Wind and Snow…ha

You know it takes a lot to get out of bed some mornings to go to our Saturday runs.  This Saturday was no exception.  Still trying to catch up on my sleep from Vegas, I woke up around 6 to start my pre-group run routine.  Last season I ate PB&J toast before my runs…eh, I can’t do it again for another four months. Now that I’ve rediscovered my love for oatmeal, I’ve switched over.  Quick bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and brown sugar and my belly was just full enough to get my through our quick 45 minute run we had on the schedule.  Then it was time to get dressed. I purchased something I swore I never would…..yes, it’s true, the dreaded running tights.  Eek.  Now I am not one to wear tapered anything, let alone skin tight running pants, but hey, in the Colorado cold, it’s better to be warm and have your thighs and ass hanging out there than to be cold.  Nothing is worse than being out for a run and being frozen.  Add an Under Armor turtleneck, a hooded running jacket, windbreaker and some gloves and I was all set. 

One of the best things about being up early on winter mornings is the calm and the beautiful sunrises over the snow capped mountains. Just look at the view leaving my neighborhood.  Amazing right?  I might not have a beautiful ocean view and warm weather all the time but I love my view of the mountains. 

Our run was at the Big Dry Creek trail in Westminster. Why they call it this I’m not sure.  We only really pass by the creek like twice.  I think they should rename it, the big, run by a landfill, no tree trail.  This trail is a pretty flat and easy one. I did my last 11 miler on it before the Denver 1/2 Marathon in October.  I know it oh so well and enjoy it when it’s about 45 degrees and slightly overcast with little wind. Well no such luck this weekend.  It was a balmy 20 degrees with a steady wind of about 15 mph with wind gusts of about 30-35 mph.  Running out with the wind was awesome. I felt like I was flying right through the snow, down the trail with little effort.  Then came the turn around.  That is when the wind came after me. I’m pretty sure I was basically doing the running man dance when the strong gusts came. If it wasn’t already difficult enough running in the snow and ice, the wind made it extremely difficult to stay upright and moving in a forward motion.

We all pressed through the run and amazingly, had smiles on our faces.  We were all happy we didn’t have a real long run in that crazy wind.  I have to say that I am itching for my double digit runs. I know I’m crazy.

Time:  47:33 (I went a little over my time)    Distance: 4.65 miles (that’s it?)    Avg. Pace: 10:14 min/mile

Somehow I managed to maintain my ideal long run pace through the elements.  (My goal is to average 9:45-10 min/miles for the marathon, so my long runs should not be any faster than 10:10-10:30 min/miles.) Surprisingly my legs were actually sore.  Running through that wind was excellent resistance training. It was definitely like doing hill repeats without the hills.  After some stretching and silliness we headed to Starbucks for a quick clinic on cross-training.  Must say I love cross-training.  I think I’m going to start doing the 30 Day Shred again. After a month of that I can really tell that I’ve strengthened by upper body and abs.  Both excellent for marathon running. 

Later that night Shana, Adam and their kiddos came up for the Longmont Parade of Lights. Now it’s no Denver Parade of Lights, but it was fun anyway.  After the parade we headed into Roosevelt Park for some free hot chocolate and fireworks.
Oh yeah, I also chopped my hair off.  I lost about seven inches of hair. It feels so strange.

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