Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Daddy, I need to go do my run now."

When I got back from my run yesterday, my 3 year old son, Derek, first excitedly showed me the two snowmen (correct that...snowpirates) he had just built with my wife. The one on the right with the red bandanna, the cutlass, the eye patch, and the hook, was the captain. The one on the left with the black bandanna was his first mate. Between them was a pile of snow and a shovel, where they'd just dug for treasure, of course.

But then he quickly shifted gears and announced, "I need to go do my run now." Off he went to put on his shoes. Not just any shoes. These were the ones he refers to as his "fast shoes". This was serious. I thought he was going to do a few laps down the hall and through the living room, but he headed for the door to the garage. He opened the door, not having bothered to put on a coat, and asked one of us to put up the garage door. Seeing now he was intent on heading outdoors, we put on his coat and sent him on his way. Since the road in front of the house was solid ice, we suggested he stick to the driveway, and with that he was gone.

We hustled to the window to spectate, and watched in amusement for the next several minutes as Derek ran laps around my car in the driveway. He'd jog down the sidewalk, up onto the front porch, back down the sidewalk, around the car, over and over. When I saw him peeking into the garage, I opened the door thinking he was done, but he just said, "I'm not done yet.", and turned to do a few more laps.

When he finally decided he'd done enough, he came inside and I offered him a cup of water to rehydrate. He showed me his muscles so I could see how they were getting bigger and stronger. I drank a glass of milk and ate a banana, telling Derek how I needed to refuel. He told me how his throat "hurt" while he was running, and we talked about how breathing hard in the cold air can cause a burning sensation in your throat and lungs while your body adapts to the conditions.

Just two runners, talking runner talk. :-)

-Steve

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Winter's Not Always So Bad

This winter I've run in sub-zero wind chills, several times. I've run in snowstorms. I've run in several inches of fresh powder. I've run in snowshoes. I've run on a slush covered frozen lake. I've run through skin-stinging icy snow blasting at me sideways. I've run with sheet metal screws in the soles of my shoes for traction. I've run on solid ice. And, a few times when I just couldn't bring myself to face the cold in the dark of the early morning hours, I've run on (shudder) a treadmill. Enough with the character builders already.

But, today, I actually had one of those runs that makes winter seem not so bad after all. Yep, it was on snow, and it was still undeniably winter. But, the sun was shining. The wind wasn't blowing. It was a very tolerable 30 degrees, or so. And, the several inches of snow on the trails was packed just enough that the footing was not half bad. All things considered, it was a good day.

This was my second time trying out my latest traction gadgets, Kahtoola Microspikes, and they worked like a charm. I was never at a want for traction today. They're certainly no replacement for snowshoes, so the snow needs to be relatively packed down for Microspikes to work well. But, today was perfect for them.

I covered 23 miles on the snow today, 3 hours and 45 minutes worth. In fact, I believe this was actually my longest training run ever, outside of races. And, on snow covered trails to boot. It was a good day.

All that said...I'm pretty much ready for spring now :-)

-Steve