Five miles

I met up with my running buddy for a 5 mile run this morning. We had a fun time chatting and catching up, since we couldn’t run together last weekend. I’m so thankful to have a friend to meet up with on the weekends for long runs. Having a running partner holds you accountable on those early mornings when you’d rather stay in bed. They also help the miles pass by and you can support each other when one (or both) of you is having a tough run.

[photo from Pinterest]

Today the trail was in a little better condition, but it was still covered in snow and ice in a lot of spots. We did 3 miles on the trail and then finished up the last 2 around town. The temperature wasn’t too bad either. It was around 20 degrees when we started out, which really wasn’t bad since it wasn’t windy at all. But once we finished our run and stood around talking for awhile, it felt cold. Now I’m warming up with some scrambled eggs with hot sauce and a steaming mug of coffee 🙂

Don’t mind the spot on the counter where I dripped my coffee while pouring it.

Now it’s off to do my typical, very exciting, Sunday routine of cleaning the house!

Ten miles and a little bit of Boston

Today’s post is low on pictures and high on words, but I have some details to share about this morning’s run. I set out to run 10 miles. I can tell you I did run the full 10 miles, but I’m not sure how I drug myself through it. This run was just grueling. I started out on the trail in town, which is covered with about 1.5 inches of snow and in some spots ice as well. I thought I would do somewhere between 5 to 8 miles on the trail and then finish up around town. I was running along, having a fun time identifying various animal tracks in the snow. I was seeing tracks from bunny rabbits, deer, cats, dogs, and a few other I was unsure of. Then a little over a mile in I started seeing a trail of blood. After about a tenth of a mile it stopped and I figured some animal had probably just hurt itself. Then up ahead on the trail I saw two dogs I have never seen before.

Initially I got out my pepper spray, thinking I would just run past them and have it out to use if needed. Just after I got the pepper spray out of my water bottle pouch the blood trail picked back up again, and this time it was a lot more blood. I decided it was possible the dogs up ahead had killed something (maybe a rabbit or cat?), and I was worried that even a friendly dog might be aggressive if it thought I was trying to steal it’s kill by running towards them. Instinct told me to turn around and that’s what I did. I was a little over 2 miles in to my run when I got back to the start of the trail and let me tell you my legs felt done. I told myself that 2.5 miles was just unacceptable when I had set out to do 10, so I should run around town for awhile to see if my legs felt better.

Getting from mile 2.5 to mile 4 was tough, but after that I just started taking it a mile at a time. I made small goals for myself, such as just run up to the grocery store, OK now turn around and run down to that gas station. At times I ran on the road, which was nice, but other times I was forced on to the slushy sidewalk. The slush wasn’t too bad to run in, but when running uphill in it my feet would slip a lot. I think that made it even harder to get up the hills. Before I knew it I was at 5 miles, which is the distance I had told myself to get to and then I could bag the run. But I played a trick on myself…. I was over a mile from my car. I took a quick water break and headed back down the long hill I had just come up (sweet relief!). Somehow I drug myself around town for another 4 miles, by just telling myself just one more mile, and I was back at my car with 9 miles on my Garmin. Obviously after all that I couldn’t stop there, so I headed back out onto the trail for the last mile. 10 miles. Done. I also got to see the train go by in town twice today, which was neat. Trains are so cool. 

I have something exciting that happened yesterday to share with you! My sister in law is in Boston this week helping a friend move. She was posting a lot of pictures from Boston on facebook, so I got the idea to send a request to her through her facebook wall:

I decided not to specifically say what I was looking for, because I thought it would be funnier that way. Turns out she happened to be close by, so she went over and snapped this picture for me!

How awesome is that!? I would love to see it in person some day. Actually running the Boston Marathon would be a dream come true, but I don’t know that I’ll ever be fast enough. We’ll see…. it would be awesome to just get to see the race in person some day. I told my SIL if I was there I totally would have posed in the middle of the road as if I were crossing the finish line. She replied that when she took the picture it was the beginning of rush hour and she wasn’t chancing her life… and added that Bostonians are crazy 🙂 That’s not the first time I’ve heard that said about New England drivers. I used to listen to a podcast called Phedippidations. It was hosted by “Steve Runner” and he would record his shows while running around the roads of New England. It was not uncommon to hear him yell “woah!” as a car passed by too close or to grumble about the way people drive in the area he lives. Irregardless… I would have risked my life for a picture, haha.

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.

 

"I've opted for fun in this lifetime" -Jerry Garcia