Saturday, January 27, 2018

Catch Up and Building Up

The rest of last weekend was spent spectating at sporting events. The first was Sam's swim meet on Saturday afternoon, during which she had a 3 second PR in the 25 free, which was pretty fun to see! Of course, she also didn't eat lunch and spent way too much energy having fun with her friends on the pool deck so by her last event of the day, the 25 back, she was so tired, she petered out halfway through the length of the pool and missed her best time by 5 seconds. 😂  Guess that is pretty much life in a nutshell 😉  But hey, she is having fun, so honestly that is all I care about.

1st time doing the fly! 

Sunday, we headed over to Bradbury for the first snowshoe race of the season. Conditions were good, there were almost a 100 racers, it was warm, and as always it was fun to see everyone and help out! Sam had fun roaming around and playing with Anna and Elise while I volunteered, and she and Elise built a really good snowman too!

Perfect snowman-making snow!

This week, the running goal is to hit 40+ miles. With Laurel Highlands in early June, training has begun and while I'm pretty happy with where I'm at at the moment, there is a lot of work to be done in the coming months. The past two weeks have seen me at 38+ and 39 miles, so fairly decent, but I really need to work my long run up from 12 and 14 miles 😂 😁  

I headed out Monday morning for a run in the Cathance. I knew from seeing conditions at Brad on Sunday that things should be fairly packed down as long as the trails had had some traffic, which I figured they would have gotten due to the nice weekend weather. Things were a bit soft over Mt. A. and along the golf course but once I got out into the Cathance proper, I was rewarded with pretty solid conditions, a bit glazed over due to just above freezing temps, but not bad. I could hear the river roaring, and came across lots of animal tracks in the snow, but other than that, it was just a dark run on the trails. I guess that's what I get for heading out at 5:30 am! Still, a good way to start the day and kick off the week! (7.0 miles)

Of course, then I turned around and didn't do anything on Tuesday due to crappy weather 😉 but hey, I reserve two days a week as rest days so Tuesday was just as good as any to take off!! 😃 I wasn't quite sure what I was going to find on Wednesday morning though, so when 5:30 am rolled around I set off in my screwshoes with no real plan and just meandered trying to find the best conditions. I ran up and over Mt. A., out on the road for a bit, turned around when I realized that the back road portion was literally an ice rink, and then headed back around the Heath. There was just the slightest hint of pre-dawn light as I ran past the Heath and by the time I had gotten back up and over Mt. A., I could see the sky lightening so I ran up the powerlines for a short ways to take in the view of the glow along the horizon. Conditions were icy and variable and uneven but it was a gorgeous morning and the ice and snow shimmered in my headlamp with some beautiful light at the end of the run. (5.3 miles)

Pre-dawn light along the Heath

Iced over branches

Glowing horizon

Thursday, I got a much needed massage from Lauren - all the uneven terrain and slipping and sliding have made my legs pretty tight! - and then on Friday morning I headed over to Bradbury for a run. It was chilly - 8 degrees when I started a little before 8:00 am - brrr! - but bright and sunny. The iced over trees were shimmering in the sunlight and the trails beneath my feet cracked and crinkled and it was quite noisy from all the fallen ice from the trees and the icy conditions. I ran up to the summit and then out along the Boundary. NEMBA had obviously been out "grooming" the trails with their strange ride-on bike grooming machine but although it created a nice even surface, it didn't really pack the trails, so there was still some undermined sketchy spots and some plain old glare ice in spots too. I felt kind of clunky out there this morning, and it wasn't fast going, but it sure was beautiful. I ran out on the Connector and across Lawrence up into the field, but found conditions not as good so I turned around, went up and wandered around the Tryon Quarry and then headed back into the park and back up to the summit again before returning to my car. It was nice morning meander. (7.2 miles)

Summit view

Blue skies

Sunlight out in the field

Iced over trees shimmering in the sunlight

Icy, noisy trail conditions but oh so beautiful!

This morning, I made up for not getting in my long run on Friday (which seems to be a theme the past few weeks!) and met up with Emma at 6:30 am over at Brad for 16 road miles. Ian had put together a nice loop for us starting at the park and since a portion of it was on dirt roads, we wore our screwshoes as a precaution for those sections. However, I would never have imagined those 6-7 miles literally being an ice rink! I didn't seem to matter which dirt road we were on, they were all the same. It was crazy. Packed smooth, rock hard, thick ice, with a bit of sand but not enough to really help us as runners. We put a lot of work into moving along on those roads. Wowsa! 

In between we had some nice running on the pavement and it was a beautiful, if chilly, morning with a wonderful sunrise seen through the trees and along the fields as we ran the quiet roads. We finished up with a mile out and back on the snowmobile trail to round things out to 16 ;) I definitely worked for those miles and my feet were feeling the pavement by the end, but it was great fun to chat away and spend a few hours with Emma as we cruised along. We finished up just as Xar and Val were about to head out for their run so we chatted for a bit before we all went our separate ways, and I managed to get home in time to shower and get something to eat before we headed up to the Y for Sam's swim meet. (16.1 miles)

Early morning sunrise

After the swim meet, we stopped for gelato, because everyone knows a swim meet and a long run deserve a treat ;)


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