Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attack Run

Perhaps as the mercury dips, the woods - usually such an inviting and gracious host - wish to be left alone for a while. Today, I changed my schedule around so that I could run at the more decent hour of 7:45, after getting the kids off to school. This plan was to serve two purposes: (a) let the temperature rise a bit, and (b) by running in daylight, I could run on trails and save some wear and tear on my body.

When I walked out the door, it had "warmed up" to the high teens, and there was a brisk wind. After about a half-mile, I turned around, stopped back by my house and traded my beanie for a balaclava, so that I would get some protection from the air which was making my face hurt. I knew I wouldn't last 8 miles without getting that added layer.

The balaclava did the trick in terms of staving off facial frostbite, but it didn't help with the frozen to partially frozen ground underfoot. Much of the forest floor felt like pavement, and a few iced over spots gave way as I passed, resulting in some cold and soggy shoes thanks to recent heavy rains. Not fun. Along the pond trail, I noticed that the water's edge had skims of ice. Winter has arrived.

After getting into a bit of a groove despite the morning's obstacles, I ended up taking a major spill on a concealed rock or stump (leaf coverage is very thick). I was lucky to have a soft landing, but I probably skidded 15 feet downhill. Then, after dusting myself off and forging ahead for another mile, I lost my bearings on a part of the trails which I do not run often, and which become ever-less-visible as the trees lose their leaves. I ended up scrambling through a very brambly patch, catching my running pants repeatedly and scraping up my thighs and shins rather admirably.

I ducked out of the woods at just less than 7 miles, and made my way over to the track. There, the wind was whipping around, but the footing was solid, so I did 3 laps with 100-meter strides on the straights, recovering on the curves, before running home for a total of about 8.3 miles at 9:45 pace.

Not perhaps the most fun or relaxing run I've had recently, but it was one of those "character-building" efforts which will serve me well going forward.

I need to run 6 miles before work tomorrow, and it's supposed to be 15 degrees at 5:00 a.m. I think that there's a treadmill with my name on it.


1 comment:

Billy said...

Holy crap. Not to rub it in, but it's still sunny and in the 70's here in LA. Absolutely cannot relate..

But way to gut it out Ron!