Do You Wanna Eat a Snowman?

January 26, 2015 – 3×1 mile, 7:55/mi

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It wasn’t that bad.

I woke up to a flurry this morning.  By the time I went out to run this afternoon, the black asphalt was white.  And it had not even been more than 3 hours.

I did not run very fast, nor very hard, considering that the risk of landing in a pothole, slipping, or getting hit by a car had pretty much doubled.  I expected this.  Especially after being off the road for two days after experiencing a sprained ankle last Friday during an easy run.  Night running had never been my favorite time, especially since my vision is already impaired as it is…the lack of light makes seeing the streets even harder for me with or without contacts.  What was worse was the fact that I had never sprained my right ankle before.  It was a shock, considering that typically my left ankle is the one that is weak and tender.

The next morning the stiffness had spread.  I felt pain all along the tendons of my shins.  Enough to convince me that, especially since I don’t have a race for another 3 months, to just take it easy.  I reached out to Coach Pat that I would rest and see how my leg would be tomorrow.

As of this morning, I had missed two days in a row of running.  But today the stiffness is gone, with no ache.  It was pretty much the perfect day for me to go out and do my scheduled run–aside from the fact that it was, of course, snowing.  The solution for me to overcome the risk of faceplanting pavement was one that I had been anticipating since buying these suckers last winter:

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Winter is Coming? BRING IT.

Yes, YakTrax, which sounds rather obscene–like something somebody does after one too many shots of tequila, to the point that he’s no longer gotta yak, he’s gotta yaktrax all over himself.  When I had first seen these, I was rather skeptical.  They looked utterly ridiculous and clunky, and at the time I was sure that nobody in their right mind would wear these.  It was when the Polar Vortex struck, after almost two weeks of atrophying indoors, that the thought that maybe, just maybe, running for twenty minutes on the treadmill would not be a bad idea, that I realized that it was time to man up and make the purchase.

I had only worn them once before, and at the time it was for naught more than a little dusting.  Today, however, I was baller.  I ran through small snow, snow piles, frozen sheets, ice…nothing was a challenge.  I was an unstoppable machine, and a few observers along my route cheered me on as I pushed my way through stinging wind bursts of the ice dust.  Others, however, chose to stare at me in what looked like confusion–was this crazy bastard really running in the snow, or am I just going nuts?

Granted, I did not run my best.  On average I would say I was doing 8:00-8:30.  On a good day, this would be way less.  But I chose to take it easy and not aggravate any pain.  A slight sharpness struck my left arch around the final stretch of my last set, and so I eased on the brakes as soon as the mile ended.  The pain went away just as quickly, and although it was a disappointing run, at least I actually did run it.

Dehydration also struck me throughout the run–I had opted not to bring my handheld with me, figuring that there was water all over the place.  It was rather ingenious.  During my 7 minute rests I would gather a palmful of snow, pack it together, and take a mouthful and chomp into it.  Why hasn’t anybody marketed that towards runners?  Instead of choking yourself with water, you can munch a palmful instead.  It’d be a genius idea.

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I imagine that as I walked/jogged during these recoveries, throwing back a few chunks of snow onto my face and into my mouth, that I easily looked like Tony Montana when he threw his face into his cocaine mountains.

I hope everybody’s keeping warm and dry.  It’s only going to get rougher tomorrow, so I wish everyone the best.  Be safe.  Hopefully the weather will clear in time for Wednesday.

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