favorites:

9. Don’t throw away the directions to your GPS watch; one day, right before a race, you will need them.

11. When racing and a kid sticks their hand out, always give them a high five.



[Source: Spectator Tips from Rock n Roll series]



25. Preventing injuries is much easier than recovering from them.

35. On training runs, never avoid hills.



[Blue Ridge Marathon]



38. Don’t take running too seriously. Don’t define your life by running. Do make it a big part of your life.

47. Don’t try to over complicate things too much — just go out and run.

 

It’s cold outside

So I didn’t end up doing that cross training I was talking about yesterday. . . but I did watch Spirit of the Marathon. That counts for something, right???

It is very cold here today. Right now it is 21 degrees, which is the warmest it has been all day. But with the windchill, they say it currently feels like 7 degrees outside. Great day for a run? I thought so, too 🙂 When Barry got home from work we headed out. We kept it short and did a little over 3 miles, which is good enough for me. I wore enough layers to keep my body warm, but my face was pretty cold. It felt like a hard effort, but our average pace was 9:42/mile, which is my typical pace for a weekday run. My legs are still feeling sore from my hilly Sunday long run, so I guess that had to do with it.

I have one other thing to share with you, and it is a funny thing that happened on Sunday. I am sharing this with you at my own expense, so you better appreciate it. Here’s the background: we went to the grocery store on Sunday and among other things we bought some house brand apple juice because we had a coupon. We got home, got all the groceries put away, and the fridge was full up with all of our stuff. After a little while I decide I want a glass of apple juice, so I open the fridge and grab the container and pour myself a glass. While I’m sitting at the table drinking my juice, I notice it’s a little funny tasting. I decide to let Barry know that the house brand apple juice we bought tastes weird. He looks at it and says “that’s because you’re drinking white grape juice”. That would explain why the color of the juice looked a little too light, too. Apparently we also bought white grape juice (something I was not privy to) and that’s what I actually grabbed out of the fridge. Lesson learned: always read the label.

A rest day

Random tidbit from yesterday that I forgot to mention: we are on a boil water notice and have been since Saturday morning. The water treatment plant lost power due to the snowstorm, which was the reason for the notice. I have two things to share about this:

1. The water I drank during my long run yesterday was still warm from having been boiled earlier in the morning. Turns out drinking warm water while running in cold air is actually pretty good. You should try it sometime!

2. I am boiling our water in our largest pot, which typically only gets used to make kettle corn. As a result, all of our drinking water tastes slightly like kettle corn!

 

Last night Barry and I watched the movie Looper and I spent the majority of the movie very confused. I can’t even try to explain it on here, but I will tell you Barry had to pause the movie more than once to explain to me what was going on.

 

Today is another day off from work, and I think I may take a rest day after yesterday’s hilly long run. Or maybe I’ll do some kind of cross training this afternoon… I’m trying to be better about cross training on a regular basis. Either way, I leave you with a little inspiration.