Sunday, January 9, 2011

01/09/11 Let it snow!!!!!!

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, 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.

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'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....

and 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 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?'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 left shoe was beginning to turn 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.

You're welcome.


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.

(evil laugh)

My screw shoes worked 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!!!!!!! :-)


Detroit Runner said...

Nice hardcore run in the snow!

Heidi said...

What a beautiful place to run. Kudos to you ... we're not nearly that cold and just have a dusting of snow and icy patches and I totally bailed on my run today. I got just over halfway down my driveway (which is almost a 1/4 mile long so it is a fair distance) and decided it was just too cold and slippery, so I retreated to the house. I suck - hahaha.

Great pics today. Loved seeing your route.

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

I love living vicariously through others' snow pictures. Good for you for getting out there!

Nej said...

@ Detroit - it was nice! No matter what time of day, if it's snowing, it's so quiet and peaceful. Well....quiet, if you ignore my huffing and puffing up the hills. :-)

@ Heidi - I've been so lazy this last month....the second full week of actually running, and it's been snowing and frigid every time I'm out. Karma? :-)

@ Alan - the snow hasn't stopped coming down yet. By the time I run tomorrow am, I'll have to take a shovel or snow shoes. :-) :-)

Faith Ann said...

That's quite the little adventure run you went on!!

I cannot believe you chose to run on the *un-plowed* road... do you also like running in sand? lol

Fence?! You need an aerial map before your runs!!

Congrats on proving that sometimes the most awesome runs are not the fastest!! I think people focus on pace too often and perhaps glancing at the scenery instead of the garmin would make things more enjoyable!

Nej said...

@ Faith - I know I'm never going to win anything.....I'm not built for it, mentally or physically. I like to see improvement in my times and such....but I'm with you, it's more important to enjoy yourself....stop and smell the roses (so to speak).

Plus, sometimes it makes for a good story! :-) :-)

Fran said...

It's beautiful to run there! Sometimes when I have mapped a route that I don't know exactly I drive it first. I hate to run more than I have too :)

I agree that being back on a schedule makes a person happy. You have a drive to keep going because you know that at the end the race is waiting for you.