So I guess an important question is - how often do YOU want to be reading my posts? Once a week? Multiple times a week? As often as I can spit them out? Let me know!
I had a couple of lovely runs this weekend. Saturday was a long trail run with two friends. Well, long in terms of the time we spent out there, not so much in terms of the distance we went. See, due to all the rain Duluth recently received (in January!) the trails are rather icy right now if they've had any sort of traffic at all in the last week (incidentally, the SHT around the Mission Creek area is quite ice free). This makes for rather treacherous running in places, especially ski trails or SHT near an access point and especially since I still haven't put screws in my shoes. I didn't really notice it Saturday but by the end of Sunday's run, I had a good form for ice running going - taking very small steps, keeping my weight directly above my feet, and concentrating on landing forefoot so that if I slipped, I didn't do that magical arm flailing/back wrenching attempt to not fall. Something I saw Ron do a couple of times as he pranced about ahead of me like an elf on Saturday . . . Amazingly, though, none of us actually fell, so it couldn't have been all that icy, right? Anyway, we played around on trails for a while, finding some good crunchy trails to get a rhythm on and then discovered were running out of light. So we ended up hitting the Munger Trail for the way back to the car. I don't so much recommend snowmobile trails right now, either. Unless you're looking to cross country ice skate. Luckily, the edges held enough packed snow to be runnable, as long as you were careful to not fall off the edge of the packed trail and destroy your ankle and kept an eye for un-packed sections that sent your feet flailing behind you.
So we're running along the Munger when I turn my head and spit. And see blood. Hmmm. That's alarming. Lisa informs me that I have a bloody nose. Less alarming. Except it seems to keep going and when you can't actually SEE your bloody nose, you imagine it as this great geyser gushing blood down your face. Well, at least I do . . . So I decided to grab some snow and clean it off but we're on an iced over snowmobile trail so I sort of have to kick at some snow until I get a few crystals loose, not enough to really do anything. So really, all I felt like I managed to do was smear blood all over my face as opposed to cleaning anything up or stopping the flow. Again, this is really just the visual in my head, in realty, you could probably barely tell it was bleeding . . . Now, I had my awesome multi-colored mittens on (remind me to take a picture for you) and I didn't want to get them all bloody so I didn't attempt to clean with cloth and just let it drip along. I did decide that it was good I was wearing a red jacket. You know, for all that blood gushing out of my nose and covering the rest of my body? Eventually, I stopped feeling it oozing and at the end, I kicked up some more snow until I was able enough to clean up with. Which didn't require all that much because, shocking as this may be to everyone, I was not, in fact, about to die from blood loss.
So that was my first run.
Sunday's run was with the Northwoods team. For those who don't know, I'm on the Austin Jarrow running team and we're trying to do group runs every Sunday. An hour and a half or just over of a good pace on roads. I think this might be a great plan for me - run long trails on Saturday followed by a harder paced run on the roads with some speedsters the next day. Good to get my legs moving when they're tired, right? It took a little while for my legs to shake out and then they felt pretty good and I wanted to go further. It makes sense to me that this will help push the legs in a road marathon - especially if we keep doing hilly courses. The problem with having Boston be my last road marathon for a while is that I'm sick of roads - thus giving road marathons a break. Which means what I want to do is train on trails, which is probably not so stellar if I want to run a decent time come April. This seems like a decent compromise, but I should probably still get up at 5 to run with another group of road friends on at least some Saturdays . . .
The current forecast for International Falls on Saturday? A high of 0 with a windchill as low as -36. Friday night low of -17, windchill to -31 with up to 3 inches of snow possible. So below zero with fresh snow. I do not expect to be putting up any stellar times! I wish the shirts were like a New Year's run I used to do - you got the shirt a couple weeks later because they waited to print them so they could print the race day temperature on them.