The Snow Shuffle and Boston Week 3 Recap

An alternate title:  Separating the Crazy from the Sane.

I woke up Saturday morning determined to get 17 miles in – snow, blizzard, ice storm, what have you.  I woke up at 6:50AM, checked Twitter, and was surprised by all the “I’m treadmilling it today and getting my 20 miles done” tweets.  Crap, is it that bad out?  I checked outside and was surprised we got so much snow – about 3 inches.  Usually the weather people are way off.

I couldn’t imagine running for 17 miles on the TM, so I bundled up, and prepared myself mentally for the challenge.  I got myself out the door at 7:30 into the freezing rain.  It wasn’t terribly cold but it was tough to run – even with my YakTrax on.  The snow was deep.  The paved trail that I usually run on clearly states “no winter trail maintenance” and they mean it.  It pisses me off since they mow the lawn once a week in the summer but they can’t drop a plow and remove the snow in the winter.  Running on an unplowed trail wasn’t working.  I was shuffling along and my stride was all messed up.  There was no way I could maintain this for 17 miles.

So I found a 1-mile stretch that was plowed and managed to run around it 7 times, looking like a complete ass in the process.  By now my Garmin, my tights, my jacket, my hat, and my (right) eyelid were getting icy.  My eyelid was really starting to sting too.  I waved the white flag, ran the 1/2 mile back to my house, and decided to prepare myself mentally for another challenge – 9.5 miles on the TM.

I watched Leap Year while on the TM and tried to transport myself back to Ireland.  It helped for the first 3 miles.  After that I was just antsy and miserable.  I have no idea how people run 20 miles on the TM.  I’m in complete awe of them.

7.5 miles in the snow at 9:40 pace and 9.5 miles on the TM at 8:53 pace.  Done and done!

Boston Week 3 Recap
MON:  8mi speed
TUE:  8mi tempo with 5 miles at MP (8:28, 8:11, 8:12, 8:16, 8:07).  I experimented with doing 2 hard days back-to-back and it wasn’t too bad.  Those MP miles felt easier then they did last week.
WED:  barre class
THU:  rest!
FRI:  6mi easy with 5 short hill repeats at the end
SAT:  17 loooooong miles
SUN:  6mi easy

45 miles total for the week.

How did you deal with the snow and running this weekend?  If you live in the South or San Francisco and had perfect weather, I don’t want to hear it 😉

Does your favorite running route get plowed or do you have to get creative?  


Five for Friday: Race Edition

I guess January is officially here because they are calling for a wintry mix on Saturday.  I’m freaking out because I have a 17-miler to get done.  If I have to slap on YakTrax and slow down, I won’t be happy, but so be it.  I can’t get annoyed over things out of my control.

Anyway….today’s Five for Friday (I act like I do this every week…I don’t) is 4 races that I would love to do and 1 race I’ll never do, in no particular order.

1.  JFK 50-Miler:  Ultras are where I’m headed after I scratch the Boston itch.  So long speed work, hello super long runs!  I would love to do this race some day, especially after reading Kara’s recap last year.

2.  Big Sur Marathon:  I wouldn’t want to race this marathon but run it for fun, take pictures, and enjoy the scenery.  And yes, I wish I was doing Boston to Big Sur!

3.  A marathon in San Francisco:  Nike Women’s or the San Francisco Marathon, it really doesn’t matter.  I just want to run in the city that I love so much.

4.  Another World Marathon Major:  I’ve done NYC and will soon be done Boston, but I’d love to run Chicago or London.

5.  A marathon I will never run:  Disney Marathon.  I’m kinda anti-Disney.  I have no desire to run near or in the “most magical place on earth”.

Any races you would like to do?  Any ones you have no desire to run?   

Is It Spring Yet?


7 miles easy


9:34 avg pace

Since my run on Tuesday, we were lucky enough to get 6 more inches of snow.  Wonderful.  I couldn’t bear the treadmill today so I slapped on the YakTrax and went outside.  Apparently those 6 inches on top of old snow made for a near impossible run.  I had no traction (even with the YakTrax) and was barely moving in some spots.  I eeked out 5 miles and went home and did another 2 miles on the treadmill.  Here are some pics in case you think I’m being a wimp 🙂

I asked myself for the millionth time why I’m training for a spring marathon.  Didn’t I learn my lesson last year?  We had about 4 feet of snow on the ground and finding plowed areas to run was rather interesting.  Did I loose my mind (again)?  Give me summer running any day over this.

If you are training for a spring marathon (or just want to run outside) and you’d rather throw yourself on a kitchen knife (my sister-in-law’s saying which I think is dead on) instead of doing another treadmill run, here are some tips:

1.  Plan Ahead – We all know the hourly forecast on is a runner’s best friend but the weekly forecast can be too.  Check it out and see when the warmest days are that week and schedule your runs around that, if possible.  I prefer to do my long runs on Saturdays but if I see warmer temperatures on Sunday, I’ll make the switch.

2.  Improvise – You go out and find your favorite running route or trail covered in snow and ice.  You may need to run around (pun intended) and find a different, safer place to run.  Some routes are plowed and others aren’t.  Knowing this ahead of time can help.  Last winter I ended up running back and forth in a lovely, plowed industrial area during a long run just to rack up some miles.

3.  Dress Right – Keep in mind you are supposed to dress like it’s 20 degrees warmer.  Think lots of sweat-wicking layers.  If you are still unsure, check out What Should I Wear? on

4.  Beat the Mental Blahs – It’s tough to get motivated and leave your warm house for the frigid cold.  Getting your butt out the door is the toughest part.  But you made a commitment to train for a race and those miles are not going to run themselves.  The first mile will suck but you will warm up eventually and will not freeze to death.  I promise 🙂

5.  Start Slow:  So you made it out the door and take off like lightening.  Probably not a good idea.  You just went from breathing in warm air to sucking in large amounts of cold air and your lungs are paying the price.  It’s best to start off slower in the cold weather and let your body acclimate to the temperature.  Give yourself a mile or two to warm-up.

6.  Refuel:  Hooray!  You finished your long run and all you can think about is getting a hot shower.  But…remember the importance of refueling?  This is why chocolate milk is my go-to choice for refueling.  I can drink it in no time and be in the shower within 5 minutes of walking in the door.

I have a 15-miler on tap for tomorrow and I will be running on a plowed trail!

Happy Friday!


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