And the first week of half marathon training is in the books.
While the majority of the miles were inside by myself on a treadmill in the morning (read, 6 of the 11.5 miles of the week), I got to go outside twice which was a way bigger deal than it probably should have. See, I go to school in upstate New York and we’ve gotten a fair bit (24 inches total, approx) in the past week and a half and it’s been pretty cold (as per usual). While I can deal with snow if it’s cleared from the sidewalks or kind of chilly temperatures, the two together made things impossible outside. That is, until Thursday when miraculously the temperature got into the upper 30s (positively balmy) (For the record people at my school see anything above 30 degrees and everyone starts wearing shorts and no coats or just sweatshirts and it’s glorious.)! And I dragged one of my friends to do a quick mile+ run outside. While the temperature was perfect, the ridiculous amounts of snow that was melting and flooding the sidewalks which made for some pretty hilarious leaps while we were running.
Saturday it was supposed to be warm again and not really thinking about it what flooded sidewalks do when the temperature dips below freezing over night, I set out for 5 miles and soon found myself with my hands in front of me sliding on ice if I hadn’t been watching carefully enough to avoid it. This happened for the first time about .3 miles in and I started laughing. I was still on campus at this point and my school is hilariously bad at clearing sidewalks and roads. I was under the impression that this would be the worst I would face. And I was pretty wrong about that.
This was the ice. This was not run-able.
For the rest of the run I was kicked off the sidewalks because of ice and instead on the road (which had a patch of ice along the side that was at some points 6 feet wide). Drivers were super nice and maybe a little mad because I wasn’t using the sidewalks but I really didn’t have a choice. I also scaled a snow bank to press the button for the sidewalk and felt like the world just didn’t want me running outside, but oh well I’m going to do it anyways.
There were also a couple of times when it looked like it was ice so I was running/walking/shuffling very carefully and instead my feet ended up submerged in icy water. And because my pace was so messed up from the ice I ended up sprinting on the parts of the sidewalk that were completely clear (approximately 5%, all downtown near the restaurants and shops). So pacing was more than weird for this run, and something I’m looking to try to figure out throughout my training because I’m bad at it.
Admittedly the ice looked really cook when I cracked it and made a spider-y pattern and then disappeared because of the water.
Mostly, it felt really nice to be running with a set purpose. I’ve talked about this before but goals are crazy important for my motivation (especially in the winter when I’m stuck on the treadmill or in the super cold). There have been multiple times when I fall out of running right after I complete a goal (see last July after my first half marathon and January after I finished my 500 miles for 2013). Now, I don’t think this is bad for me because having some time to rest/get tired of just sitting around makes it easy to fall back in love with running.