"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I guess I needed those spikes, after all...

I got up early Saturday to take the Metro out to Bethesda in the freezing rain, but when I was above ground in Maryland, it was snowing like a motherjammer. Jake had some field scoped out for a cross country workout and it turned out to be fantastic. Not because I had a great workout — I didn’t — but because it reminded me of Bandy Field in Richmond, which I never saw with that much snow on it, and with it put me in the cross country training mindset; because I had a good old savage beating to put me in my place and because I felt truly outmatched by the elements.
While I was home for Thanksgiving, I considered bringing spikes back with me, but I didn’t think I would need them any time soon. In the words of an Angry Alaskan I know, “wrong-o, wrong-o, wrong-o.” Running on a grassy/muddy field covered in snow in trainers was honestly one of the hardest things I have done for a long time in running. The workout was a rotation of one guy taking the lead and pushing the pace for between one and four minutes. I lasted all of about 90 seconds on the first interval, letting up with deep gasps from a body that was straining from the effort but more basically struggling to keep myself moving forward.
I went from being sure I could really push it and keep up with the pack if I chose to during the kilometers a few days before (on a snowless track) to having no chance whatsoever to keep up in the snow. Every time I tried to run with any intensity, I slipped. I gave up on the workout very early, to avoid discouraging myself, stepping in a hole and destroying and ankle in my haste, or tearing my hips apart. I ended up chasing the pack and trying to keep a moderate pace going and stay on my feet. Despite the difficulty, I liked the workout, because I doubt I’ll face footing that bad again. It was nice to get about 10 miles on soft grass, too. Then I napped for three hours.

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