The past few times I’ve been out running has seemed more like a cross-training adventure. Our first measureable snowfall in Chicago has produced sloppy, uneven surfaces that provide a fantastic core and ankle strengthening workout. Last Saturday’s run seriously felt like I was running on soft sand and left my hips screaming. I ran on Monday and Tuesday morning (5 miles each time) this week and I wore my Get-a-Grips both days and they did seem to help a bit – especially since the fine citizens of Chicago have (mostly) cleared their sidewalks but left just enough for the Get-a-Grips to dig in. I think it might be time to replace the spikes though – they seem to have worn down enough that they aren’t really digging in the way I’d like. I think there are about 6 spikes per shoe and I should have enough extra spikes to swap them all out. If you want to keep running outside through the winter you really have to have some sort of snow & ice overshoe to keep you upright and moving forward.
I’m running tonight at FF-Lincoln Square’s Chicks Night and I’m hoping to slog through 6 miles. It’s warmed up a bit so hopefully the packed snow and ice on the sidewalks and path will be mostly gone. I’m on track to hit 29 miles this week which will add a nice slug to theover-20 bank. I’m starting to think that the 1000 miles in 2013 goal might be selling myself short. Ragnar training has been going on now for a few weeks and the mileage is starting to ramp up and in a couple of months I’ll be running 30+ miles per week. I have to think that I could hit 1,300 miles.
Speaking of Ragnar training, in looking at the training schedule I am so not excited by the super-long runs. 18 miles does not make me jump with joy. There is a reason that I’m 99% sure I am part of the One and Done club with marathons and that reason is the grinding long, long runs. My feet were a mess with blisters between my toes and the onset of plantar fasciitis, I was getting strange aches in my hips and it seriously felt like I pulled a muscle in my uterus. My uterus. Is that even possible? I loved finishing and I’ll say it – I love being able to say that I have done a marathon. The training? Not so much. Half-marathons I absolutely love. I can do them anytime. Maybe not well, but I can step it up and finish in a time that I am at least not ashamed of. If I bother to train and lay off the pizza I’m pretty sure that I could go sub-2 again.
Gear Love: after soaking and then freezing my feet on Saturday in a pair of cotton-blend socks I ponyed up for a couple of pairs of Smartwool socks. Like all the Merino wool gear they were pricey – about $14/pair – but totally worth it. I wore a pair on Monday and my feet got wet in all the slush but the never got cold and that makes a HUGE difference. This past fall I was lucky enough to model in the Fleet Feet-Chicago Fashion Show and I was chosen to wear Icebreaker (and keep the gear I wore) and it’s engendered a complete love affair with Merino wool. Absolutely nothing keeps me warmer and more comfortable. Like I said – it’s an investment. At $100 for a half zip and $80 for a t-shirt (let’s not even get into the $250 for the jacket) I can’t deny that it’s pricey. But, if you can do it, wait for the post-season sales (Icebreaker has 30% off on a bunch of styles right now) and pick up a piece or two.