Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 27

I DNS'd the Spring Thaw Race in Pittsburgh-I did not show. The weather was dicey Friday evening, and since I had never been to the North Park before, I decided to spend my energy closer to home.

So I went to the high school track-and aborted after 1/4 of a turn around the track. I was hoping I could tamp down a path in the snow, but it was all so uneven. I knew, with trying to get a 20 miler in, it wasn't going to happen there.

So I drove home and got the hydration vest on, and headed out. First five miles on the back country road,full of ice and snow. The township plow truck came by, and I made sure I jumped well into the field away from it. The guys made sure not to hit me.

Only two of the usual four dogs came out to greet me at the top of the hill.

The back road was the most fun part of my run. I then got on the more travelled roads.I was running a normal route that I do-but the first time, in reverse. It was interesting to see new views from this angle.

I really ran out of energy around mile 14. I had turned into the wind. I needed to use my inhaler, but it was in the back pocket on the hydration vest, which I didn't feel like stopping to remove to get to the inhaler. (It always seems like a no-brainer in retrospect). So the last two miles felt like a death march (especially with a 1/2 mile hill to trudge up.)

I turned off the Garmin in my normal spot, and then started to jog down the hill, 1/8 of a mile to home. I was happy to see Uri and his sons delivering hay to their horses which are being boarded in one of our pastures. I hung out to watch my husband along with the Amish corral and halter the two mules-it was pretty entertaining.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Workout on the Siltstone Trail

I got to run on one of my favorite trails, the Siltstone Trail in the Jefferson Memorial Forest, just miles outside of Louisville. It is less than a 20 minute ride from my hotel.
I had high hopes for a nice trail run, sans snow, but even Louisville has been hit.
It was more of a work out than a run. There were some parts where the snow had been tamped down, but up on the ridges there were areas where I was post holing through snow.

About one mile after I started the run, I ran into ED! I knew Ed from Mohican, and Ed lives right around the corner here in Kentucky. We chatted briefly, and he was off on another section of trail. Then, to my delight, he ran up Siltstone and did some running with me!!!
It was great to have company out on the trails. Ed will be at Mohican again, and since I am crewing this year at Mohican, will run into him again. Thanks Ed, for your company today, it was very nice!!!

Ed turned back as I started up the Scott's Gap Trail, it is a 3 mile loop. This loop kicked my butt! Big climbs. The sun and mild weather was starting to melt some of the snow, so you would think the downhills would be nice to run---but they were getting dangerous. The ground was still frozen, but the thin layer of mud/leaves was totally slick. I found myself running in the snow instead of the mud because the traction was better.

I regrouped after Scott's Gap for the 6.25 miles back to the Welcome Center where the vehicle was parked. It was kind of tiring, but even hiking was good time on my feet. And even better for my pysche!!!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What else?

View from the back porch, before we took the massive icicles down there.

The poor grill. It's probably iced shut, along with the two plus feet of snow on it.

Yes, snow, in Ohio, in February, what a surprise. I think what is wearing upon us all is the longevity of this snow. We had a short break, in late January, of a new nice days. (This meant temperature in the high 30's or so.) Then the snows began. I think it really is driving runners buggy. A friend posted on her Facebook account: "Is anyone getting any decent training in?"

I am really really glad I have my treadmill. I don't have to travel to a gym to stand in line; I run in shorts and a running bra; I watch bad reality TV for the most part.
I have been outside for runs, as this blog attests. Sunday's long run, around the block was cut short due to wardrobe malfunctions. Indeed, the old quote, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices" held true. The temperature was around 30 F, and overcast. I went out in tights, one long sleeved shirt, and a short sleeved shirt over that-this has been my typical garb. I discovered when the wind is blowing, and you are up on the ridge line, you get cold mighty fast.
It was strange though, the most uncomfortable part of me was my upper arms. I kept thinking about my bright yellow windbreaker-very very light material, yet I left it hanging on the door knob at home. My, that would have been a nice improvement out there!

We found it just as hard to sled with this trio of dogs as the original trio of dogs. The Shepherd did get run over by me, at the bottom of the hill, and we called it a day after two runs.

I decided to just run my neighborhood 6.4 loop-inside, on the treadmill today. The wind chill was much less, and it was surprisingly warm for my run.

I'm not referring to the tread as the "dreadmill" this winter. I'm calling it my training tool. Without it, I would be a whiny, sad, (fatter!) runner. It's allowing me to get my training in. It's helping with mental toughness too. While I won't say I ♥ my treadmill, I've become much more appreciative of it this winter.
And in the summer time, it functions quite nicely to air dry your running clothes.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day One of the Weekend

It's day one of my four day weekend. I slept in this morning. We took the dogs out for their walk. It was pretty difficult, since all previous broken paths in the snow were covered up again. We've got about two feet of snow on the estate.

After some house cleaning and lunch, I went out for another "round the block" run. I've been using this route because it is a very lightly trafficked road-I encountered two trucks in my 1.5 hour run!

Although it's hilly, it's almost trail running for me-I'm out in the country, no cars, no people, pretty scenes.

The road was packed down snow. The township snow plow had thrown cinders down. The uphills were tough walks-the snow was slick. I kept looking for patches of dirt either in the middle of the road, or at the very side of the road to get traction on.

It was a bit colder this day too, with a light wind blowing. Every time I would top a ridge, I would get the "treat" of a blast of wind. Actually, the only part of me that was getting cold was my upper arms.

Another shot of the tractor. I can't wait to take a pic of it with some green grass around it.

Around mile 4, I picked up my "pack". These dogs live at this farm. They're pretty friendly, although I felt a bit mobbed when two more joined these two. They barked, and followed, but fell off pretty quickly as I ran downhill. It makes the run much more easy when the dogs are friendly!

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Monday, February 8, 2010

What I Did on This Day off

Only a little bit of shovelling today.

There is actually a path here. That's me flailing down the path (downhill) on skis, trying to avoid the dog and the heavy snowy branches.

The skiing did not go well at all. I was sinking about 8 or 10 inches in the snow. I have up after the hike/ski around the estate with the dogs.

However, it had warmed up to 32 F and was so nice and sunny. I did get out for a run around the block after lunch.

I don't mind running on these "roads" which sometimes are more like jeep/trail than actual road. I only encountered four vehicles in my 1.5 hours outside.

These goats were just too cute not to take a picture of.