A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Abominable Snowrunner

Even though the temperatures yesterday were in the teens the sun decided to grace us with its presence. I decided to bundle up, strap on my YakTrax, and head to the forest preserve bike path. Last year when I ran though the snow on this path I had a great time. Yesterday? Not so much.

The packed down snow I had been expecting was nowhere to be seen. Instead, I saw what you see in the above photo. And, in some places, it was worse than that. Lots of loose, divot-filled, snow. I saw exactly ONE other runner, several people walking (either with their dog or with ski poles!), and lots of cross-country skiers. Oh, how I envied those cross-country skiers. They weren't going that fast, but they were making it look so much easier than what I was doing.

I knew after my first quarter mile that there was no way I was going to be able to complete the 6-7 miles I'd been planning to do. Even with the YakTrax I was sliding and slipping and my form was awful. My hip stabilizers were talking to me after only half a mile and towards the end my right Achilles tendon was singing as well. I suppose I would compare it to running in loose sand. But colder. And wetter. In fact, the snow seeping into my shoes make the callus on the tip of one of my toes ache.

There were sections that I had to walk for safety reasons. And there were sections that I had to walk for aches and pains reasons. So, instead of running for distance I decided to run for time. 6-7 miles would have taken me around an hour so I put that as my goal. 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back.

In one hour I completed 4.58 miles with an average pace of 13:19 minutes/mile. Officially my worst run since I started running, I'm sure of it. I felt totally drained afterward. My hips and Achilles tendons are sore today. Yet, I feel rather hardcore for even attempting a run in those conditions.

The best part of my run? Seeing a male deer bound across the path in front of me in full antler regalia. They're so graceful and lovely. Too bad I can't be a deer!


kilax said...

Ha! Sometimes I wish I was a deer too. (Or a cat, so I could sleep all day).

Erin, this is NOT your worst run! This is a hardcore run! You didn't see many people out there right...? That is because they are not as hardcore as you. This run will improve your skills because it is challenging your body in a new way!

kristen said...

That kinda sound like my trial run - only colder. I'm gald you re-evaluated and went for time. That's smart. No reason to get injured out of stubborness!

Frank said...

You have my total respect for even attempting to run in that mess, let alone finishing 4.5 miles. In the future, you may even look back on that workout as being a springboard to greater success.

Bayjb said...

Wow i can't believe you went through that. Seeing that would make me turn around. Even if your time was bad, you made it. Seriously, that's awesome. And seeing a deer? Awesome!

Anonymous said...

um....you ARE hardcore! Pay no mind to your time - running in those conditions is EXTREMELY difficult! I feel like I use completely different muscles when I run in snow or ice. I think that makes sense since you have to use muscles to stabilize yourself!

Joanne said...

I have those Yak-Trax - love them! I've been reluctant to get them but, with winter running, they are alnost a necessity.
Good 4 + miles. The snow, although it slows us down, makes for a very difficult workout. So don't think your legs didn't get some good benefits from a shorter run.
Great job!

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