Monday, January 23, 2012

Icy Running Adventure

Where did I leave off?

It was Saturday afternoon after the snow. I went outside to check the icy sidewalks and was debating whether or not to risk a run. Josh advised me against it. But I hope anyone who knows me knows that, of course, I took the risk.

I am not going to lie, the fact that I knew I wouldn't be able to really test my speed on this run was appealing. It was a chance to run for fun only and to not put pressure on myself to be fast. I also wanted to be outside for a while and I wanted to guarantee 6 whole days of recovery and training before my next long run which, at 12 miles, will be the longest I've run since Baltimore.

I decided to run into Bethesda, MD, by my high school which, according to my garmin, is exactly 4.52 miles from my apartment, and back. I started off slowly and had to stop my watch about 7 times in the first half mile because of stoplights, puddles, and pedestrian/stroller traffic jams. But things picked up and running was smooth.

There were parts of the route that were covered in grainy ice and my steps were really slow and choppy. It was kind of like running in sand. Except the sand was hard and slippery.

Then there were parts covered in ice covered in snow. Running was about the same as it was on grainy ice.

There were rare patches that looked clear but that had sporadic pieces of invisible ice. Those were probably the most dangerous. Other parts were just clear. Those were the best.

At one point, I came to a steep downhill, feeling like I was in some kind of wilderness, and I spotted bike tracks. If some dude could bike in these conditions, I could certainly run in them. I wouldn't be surprised if that dude was my dad. I was near his house and he is an adventure seeker. I learn from the best.

Just before the hill.

I averaged a 10:30 min/mile down this hill which is not normal. I did everything I could not to slip. I had to climb right back up a hill and it was covered in thick, slushy snow. That was more like running in sand.

Then I got to my high school and it was white and very pretty.

Soon after, I turned onto Wisconsin Avenue and the sidewalks were way better for a while. It was hard to transition back into the mindset that I should run fast. So I hovered around a 9:00 mm but I stopped stopping to take pictures. The roads got, and stayed, bad again by Tenleytown but I was so close to home and I was loving life.

Photo by Josh Bassett Photography

This didn't turn out to be the best training run ever. But it was the best it is too icy to go sledding but I still want to play in the snow run ever. I am not as proud of my splits as I have been in weeks past but I am proud of how perfectly I straddled the line between risk taking and being cautious. I ran over a lot of ice and I didn't get injured and that made this endeavor a success.

I finished the day with lots of food, cooking, some shopping, and a dinner party with friends. It was nice to eat and drink without guilt or hesitation last night, though I wouldn't have minded another reason to get out in the refreshing cold for a 10 mile run today. Frisbee was cancelled, against my wishes, so I spent 45 minutes on my new indoor bike trainer, a lot of time on the couch, and a lovely evening watching football and eating Coq au Vin with ma famille.

The snow may have provided a little stress this weekend but it wound up making for a beautiful and adventurous run. I can only hope that we get more pretty white powder this winter.

I hope you all had great weekends!


  1. I really wanted to go running in the snow but my parents neighborhood is really hilly and they didn't do a good job plowing so it was really icy. Getting a run in wasn't worth chancing falling and hurting myself. Looks like you had a ton of fun though, which is the most important thing!

    1. Yeah, the few steep hills I had were really bad on the ice and I had to run really slow to prevent falling so it's probably a good thing you didn't risk it!

  2. Wow! You should be proud of yourself for even just getting outside! Usually snow turns me away from leaving my house for any reason! Way to go! Love that you brought your camera and shared your photos with us :)

  3. Great job, my husband and I have run in some similar conditions! Hills are the worst part of a snowy run and my calves always hurt after running in the snow.

    I love the photo of you jumping!

    1. Thanks! I like it too and immediately added it to my blog header :)

  4. The jumping photo is great! I had a hunch you ran outside. Hard core! :)