26 January 2012

A Slushy Run and Outdoor Speedwork

Ready for my slushy run!
Last Friday I had a 6 mile "long run" on my training plan- and there was still tons of snow/slush outside on the ground.  What to do, what to do?  After being cooped up at home with the kids all week, or at work I was craving some time alone.  The kids and I headed out for a walk (secretly I was testing out the sidewalks for my potential run) and when we got back home a little after 1pm my hubby was there!  His office had closed early and the only thing going through my mind was FREEDOM!! 

One of my favorite houses to look at- this road has some beautiful old houses on it
I told the family I was going to go for my run- they looked at me like I had 3 heads.  I think they fully expected me to change my mind until I actually started out the door.  I almost didn't make it off of my road though- my feet were completely soaked in the first 3 minutes!  But I told myself I would just suck it up for 1 mile and if I hated it I would go finish on the treadmill.  Did I mention it was actually raining as well?  It was. 

The hardest/worst part- leaping through the mess at all of the side roads! 
I often stepped in deep puddles and probably
looked like an uncoordinated ballerina leaping through them!
The ground was full of snow, slush, puddles and more slush.  It was raining and ice was falling off of trees and telephone poles.  I kept stepping in deceptively deep puddles that went up over my ankle with icy cold water.  It was AWESOME!  I felt like a little kid out there.  I didn't listen to any music because I wanted to be aware of my surroundings- cars were still having a hard time getting around and I saw plenty of spinning tires.

The halfway point- Wright Park is behind me a block or so.
What I learned about running in snow and slush and puddles:
1.  It is exhausting in a way I hadn't realized.  Kind of like running on soft sand.  By mile 4 my muscles were fatigued.
2.  I dressed perfectly for the conditions.  I must be getting better at this.  I wore compression socks under normal socks and they must have somehow kept my feet warm.  Because they WERE warm, which I found odd!  My feet are rarely warm inside my house, under blankets.  I also wore running tights, my running skirt, my Nike combat long sleeve, a tech t shirt, a North Face jacket (non running but waterproof), gloves and my lulu hat.

I liked that snowman so I had to stop and take a picture! 
Almost looks like a postcard.
3.  It wasn't slippery out due to the rain and the little warmer temperature so I didn't use anything on my shoes for traction and I was fine.  I wore my old Saucony Kinvara 2's and they did great.  They dried out completely by Monday!  I am not sure about getting Yak Trax- but they would have been necessary for some of the other days had I wanted to run outside.
4.  Do not try and hit your set pace when running in the snow!  I just focused on not falling and avoiding as many puddles as possible, walking in places if I needed to.  The worst spots were the cross streets.
5.  Running in the snow is fun.  You can warm up and dry off later!

That was rad!
Soaking wet and a runner's high- does it get any better than that??
Total distance: 6 miles     Total time:  1:07:34     Goal pace 8:54- not even close!!!
Ready for my track workout! 
On Monday I was scheduled to do a track workout including a warm up, 4x1000 meters at a 7:45 pace (400 meter rest intervals between) then a cool down.  They have been completely remodeling the park down the street from my house and I noticed a path around the grass field last time we were there -it just happens to be 400 meters exactly!  Coincidence?  Nah.  They made that for me to run around with the bonus of having somewhere the kids can play if they are with me.  Wasn't that nice of them?

This was the only part of the path with snow/ice on it.  I made sure I knew the best
area's to step as I went around and I didn't slip one time!
So I dropped the kids at school and headed to the park.  There was still snow and ice in spots so while I did my warm up I also tested my footing and cleared some of the snow off the path.  I was a bit nervous- I had been doing all of my track workouts on a treadmill lately (since September!!) so I was hoping I could still get them done.  I had my Garmin set for .62 miles so I decided to do my warm up as 2 x .62 so it would be even for my intervals.  It was about 36 degrees outside so the "warm up" took a while!  First .62- 6:18.  Second .62- 5:38, I did a few strides and butt kicks to get my muscles ready.
The park is on the backside, away from the road which is nice.
And then it was go time- I started my Garmin and off I went.  I have my watch set to show my average pace -I kept checking to make sure it was at 7:45.  Sometimes it would be faster so I would slow down a bit- after all, I did have 4 of these to get through!  After each interval I would walk a lap for recovery- the last interval was definitely my hardest but I also pushed my hardest knowing I was done.  It was my fastest!  Here are my results (goal time 4:48)
1- 4:43
2- 4:45
3- 4:44
4- 4:40
I was so happy that I could still get these done off of a treadmill!  I love speed work, it is one of my favorite workouts- the way you have to push yourself sooo hard and you think you can't but then it's over and you DID IT!!  I guess it gives me the most satisfaction.  I am going to do my best to do the rest of my track repeats outside, now that I have a great spot to do it.  My cool down was 2 more .62 repeats so that I would end at an even 5 miles.  I am weird like that, I always like to end on an even number. 

Total distance: 5 miles      Total time:  43:02

Did you get out and run in the snow?  Did you love it or hate it?  Did you use Yak Trax?  Should I buy some? 

What about track repeats?  Love them or hate them? 

Oh yes, and the results of Tuesday's weigh in- I lost 1 more pound.  Way better than zero, but still wish it was higher.  I notice the difference in how my clothes are fitting so I suppose that is a good sign!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE running in the snow. Absolutely so fun! I don't think we need Yak Trax here -- not enough snow.

    That 400m park route is AWESOME!