Pleased as a Peach

15 Jan

Winter has officially arrived. Snow is on the ground and seems like it might want to stick around. I was not aware that snow was in the forecast in any way, shape or form. Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I stepped outside to start my LSD run to clear skies and green lawns only to have a snowplow pass me, lights flashing.

Not that kind of LSD guys. LSD = Long slow distance. Save the hallucinogens for after the run.

I was absolutely bewildered. Then it passed again, a few kilometers later, as I continued past snowless land. Finally, as I crested a particularly nasty hill, I arrived midtown to the valley between two mountains and encountered a couple inches of the stuff. And then it started hailing on me. The snow has been creeping towards my house ever since. Needless to say, I was not prepared for running in the snow. I haven’t made my ghetto snow sneakers yet (the general plan is too drive a handful of very short screws into the soles of my old pair) and I was wearing my light gloves instead of my heavy-duty pair. Thankfully there were few cars out in the snow at 7am on a Saturday, so I ran on the still-clear road rather than the mostly non-existent sidewalks. My water froze my throat closed I’m pretty sure. I only checked the thermometer when I got home (still freezing) only to find we were sitting at around -2 C, which may sound mild to you but we get MAYBE ten below-zero days a year and I do not adapt well to it.

Plus, I look about 100% less adorable than this puppy in the snow soooo...

Aside from the cold (or maybe because of it) I ran an exceptionally good 16k yesterday morning. I call it exceptional for two reasons: first, because I ran my first 16k several months ago at 7:21/km and brought yesterday’s run down to 6:41/km, without a single huff or puff along the way. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll have shaved another 40 seconds off and be even prouder of myself (oh wait not possible). Yes, yes, I am aware that this is a slow pace, but I’ve beaten myself and that’s what counts.

Second, this particular run included the dreaded Bowen Bay hill, that which I described in unflattering terms in this post. I was hoping I’d reach my turn-around point of 8k before the top of the hill so I wouldn’t have to run back up it. I was only at 7k, which meant running down the entire thing then running back up. I debated with myself, thinking I could add a quick 2k loop at my start-point and avoid the hill altogether. But 2012 is a year for challenging oneself, so I forced myself down the hill. Running down even took forever. I was cursing myself the entire way, knowing each step meant more hill to run up. When I got to the bottom, I gazed up at what I could see of the hill and cursed some more. Then I put my head down and ran.

And you know what? I breezed up that hill like it was nothing baby! I’ve avoided it since last summer and I can’t believe how much I’ve improved since then! I was actually surprised when I got to the top, certain there must be more hill to conquer. The run was pretty much down-hill (in a good way) from there. I felt like planting a flag or a headstone that read “Here lies Bowen Bay hill, also known as Margaret’s bitch”. Maybe next time.

My smugness level = approximately four smug Obamas.

In short, I’m feeling really great about my training. Although I’ve got some other not-so-nice things going on, my running is going great and that makes me feel good. I hope everyone else is doing so well with their training!

9 Responses to “Pleased as a Peach”

  1. Calvin January 15, 2012 at 4:21 PM #

    Not kidding, my first thought was, “What amazing honesty she has admitting the snow hindered her from taking LSD!”

    • thetortoiseruns January 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM #

      I promise I don’t do LSD! Especially not while running. Worst trip ever I’m sure.

  2. Pretty Runner January 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM #

    That photo at the top was pretty darn tripPY in itself..LOL

    Great job on the 16k.. every time I read your post I have to do a bit of math.. we go by miles here in California!

    Can’t even imagine running in anything below 25 degrees (my coldest run ever.. 🙂 You are awesome.. and a seriously brave snow bunny runner!

    • thetortoiseruns January 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM #

      I know what you mean! All my training plans start out in miles so I’ve gotten very, very good at converting miles to km. Taking that skill right to the bank 🙂

  3. Stride & Joy January 15, 2012 at 6:36 PM #

    Great job on the hill!! 🙂

  4. Caitlin Constantine January 16, 2012 at 7:13 AM #

    Smug Obamas, ha! That made me laugh.

    Whenever I read about running in cold weather – and I’m not talking nippy brisk air, but actual oh-my-god-I’m-frozen-solid weather – I always feel compelled to thank the universe for letting me live in Florida, which means I have to deal with maybe a month of cool air each year.

    • thetortoiseruns January 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM #

      Florida, California… you all are so lucky! However, I never have to run in anything hotter than 80 *F soooo… there are pros and cons to each place I guess!

  5. Erica January 27, 2012 at 7:29 AM #

    Winter is moving along quickly, thank goodness, but if you find yourself faced with snow in the future there are webbings with tiny spikes in them that are made to slip right over the bottom of your existing running shoes. No small screws required. Similar to Yak Traks but easier to run on. They are pretty cheap too. I’m sure the Running Room and other running stores have them on the Coast, can find them everywhere in the Interior.

    • thetortoiseruns January 27, 2012 at 8:21 AM #

      Very interesting! I will make sure to look into it. Although my game plan regarding winter is currently to pretend that it’s not happening. Not going too good so far!

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