Last week was all about making the most of running despite the conditions. And it looks like this coming week will be no different-we’re currently snowed in under at least a foot of snow and it’s still coming down. Since my treadmill is currently in storage I’ve had to take all my runs outside, including my tempo and speed workouts. It can be a little frustrating to try to run a tempo run in freshly fallen snow: the conditions are slippery, it’s most likely windy and your chances of hitting prescribed paces is pretty slim.
I’ve always believed that it is more beneficial to get out there and try to run a workout outside no matter what the conditions are. Even if you’re not nailing paces, the effort level is still there and you’re developing mental toughness as well. As the spring racing season gets closer, there will be ample opportunity to get out on clear roads and nail paces, but for now I’m OK with a tough tempo effort in sloshy snow.
Here’s how last weeks training stacked up.
Planned: Steady State run with 30 min @ 7:30 min/mi
Actual: Recovery Run. 45:11; 4.74 miles; 9:32 min/mi
The Pats won the Super Bowl. I stayed up waaaaaaaay to late, plus I was still sore from my 9 mile trail run on Sunday (my quads were trashed). So I made the decision to swap Monday and Tuesday’s workouts.
Planned: 45 min Recovery Run and 45 min Cross Training
Actual: 30 min Steady State and 45 min Cross Training
This was a challenging run. It snowed Tuesday, which made this run a challenge. I had on my StabilICER microspikes, which gave me plenty of traction, but sore legs and a lack of motivation meant my first two miles were slow: 7:42 and 7:42. I ran in strong winds two weeks ago and nailed my paces and so I didn’t feel like wind was an excuse. Mentally I just wasn’t there. So at the turn around point I stopped, gave myself a little pep talk and tried to change the negative narrative in my head. I was so focused on the less-than-ideal conditions being an excuse and wasn’t really giving myself a chance to overcome them-at least not mentally. So I started to turn every excuse into a positive phrase: “The wind was strong, but I still nailed the pace.” “My legs are tired, but they didn’t bother me.”
My miles on the way back were into the wind and even more challenging that the first two, but I was able to drop the pace a little 7:37 and 7:41. I still wouldn’t say that I nailed the pace, but I think I did win a bit of a mental battle.
30 min core/hip/glute
4×20-30 reps each
plank with knee elbow
15 min core/upper body
tri kick back
plank hold with toe taps and push up
Planned: 30 min run with 8 x 20 sec max, 10 sec recovery
Actual: 36:04; 4.03; 8:57 min/mi
Another sloppy morning in slushy snow. Decided to just give the max effort the best effort I could despite the condition. Microspikes again helped with traction.
Planned: 30 min recovery run and 45 min cross training
Actual: 30:54; 3.34 miles; 9:15 min/mi
Another easy paced recovery run. Didn’t have time to get the cross training in after my run and then never got around to it later in the day. First time I’ve skipped scheduled cross training in a long time.
Actual: Rest. I really felt like I needed a morning where I didn’t have to get up at 4:30am. So I asked my coach to swap Friday and Saturday’s schedule.
Actual: Easy, shake out run filming with Smartwool. They came out to film the follow up to the initial filming they did when I was in Colorado. The weather seemed to work in our favor and gave us a wintery white backdrop to my early morning run. 31: 32; 3.40mi; 9:17 min/mi average pace.
The entire project video will be released sometime in March. It’s hard to know exactly what will make the cut, but this shot is pretty cool!
Video courtesy of Adam Weitzel
Planned: Bradbury White Out 4 mile Snowshoe Race
Actual: I raced Bradbury as planned and it went relatively well. I was expecting deep powder and a really challenging course, but the single track was relatively well tamped down and the snowmobile trail portions had recently been groomed (the groomer was out there during the race). The single track wound through the woods and doubled back on itself quite a bit, there were so many small turns. I tried to keep my effort smooth and strong through the single track sections, but it was hard not to slow down with the soft powder.
Just before the halfway point the course had a turn around and I was able to see the lead pack and the first female, Leslie. She was running strong. I knew I wouldn’t catch her, but I at least wanted to close the gap a little.
Unfortunately right at the turn around point I noticed that my binding felt loose and swore that my foot was about to slide out. I debated for a while whether or not I should stop and tighten it, until finally I did. It turns out it really didn’t need to be tightened and I think the more I focused on it, the loser it probably felt. If I had shifted my focus and simply tried to run harder, I would have forgotten about the loose feeling of the biding and moved on because once I tightened the one that felt loose, the other binding started to feel loose and I stopped to tighten that one. Sometimes you have real equipment problems and sometimes I think the mind is looking for an excuse to take a break. I don’t think my snowshoe was in danger of slipping off and I probably would have made it to the finish just fine if I hadn’t stopped. Lesson learned.
I ran the last half of the race on my own, without another racer in sight in front or behind me. With about a mile left the course switched from snowmobile trail back to single track, looking at my paces after the race it looks like I hit a brick wall: I went from 8:00 min/mi pace to 12:00 min/mi. I knew we’d switch back to the snowmobile trail for the finish, but I wasn’t sure just when that would happen. I pushed through the last section of single track with as much effort as I could. After a half mile or so it came back out onto the snowmobile trail and was able to push the pace into the finish, crossing the line as the second female.
And of course there was hot soup and cider donuts at the finish (both were delicious) and I took a case of beer home as my prize!
This week is going to present more weather challenges, but I’ll be up for it!
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