Saturday, February 13, 2010

Running in the Snow

After two off days in a row, I was able to go out for a run on Friday. Wednesday we got a good amount of snow and Thursday the roads were not cleared enough (shoulder-wise) to be safe for running, and the snow was too deep to run the trails. A couple of years ago I wanted to get snowshoes for running, but my brother from NH talked me out of it - he told me that I didn't need them in southern RI. Well, six inches of wet, ungroomed snow, is not fun to run in. By Friday, the trails probably had 3-6 inches on them with a couple of boot tracks, so not every step was as tiring as it would have been the day before.
I decided on a run I like to do that is about half road and half trails. My hope was that I was picking a trail that would have the most human use on it, packing it down and making it easier to run on. The roads to the trail are (for my standards) very hilly and challenging. It's mostly downhill to the trailhead and I did this 2.25 miles in 14:58 - sub 7 min. miles. Then the woods - the trail I had been on a hundred times in my life looked different in the snow, and I found it hard to stay on the trail in a couple of places. The snow was tiring, but I worked hard. The snow does make the normal obstacles easy to manage. I made it to the turn around point (4 mile marker) in 30:29. I kept pushing myself as I retraced my steps (literally) in the snow. I got back to the road in almost the exact same time. Then I had the long 1 mile climb up the hilly road ahead of me. I was happy that I could push my pace despite my legs being tired from the snow. Once at the top of the hill, there are a few more up and downs before I reach my house with a killer hill right in front of it. I finished in 1:01:11 and was extremely pleased with my effort. My reward was a night out with my wife sans kids and the chance to see some great live music.

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