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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Team Blue Mile Training in the Snow

Monon Trail
The forecast for our second training run last Saturday was for 2-4 inches of snow.  I was very nervous - not about running in the snow, but about driving to Blue Mile on snow-covered roads.  I've lived in Indiana for almost 22 years, and I don't think I'll ever get used to driving in the snow. 

I set my clothes out the night before, made sure my headphones were charged, and set my alarm a little bit earlier to allow for extra time.  Once I got up, I watched the news and checked my Facebook & Twitter feeds, trying to decide if I was going to be able to drive or not.  I was so nervous about it, that I forgot to post anything about middle sis Laura, who was running a 15.5 mile trail run that morning.  Sorry Laura!

Once I made the decision to go, I had to get out, clear the snow off Josh's car, move his car, pull mine out of the garage, then put his back in the driveway.  Again so nervous I forgot something - I forgot to close the garage door.  Sorry Kevin!

The roads were very snow-covered and slick.  I saw one accident in the lane right next to me, caused by a driver going way too fast.  I knew they weren't stopping till they hit something, and all I could do was sit at the red light and hope that what they hit wasn't me.  It almost made me turn around & go home, but I kept going.  I was a few minutes late - I walked into Blue Mile just as they were heading out for the run.

The plan called for 40 minutes or 4 miles.  I decided to go with 4 miles, which ended up taking me 56 minutes.  I'm a slow runner anyway, and the snow was slowing me down even more.  I was just wearing regular running shoes - no traction aids - so I kept my stride short and my feet under me to keep from slipping.  Once I got the stride down, though, I enjoyed the run.  It's so pretty along the Monon, and it's fun to see the other runners as they are heading back after the turn-around.  Running in the snow like that has a similar feel to running in sand, so I definitely got a good workout.

When I got back to Blue Mile, they had just started the info session on proper footwear & gear.  Andrew & Kevin gave us a lot of good tips.  Andrew said to dress for about 25 degrees warmer than air temperature when you run, but I have always gone by 10 degrees warmer.  He also said to try different layers out on short runs and figure out what works for you, so I am sticking with the 10 degrees.  I am someone who prefers to feel warm anyway, while I know a lot of people like to feel just a little cool.

Here's what I went with for this run: base layer is Nike Storm Fit, and the pants are Nike ThermaFit, while the shirt is Nike HyperWarm.  This shirt is awesome, because not only does it have the thumb cuffs like a lot of winter running gear does, but it actually has built-in mittens which fold over, keeping my hands nice & warm.  It also has a hood, which I have tried & don't like for running but is nice for standing around waiting pre- or post- race. I topped these layers with a down vest & knit hat, and I was completely comfortable during the run.

One of my favorite things I learned during the info session was that properly cared for running clothes can last 10 years or more.  Considering how expensive they can be, it's good to know I won't have to replace them all in a couple of years.

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