It's kinda fun being back on a training schedule for a specific race/run. Sometimes I try to fight the inherent "Capricorn" within me.....and each time I realize how futile doing so really is.
So here I am, back on a training schedule, and happy as a clam. Not only am I happy...I'm actually running...period.
In the last couple of months, I've been doing anything but run regularly....and it shows. It's a little depressing having to start from what feels like square one.....no, depressing isn't the word. Disappointing maybe....
Anyway.....change of subject.....
I ran today! I had a 5 miler listed as my long run for the week, and when I got up this morning, I was actually excited about what I saw.
It really wasn't that cold, warmer than yesterday in fact. NOAA listed the temp as 19 degrees (windchill of 3). Not too bad!!!
So, I suited up, and headed out.
We live on a hill.....any direction I run from my house is downhill.
Which might seem really great...and usually feels great......
....until I have to come home. :-)
And we're not talking short little downhills....nope, they are long, and they are fairly steep.
Well....steep as far as this "flatlander" is concerned.
(1.5 miles away from home....still going down)
When I run this route in the am, I will head back home via the highway at the bottom of the hill. But, since I was running much later than usual, traffic was much heavier.
And the roads were much slicker.
So, I decided to go exploring.
There is a cemetery at the bottom of the hill as well. I drive past it all the time, and have never been in it. If you look at it via google earth or any map software....it's a maze. Miles of roads twisting and turning up and down roads in the hills.
Sounds like an awesome "shortcut."
( I ended up taking the road to the right...with the sign that says "caution, dangerous conditions"...not the one to the left that was plowed)
It kept going up....
(I had to keep physically breaking the icicles from my eyelashes so I could see. Awesome!!!!!!!)
And at the top....was this sign.
Now.....when I researched the area, there was a back entrance on the map.
So I threw caution to the wind, and continued on.
(secretly hoping for a fence I could climb over if nothing else)
The road was rutted and overgrown....and full of animal tracks.
As I ran along this stretch, I wondered to myself what snow blindness is, how you get it, and how serious is really is. The snow was really coming down, and because the road wasn't in the best shape, I had to constantly stare at the ground in front of me, and try to pick up on any potholes that may be lurking.
After a while, I found myself squinting, and needing to look up more and more.
(mental note, sunglasses)
And at the end was this gate (click on the picture to make it bigger).
I went up to investigate and the gate was locked and rusted shut. It hasn't been used in years and years. And short of scaling it (7+ foot tall wrought iron), I was going to have to turn around.
As I running back along the route I had come from which I came, I was paying close attention to the fence to my left.
Eventually my patience paid off.....in one section the fence was barb wire, and one of the concrete posts holding the barbwire in place had been pushed over.
See it, at the top of that hill?
No? OK...here's a closer look. Right in the middle of the pic, you can see one of the posts at an angle.
I climbed (hoping no one could see me, it wasn't pretty) over the barb wire.....and walked maybe 15 feet to the top of the hill....when I came across that same 8 foot tall chain link I'd been running along side.
On the road again...........
And BACK up one of the many hills......
You can't see it in this picture...and I didn't even notice until I got home....but one of my toenails must have needed trimming.....my left shoe was beginning to turn red.....by the time I got home, my left shoe was completely blood soaked, along with my sock, and my foot. I took a pic...but decided against posting it.
I had to take a picture of this sign on the way out. "Nebraska's Most Beautiful Cemetery"
They aren't kidding...even the small section I saw today was gorgeous.
I can't wait to go back and check out more of the area. A person could get lost in there pretty easily. I think it will be a great place to work on hills, and put on some miles.
As you can imagine, my pace was horrible. On my way out of the "park", my Garmin said I was averaging 14 min miles.
The last two miles home is 99.9% up hill. Lots and lots of hill. But, I WAS NOT going to have a pace that began with 14, or even 13. No sireeeee Bob.
I ended my five mile run with an average pace of 12:55.
My screw shoes worked great...here and there. The snow was getting way too deep for them to be effective, and I still slid around quite a bit.....but we'll just call that core work...shall we??? :-)
Now, if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go get a cup of coffee....wrap my legs up in ice packs.....and do a little reading on my couch!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend everybody!!!!!!! :-)