Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Ice Age Cometh

Yup, it's that wonderful time of the year in Minnesota when everything is covered in ice. Sidewalks, trails, even grass are encased in recently thawed and refrozen snow. While the periodic thaws are much appreciated for their promise of Spring, the subsequent freezes which deem all running routes hazardous is not. Nonetheless, it's something we have to deal with each year and all you can do is just cope.

Speaking of ice, I had an interesting "adventure", if you will, regarding icy roads. Last Wednesday I drove out Black Dog Park where I run my hill repeats. The roads were pretty clear, with patches of ice here and there from the day's earlier thaw and then sudden freeze. Turning into the park the road looked well-plowed, with only a light dusting of snow cover. I went about my business, running repeats out of the park and up Territorial Drive. After a few reps, I noticed the descent into the lot was rather slippery in spots. Rather than risk a fall, since I nearly had almost every time I entered the lot, I cut the workout short after 10 repeats. Now begins the adventure......

I turn the car around and start making my way out of the lot. The first 25 yards are a gradual hill and I noticed the wheels starting to slip a bit. This did not bode well. Sure enough, by the time I hit the steep section I was stopped dead in my tracks, spinning my wheels in vain. I backed up several times and came at the steep section from both sides of the tee that lead to it with speed, but without success. My car was trapped in the Black Dog Park parking lot!!! CRAP!! Well, I gathered my stuff and headed for home, tacking on 3 miles to my workout (good thing I had decided to pull the plug early).

The City of Burnsville handled the situation extremely well. I e-mailed them what had happened and they promptly responded early the next morning stating they had notified the police not to ticket my car and would salt and sand the lot immediately. When I went to my car Thursday after work, I drove out with no problems. Thank you City of Burnsville!!!

My other icy adventure last week was on my long run at The Murph, which I did again with Molly Cochran. Despite the new snow that fell on Saturday, the trails were icy and very rough underneath. Molly was the smart one who wore snowshoes. Me, I tackled the treacherous trails with Yak Trax (big mistake). Actually, I don't own a pair of snowshoes, so I had no choice. Anyway, the Yak Trax helped okay when they stayed on, but I spent far too much time having to readjust them as they constantly slipped over my toe and on top of my shoes. I ditched them for the second loop and I ended up thrashing the heck out of my calves and feet from the constant slipping. On the positive side, I got one hell of a workout. Thanks to Molly for being my newfound running buddy!!

One final note, going with the "Ice Age" or "prehistoric" theme - I started the Paleo Diet last Saturday. So far, it's been going well. Of course, it's far too early to notice any significant effects, but at least I haven't had any negative ones thus far. I'm not going to be a "carb nazi" about the whole thing though and not be realistic about the whole thing and make life difficult and uncomfortable for my wife and son. But, so far, they've been supportive and understanding. I'll be sure to post more about how the new way of eating goes in the future.

Last week's training:

Monday: 10 miles on walks and trails
Wednesday: 10x hill repeats + 3 miles (10 miles total)
Sunday: 4:15:00 on icy trails at The Murph (about 17 or 18 miles guesstimate)

Completed week 3 of the 100 pushups challenge, which kicked my ass

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