Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Courage to Start

OK, that's not an accurate title. I'm not trying to put myself in the company of real courageous runners (like Jen McDevitt); it's more like I'm being sarcastic about my level of wimpiness when it comes to running in adverse weather.

Here in Virginia, we got pelted yesterday with another 6 inches or so of snow. I was scheduled to do an 8 mile long run today, and I was miserable at the thought of having to do it on the treadmill again. You see, I don't particularly care for running in bad weather, be it rain, cold, or snow.

But this morning, as I was shoveling the inch or so of snow we got overnight, I came to the realization that it might not be all that bad to run on the hard-packed snow on the street. Forget the fact that it was 19 degrees; I've been very careful not to put myself in a predicament where I could strain my calf again. So after shoveling, I got ready to run.

And you know what? It wasn't that bad. There were sections of street where the snow was soft & slushy, which made it feel almost like running in sand. There was a good stretch of dry blacktop (thanks to the snow plows), and the rest, mainly was simply hard packed snow. The morning sun was blinding, and about 3 miles in, I felt that I had overdressed, since I was working up quite a sweat. But I finished the run with no complications, no muscle strains, and a nice, easy, 10:29 pace.

The difficult part for the rest of the week is going to be getting in my Tuesday and Thursday 4 1/2 mile runs. I'm assuming that the remaining snow on the streets will freeze, thaw, and re-freeze before I get out again, which will make it for some tricky footing at 4:30 AM. I just may have to revert to lunch time runs this week so I can see what's underfoot.

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