I hope you had a wonderful holiday season everyone! I had a pretty great holiday, all things considered. I even managed to accomplish my last running goal of 2013- to run consistently through the holiday season! Yesterday I capped off my best running training week in a couple of months by running a total of 38 miles, with a nice 14 miler long run yesterday.
If you've been keeping track of the weather it's been a month where each week brings a new snow/freezing ice storm. Halifax NS has been very lucky and the storms haven't impacted daily life very much. They have made for some ridiculously low temperatures (ranging -18C to -30C) so my running has been relegated to the treadmill and indoor track. Yesterday's 14 miler was done outside thankfully when the temps rose to a balmy 0C. The sidewalks were hard packed in snow and slush so the footing was pretty similar to a trail surface this time of year. I think I may have run a mile on actual black concrete. For the first half of the run I was pretty focused and worked hard to keep my pace reasonable so I didn't burn out too fast but quick enough to fit in the 14 miles through crappy footing in 3 hours. The second half I was less focused and found myself having random thoughts as I know most runners enjoy on long runs...such as
"I should be writing poetry on these runs..runner poetry... like how Data (on TNG) wrote about his cat Spot-maybe I could write Odes to running things...but then I'd have to turn off my Nike+app to record them...ugh..too much work...nah."
"I wonder if I'll be able to crack 8 hours in the 50k this year...hmm...only if I speed up"
"God I can't believe Hannah wants to run on the treadmill nowadays! I can't believe I got kicked off yesterday so she could run intervals!! God she is getting so big..maybe Richard's right that if she keeps at it she could be one hell of a runner someday.."
"Why can't the city put SOME salt down on these sidewalks-seriously. It would do wonders to clean up this mess (as I splash into another puddle."
"Ode to a slush puddle..Oh slush puddle, how you cover yourself in snow to hide your icy depths..."
Yeah. Nothing there to craft a best seller from but if I keep up with this training maybe the Ode thing might take some kind of shape. LOL. Oh, and I did manage to hit the 3 hour mark when I finished my 14 miler. Not my top speed by any stretch but I think for the conditions I did okay. I also realized that after 6 years of running, the Canadian version of the post long run ice bath - sit in the snow. When I got home, instead of sitting in a icy tub of water I just sat down, running clothes and all in the snow beside my doorstep and checked Facebook and my emails. My neighbors drove by the house a bit slower than usual giving me weird looks, but hey-I was multitasking!
One last thing was my favorite Christmas presents. This year I have a top three. First, the message pillow my mom gave me-so nice. It's velour and when you push a little button it vibrates. It's awesome and so much less painful than a foam roller! Second is the pair of compression running shorts my husband got me-after 2 years of searching and asking I've finally got a great pair of running shorts again-thank you!! And third is a book, Relentless Forward Progress. I'll write a formal review later this week, but right now I'm following the author's 50k training plan on 70 miles a week. It's very challenging, and I'm on week 5 of the 20 week plan. So far (knocking on wood), so good. The book also has a 50k on 50 miles a week plan so I know if I start feeling over trained I can drop back to that version and still make the start line of the Wasskally Wrabbit 50k this May.
In closing, here's to a great 2014 and meeting all of your goals-running or otherwise! Cheers!