Friday, January 27, 2006

A 24-26K Medium Long Run in the Snow

A light snowfall continued throughout the day yesterday, but it stayed warm enough (0C/32F) that it was already starting to melt. There was about 3-4 inches of accumulation on the trails when I headed out for my run at 4:30 p.m.

My goal for the run was as unsure as the weather yesterday. I had planned on running Saturday’s 24K/15M medium long run because I am helping a friend move on Saturday. But I was not sure if I really could hold up for 2 ½ hours considering the trail conditions. So I filled my CamelBak, let my wife know that I would be gone for 1-2 ½ hours and headed out. The first two kilometers were over roads and a bike path that were well traveled and were really icy! Eventually I hit the back trails and headed over the fields and into the forest. A tractor had been through earlier so the snow was tramped down a little, the trail was slick, but navigable. I decided to do my medium long run.

The first hour went pretty well, it was still light out, I ran the first 6K over my normal route, then crossed the railroad tracks that separate my side of the forest and the forest where the Graben running club has their trails. I wound my way over the 11K trail that they offer. I made it about halfway before it got really dark. Luckily I am quite familiar with the trails so I only had to concentrate on staying in between the tree lines and keeping my footing. The snow was soft on top, but slippery underneath, I was slipping with almost every step, so had to keep the pace down.

After about an hour and a half I popped out of the woods and started heading over the tractor path between fields toward the town of Graben. I was thankful that there was almost no wind. The snow clouds had disappeared and the night was clear, there was enough light from “the heavens” to stay on the trail. I passed Graben and headed over a couple slushy roads that eventually brought me back to my normal 14K/8.7M running trail. From here it was about 6K from my house, mostly along a trail on the edge of a small forest and over field paths.

I ran for 2:38:15 at a slower pace than normal. I would guess that I ran between 24-26K (15-16M), I wrote 25K in my log book. My legs felt worse than after my 32K long run last weekend, probably because of all the sliding around in the snow. I have a 14K/8.7M run on the schedule for tonight, but my legs are still pretty sore and I have a 10K cross-country race on Sunday morning. I may just take tonight off. Next week is another very high mileage week so I need to be ready for that.

very very impressive! I can maybe go 3 miles in the snow, not 15!~!!
Sounds beautiful Jack. Its very warm here - still in the 50s. Weird.
Sounds like a great run. Have a fun race on Sunday.
Uncomfortable to run on the slick snow like that, but it sounds beautiful to run out of the snowy forest into the cold clear night.

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog!

Your Mannheim Marathon experience sounds very similar to my first marathon in Houston two weeks ago. Thanks for your blog, it will inspire me to go forward like you have.
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