Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oh the weather outside is weather...

Something I hadn't thought too much about when I signed on for the marathon was what the weather was going to be like during training.  I know I live in New England and it's winter, but it was just so mild last year that I didn't think about it too much.  I've run in the winter before, but I wasn't really training for anything, so if it was bad out, I'd go inside and run on the treadmill or use some other machine.  I took a lot of Spin classes instead of running.  There's really no way around running outside in the winter if you're planning on a marathon in April, though!

There's nothing wrong with treadmill running.  In fact, I've read that if you set your treadmill on a slight incline, you can duplicate a little bit of the effort of running outside.  My problem is, I can only run for about half an hour indoors before I want to scream.  I vary the speed, I listen to music, I even watch TV and I just can't mentally do it.  3 miles indoors is my mental limit, so long runs are out of the question.  I feel like a 10 mile run outdoors goes by way faster than 3 on a machine.  

Last week, I ran longer than I ever have in the past- 15.5 miles!  I've run two half marathons and run one long 13 mile training run, and at the end of all of them I thought "Yeah, that's enough", so I wasn't sure how this would go.  In my last entry, I talked about the group 13 mile run in Boston.  There were ups and downs and at the end, I was pretty done.  The week after that was a 'step back' week in the long run miles, just 10 (just).  It was fairly uneventful.  I did it on Thursday instead of waiting for the weekend because we had some ("some") snow coming.  I practiced adding in some walking per the advice of my new running friend at the gym Bob.  He's run 16 marathons, so I feel like his advice is worth listening to.  He said that if you add in some walking as the mileage goes up, recovery after is a little easier.  Sold.  PS- there was quite a lot of snow, so it turns out that was a good plan.  

Winston is not a fan of the snow.

Ok- back to last week's 15+ miler.  I'm really really trying to not worry about my speed.  I'm not fast to begin with, and that's fine, but I need to remember that my goal is to finish this time around.  15 miles felt pretty good.  I did it on a Thursday again because, wouldn't you know it, we had more snow on the way.  It was beautiful out, but the sidewalks sucked. I tried to stay on them for the first few miles, but after slipping a few times, I just ran on the side of the road.  The streets on my route are pretty wide and I got back to the sidewalk when I could, but it was much much safer this way.  I walked a bit here and there (some of it was because of snow or ice, some was intentional).  I can't decide how I feel about the walking.  Cardio wise- the walk isn't needed (slow, remember?) but I wonder if it is helping my knees/legs/feet at all.  Sometimes the short walking break is welcome, but it's harder to start back up again at the miles get higher.  

Also- I faced my fear of geese.

They're plotting something.

I had one hiss and chase me last year, but it was with a bunch of little baby geese.  I kept my distance, but man they're mean!  These guys just moved out of the way all three times I passed them. (most of them moved to the left, but one of them just kept running forward in front of me for a while until it figure it all out). 

Overall, the run was great.  (I did sink into some snow trying to hit the "walk" button at an intersection.  I figured it out for the second and third pass)  I actually enjoy the long miles by myself.  I was worried I would go a little crazy just running for that long, but it's weirdly relaxing.  You can't really do anything else but run, enjoy some music (if that's your kind of thing), and take in the scenery.  Since it was a long run, it did require my super sexy Fuel Belt and some GU.  That stuff totally helps, but wow the last thing you want to do is down something that tastes like frosting while you're working out.  Some people seem to be into those jelly beans, but I feel like I would bite my tongue while I tried to chew and run.  

So this week, the long run is 16.  I'll probably do it tomorrow because I hear there's more snow coming. Awesome.