Sunday, January 23, 2011

A difficult run on a cold winter's day

H/H Trail Lizards -- great on snow - not so much on the road

Today's run (street): 3.8 miles

My streak of energizing, feel-good runs was broken today with a 3.8 mile run that felt much longer. I was surprised to hit the wall so hard on this relatively short run. Learning from yesterday's experience, I wore my Helly Hansen Trail Lizards because there is still much snow and ice (and ice covered snow) on the roads. Things started out well, I moved right along, hardly slowing down for the snowy-icy patches. The Helly's provided great grip and stability over these areas for the most part though there were some spots that I preferred to dodge rather than run straight though.

My first hint of trouble happened on my first turn into the westerly winds that made the 18 degree temperatures feel much colder. I really wished at that moment that I'd worn my balaclava. On top of the force of the wind, the touch of my glasses against my face grew increasingly uncomfortable. Once I turned another corner that problem fell away and I felt like the worst was over since my body was warmed up, making straight-on winds less of an issue from that point. That much was true and I progressed well but I started to get tired as I neared the 25 minute mark. It may have been the cold or the fact that the Helly's don't run very well on pavement but I began to experience signs of bonking.

My level of effort (using the Daily Mile 1-5 scale) moved quickly from two to three to almost four in a period of five minutes and I decided to re-point my route back towards my home. Despite this difficulty I forced myself to maintain a reasonably fast cadence and came in with a respectable mid-9 overall pace. The runs today and yesterday were not typical street runs as the snow, ice and slush made them more trail-like. Perhaps it was the harder work coming from running the Trail Lizards on the road instead of the trail where they shine. It doesn't matter why, only that today's run was tough and hopefully the next one will be better. Even as I slogged through the difficult last mile I thought to myself how much I loved this crazy sport.

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