Saturday, March 22, 2014

Where are my trails?

Here I had almost a finished entry about our lovely weather in the last couple of weeks. How I had run in single layers and even *gasp* with bare arms. Whole long runs without worrying about windchill and forgetting that a person's water tube could freeze. However, before I could post said entry, we started on our roller-coaster of Minnesota spring weather. 40 degrees. 20 degrees. Snow. Toasty sun. Back and forth but as it goes, those lows get higher to where it's always above zero. I was cautiously optimistic for a soon return to trails. Okay, not so cautious more like super ready for trails to be runnable RIGHT NOW so that must mean they'll be ready soon, right? Right? Except as soon as I was thinking that, Duluth got hit with a random 8-10 inches of wet, heavy snow. Sigh. I am gnawing at the bit to get back on my trails. I want them clear and I want them runnable and I'm sick of slogging. I don't remember being quite this frustrated at the snow this early last year, even with the late snow we got, but I guess I was still focused on road miles for Boston. So today makes it 11 weeks out from the Kettle 100 mile. It's what I've been training for but I hadn't registered until a couple nights ago. Mostly because so much can happen in training, injury and freak accident wise, why throw down the entry money for that kind of race until you need to? I was planning to wait a little longer but it was starting to feel strange that I wasn't officially in yet. That and, Sawtooth is appearing posed to fill at an astonishing pace and I don't want to pay for two 100s right next to each other. So now I feel this weird extra anxiety to get on trails. I was in a mild panic yesterday at work, watching the big, thick snow come falling down and seeing my planned trail run vanishing before my eyes. Happily, I have awesome friends and I hooked up with two of them this morning. Molly is training for the Zumbro 50 mile so was doing her last back-to-back long runs before taper, which made her pace something I could actually keep up with. I actually almost didn't even leave the house this morning, though, since I was nauseous all during and after breakfast. It kept itself to a low level annoyance for most of the run (except downhills, my stomach was not a fan of running downhill). So that's good 100 mile training too, right? Also, clearly, I have the right pacer for Kettle. She's already started her duties, kicking me in the butt this morning. I was going to call my run short since I just didn't feel great and was sick of the slog the trails had turned into (they actually weren't bad right away in the morning) however, mean task-mistress pacer Lisa made me finish up with Molly. And I listened to her. But only after Molly agreed that roads sounded better than 6.5 more miles of trail slog. Tomorrow is my first race of the year! The Irish Run 8K, which should be interesting giving the combination of a long run today and no attempts at speed work so far this year. It's for the team, though, and should be a good time. I'll make sure to let everyone know how it goes - that should make me get another entry up, right?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Beautiful rainbow or horrifying humidity?

How to tell you may still be slightly traumatized by the heat and humidity at a certain race from Septebmer: Take a look at a beautiful summer picture. Do you first notice the gorgeous rainbow set dramatically against the sky still dark from the passing squall? The way the sun is illuminating the yard and also making that aforementioned sky seem darker? No. Should you still have some lingering issues remaining from the aforementioned race, the first thing that enters your head will be something along the lines of, "Ooooooooh, it looks so horribly humid!" Only after that will you see how nice the picture is. By the way, my dad insists that it was actually quite cool out when he took the picture. I'm not sure I believe him.

So, yeah. While I was a bit whiny about the cold yesterday (maybe more than a bit until I was drug outside and found it wasn't a cold as I was anticipating), I am still okay with not being hot and humid. Today was a beautiful run. It was warm out (ie, above zero) and it was snowing. Just hard enough to make a person have to squint into the wind and just big/light enough to stick to your eyelashes. It was the super pretty type of snow that made the side roads all sparkly in the light. If only the single track was packed down enough to run on then I would have no problem.