Sunday, December 21, 2008

You can't get too much winter in the winter.

On a cold day with everything, including me, covered with frost I figure that today's title quote by Robert Frost was more than appropriate. Despite it being the middle of winter it was a very good day to be running.

I managed to get 18 miles in with a little warm up on the treadmill before heading out the door for just over two hours with the starting temperature at a balmy 5 degrees. With no wind and the ground/snow/ice firm the running was quite good with proper footwear. I didn't know what to expect so I wasn't truly prepared for a run of this length but also just let my body carry me along and not let my brain get in the way. I had a feeling I could go this long but wasn't sure that my conditioning and leg were up to it. Apparently they were.

It also helped to be running with Jerry Ross and Tom Ritchie, two others preparing for Boston, as they kept the pace steady and the conversation distracting enough that I wasn't thinking about time or distance. We were joined after about 6 miles by John Wirum, who ran very well as we maintained a pretty good clip the whole time. We were running about 7:15-20 mile pace but with all the clothing it was closer to 6:45-50 effort if we were running in San Diego. The heart/lungs/capillaries don't know the difference as heart rate is heart rate. Today's photo's are at the run's end and give an idea how "frosty" it was today.

Very good to know that I am capable of handling such a run, though I also know I'll be a bit fatigued tomorrow. No problem as I will cross train and I have a late-day massage from Katie to press things together before she goes on vacation. Just completing today's run with no pain is a very big win for me and shows that I'm not too far from where I'd like to be. At the same time I need to temper that with respect and not get too far ahead of myself. In any case, it sure is nice to get out of the gym and take on the winter.

Every mile is two in winter - George Herbert

When it comes to winter running in Alaska that quote is almost true. No doubt that wearing extra layers and running on loose snow or ice slows down the pace but not the effort. I generally just apply the normal running pace I would do if I was running in summer. Usually I just divide 7:00 pace into the time of the run to get mileage. Really, we should focus on time and heart rate (and results too, of course) but I'm a bit trapped by my early years of measuring miles so that's what I do.

Great week of training. Boston seems a little closer than it did last week.

1 comment:

Kelrock said...


Love your positive energy around the winter. I should not complain but where I am in Canada is getting hit really hard, even by north Ontario standards. There is at least 2-3 feet outside so despite all the gore-tex clobber I am still hitting the T-Mill. I could do with a pair of ice bugs! Glad you had another good week me man. Boston awaits.....