I really wasn't expecting for today to be a first in my running career, but much to my surprise, this was my first run in snow. I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it.
I woke up at 6 AM this morning to meet up with the Landrunners for their OKC Memorial training run to get in my first long run since the White Rock marathon. Two months have passed and I was still a bit nervous about how my Achilles would hold up since I hadn't really tested it since then. I was hoping all the cross-training and light running had done it some good, but you never really know until you actually get out there and test it.
Several times this morning I tried to talk myself out of going to the run because it was dark, cold, and windy. After thinking about having the rest of the day to do what I wanted, I soldiered on and layered up for what I knew was going to be a very chilly run. Two pairs of tights, shorts, 2 shirts (long and short sleeve), Brooks Vapor Dry jacket, Brooks LSD thermal shell, Brooks Infiniti mesh hat, and my Brooks HVAC gloves and headband reassured me that I could make it through the run. I was WAY overdressed for the first part of my run, but as the snow began to fall I was really thankful I had properly layered. The north wind was howling, the snow was hitting my face, and it was exhilarating. I don't think I would enjoy running in the snow EVERY day, but it was actually quite nice. I think the fact that the roads were clear and the ground was warm enough to keep everything liquid made it a very nice run in the snow.
The downside of the morning was the fact that I was running a tad bit late and I pulled up just as the mass of runners hit the road. I didn't get a chance to get in a proper warm-up and rushed off to try and catch up with someone so I wasn't running the course alone. It took me about a 1/2 mile, but I finally caught up with a few people which allowed me to settle into a leisurely pace and enjoy the run. I definitely didn't want to push it today and the goal was to just go out, put in some decent mileage, and test out the Achilles. The great thing about running with the Landrunners group is that you always have a buddy on the course and you can count on a water stop every 3 miles or so. I hate carrying fluids with me on my runs so the water stops alone are worth getting up at 6 AM on the weekend.
The main group ran 16 miles today since they are training for the full marathon in OKC, but there were a few of us who were only doing the half marathon so we broke off from the main group and ran 7.3 miles. I ran with a fellow CHK'er the final 3 miles or so and found out she works in the same building as me. It was nice to chit-chat for a bit and meet another fellow runner from work. You can never have too many running friends in my opinion. They are the ones who drag you out of bed, push you to test your limits, and keep you motivated throughout the year.
All in all, it was a very successful Sunday run and I think the Achilles is going to hold up fairly well. I am definitely ready for a rest day and tomorrow's schedule calls for exactly that thing. I will enjoy the day off and attend the Landrunners meeting tomorrow evening. Thanks for keeping up and congrats to my friends who ran in Austin today. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Sunday, Feb 14th - 7.3 miles in 1:10:27 (9:39 pace)