It was Superbowl Sunday. We spent our early morning standing in the 10 degree weather handing out water to runners at the Superbowl 5k…..runners who, for the most part it turns out, didn’t actually want our water that was quickly turning into ice in the cups….our plan was to get our run in after our assigned water station duties, we even had our tights on under our snow pants….but sometimes the best laid plans….. with frozen fingers I voted for Panera soup instead and a nap before tackling the run later in the day.
So, the prescribed run, a warm up and then 5 x 1 mile intervals at some scarily fast sounding pace, followed by a warmdown was somewhat delayed. After the nap, and the regaining of proper core body temperatures I decided that I couldn’t face 10 miles on a treadmill, so I headed out in the falling snow.
As I neared the end of the warm up and prepared to pick it up the snow was getting heavier. Big fat snowflakes, the kind that go right into your eye as you run into them. So I decided to use perceived exertion and not even lock at my watch during the repeats. After all, when the footing is slick, if not slippery, and the snowflakes are blowing in your face, it seems to be only adding insult to injury to be disappointed when the Garmin pace doesn’t match what the training plan called for! This took me some time to get used to, but having an idea of perceived exertion has really helped me to keep me going when the Garmin goes a little whacko (ahemmmm….Chicago Marathon….ahhemmm), runs out of battery or the conditions are just not ideal (wind, hills, wet, slippery.) So, this is what I relied upon with the snow in my face making laps around a neighborhood where a large section of my route was on a road ironically – or maybe appropriately named Snow Ave!
As I was finishing up my 4th 1 mile repeat – giving it all I had – many of those around me were packing up to head to watch the Superbowl or arriving at there Superbowl destinations. They were probably wondering why this crazy woman was running in circles, in a blizzard, layered up instead of eating a 7 layer dip somewhere. The answer is my mantra for this week….and maybe all that is keeping me going through this blizzard season! “A strong spring is earned in the Winter.” And boy, are we earning it right now!