Change of pace….
I spent the week in Pennsylvania with my family for Christmas.
It was, interesting. Definitely troublesome for training, and currently as I sit in an airport waiting for my delayed flight….really tiring. My sister seems to feel that she can completely abandon parental duties when she arrives at my parents home. Her children are pretty much non-independent, So…I spent a great deal of time doing child care. Now. I like my nephews, and I like doing stuff with them…But…I don’t like the feeling of being dumped on by my sister. I think actually, my parents also feel this way, so next holiday, if the boys, who are fun and funny to be with…remain in need of constant interaction, we may have to stage an intervention. I know she needs a break, but what she doesn’t get is that the rest of us also are on vacation and need breaks from them as well.
That said. The oldest of the two nephews is going to be a runner. He’s 9. He is shaped like a runner, runs with a good natural form, is just OCD analytical enough to find running interesting, and he wants to do it. I took a walk with him and my BIL and let him use my Garmin. YES. He is hooked.
My family lives in rural Pennsylvania. It’s close to a university, so I thought for sure I’d be able to hit the pool and gym there. Well, they took advantage of the holiday break, and turned out the power to the University Gym so they could do some repairs. Boo!
The first day I arrived, for whatever reason, my parents discouraged me from any running. So I took a long walk with my Mom and called it a rest day. My injured left side was still hurting and well, I felt a little lazy and indulgent, plus it seemed cold.
It was 37 degrees F.
I only had 3 miles to do, so, I put on a variety of clothing and was handed a bright orange deer hunting hat, and I went for it.
Anyway as I was trotting along, I was struggling with the cold, and it was SUPER windy, gusts of 30-45 MPH. I did hear many guns popping off in the distance. So I realized that I needed the hat no matter what, If I wanted to stay alive. It was not the greatest of 3 mile runs. I ended up feeling winded, cold and not thrilled. Afterwards I got to do a variety of strength stuff in front of the wood stove. I also realized that I maybe had overdressed, since I didn’t know much about running in colder weather.
The Next day, It was colder, if that is even possible. 23 degrees F which is an impressive negative 5 Celcius. My sister and her family were arriving so I knew if I wanted a workout it had better be early. So I suited up…with less layers this time and pounded out 5 miles. I tooka slightly different route, which was filled with small Pennsylvania rollers. and I was able to run by the Conodiguinit Creek, which was close to flood level. I had forgotten my singular, so the combo of the very cold air and the wood smoke in the air- everyone heats with wood) really made asthma flare a tiny bit, but I actually found it rather enjoyable. It was a total country run, with the smell of bread baking, the ever present wood smoke, cows, buggies and horses, sheep, and a surprise flock of wild turkeys. I was glad for the Orange hat. Since the wind had died down, I had an amazing discovery. Running in the cold was not that bad. In fact, the crispness was pretty wonderful. I wasn’t too hot, nor too cold. I had a great 5 mile run. Here in the subtropical region, we always assume that anything under 40 is too cold, but this really was so enjoyable. I’d do it again.
I was able to go the next day to the YMCA with my Sister. I did realize that I am really spoiled by The National Training Center…the pool was 3 feet deep! Still. I was lucky to get a pool workout in! I was able to swim for about 50 minutes before my sister got bored and wanted to leave. As much as I had enjoyed the running, I needed a day off. I’d been sleeping in a variety of beds/couches/floors in the house, and been entertained by a variety of children/animals/relatives at odd hours…and some of my body parts were feeling really odd.
SO the swimming was great. Spent a good part of the afternoon, walking in fields with my Nephew and BIL. It was relaxing and we caught the beginning of the Christmas Snow storm. It snowed several inches and turned the entire world white…I love a white Christmas, so I was enchanted by the snow coming down. My Nephews and BIL were less impressed.
Christmas morning dawned early and very white and silent. We spent the morning doing the coffee, rolls and gifts. It was supposed to be a spartan Christmas, but in reality…it turned out to be a little more than we had anticipated. SO…as we finished up, I took advantage of the Children’s confusion to Sneak out for a run!
No one noticed I was gone and I was able to hit the 3 miles on the schedule. It was MAGIC! The snow was covering all the trees, the roads, and it was silent except for Cattle lowing and birdsong. I mean, it is the country…it’s never entirely quiet.
Today I witnessed another Snow Storm. Eeek and was lucky enough to get back to Florida only one hour later than planned- thanks Frontier Air…. (Really, they did great in the muck, I thought for sure it would be cancelled).
And hopefully tomorrow, I can get back on workout track.
So not the highest miles week, only remotely resembled the plan, definitely too many cookies….but…
Some important and interesting lessons about running in the cold learned! and Yep I am ready to try to hit it for the weekend and next week….I’ve got crazy Ragnar Miami to Keys coming up, but…before that, i want some solid workouts….