Saturday, January 26, 2013

Double Digits

Workout: 10 miles, 9:51 average - a new post-stress fracture PDR!

What the hell, weather?! She is indeed a fickle mistress. Remember yesterday? You know, a mere 24 hours ago? We were rockin' beautiful 20-degree weather. And now we've swung 35 degrees in the opposite direction. Balls. But since I'm such an asshole about people whining about how cold it is (just put on more layers!), I wasn't about to stay inside.

Cold days make for beautiful, sunny views

I didn't want to start with this because it's ugly, but there you have it - 15 below

This run was seriously fantastic. I don't know what it was (the absence of my dog, perhaps? Colder temps? My choice of shoe?), but it felt almost effortless. And no shin pain! I think I've decided that my ideal running surface is well-packed snow. It was interesting that no pesky skiers were out, but the runners were out in droves. Seems somebody wimped out.

Things got off to a promising start when I set off in some shoes I haven't worn in a while. 

Click here to see these babies in action!

People who are new around here may not know about my penchant for odd footwear. It's cool, you can make fun of me (my friends have definitely laid it on pretty thick. In their defense, I used to prance around New York City happy hours in my smelly "toe shoes"), but I figure that if it's working better than regular shoes ever did, I'll stick with it for now. These particular shoes were deemed "elf shoes" by a friend of mine. I'd say it's a fitting description.

Anyway, I haven't been able to wear these shoes much this winter because they aren't good on snow unless it's completely packed down. Sheer ice isn't really their specialty, and that's mostly what we've had lately. Instead, I've had to settle for another pair of shoes I can fit tiny Yaktrax on, a pair that actually made an appearance during the second half of today's run (sans Yaktrax).

Picture this, only minus the broken Yaktrak

My elf shoes felt so great on my feet today. There is a ton of room for my foot and toes to move around compared to the more constricting fit of my Merrells, which I believe is largely responsible for the weird pain I was experiencing a while ago (multiple layers of socks + tight Yaktrax = not a lot of wiggle room). I am definitely going to try to wear these more often (terrain willing).

I really wanted to wear the elf shoes for the entirety of the run, but since I haven't run much in them recently I decided to change shoes after 5 miles in the name of "being cautious." This turned out to be a wise plan since I had a mild "water freakout" after the first few miles so was able to take in a couple of sips before continuing on.

This is just another example of me being overly dramatic, but when one runs without music (which I did! Longest music-free run ever, I do believe) one thinks a lot of strange thoughts. I noticed that my breathing sped up a bit a couple miles in (although come to think of it, maybe it was THE HILL I had just run up?), and then I started thinking about all the Everest documentaries I've watched (yes, that's documentaries plural, and plural many times over) where it's cold and they're constantly dehydrated. Because obviously running ten miles at sea level is the equivalent of summiting the tallest mountain in the world with little to no oxygen and wearing a million pounds of gear. I became fixated on the idea that I needed water because of the cooler temps, so back to the car it was. After a picture, of course. Pictures come before health.

This is not meant to be artistic. I just couldn't figure out how to zoom past the links.

I was kind of ready to be pissed off at wearing my Merrells again (I love them, I swear, but not when I have to wear more than one pair of socks), but they weren't that bad and I actually felt as though I sped up some once I put them on. My splits would seem to agree.

I finished the run feeling fast and strong ("I am woman, hear me roar" and all that) and treated myself to a delightful Subway sandwich. Some people go for _______ [insert high society food here] and others go for Subway. To each her own. I really wish my favorite bagel place on 16th-ish and 1st in Manhattan (the horror, I've forgotten its name!) was nearby so I could eat a salt bagel with scallion cream cheese. I guess it was a reasonable price to pay to get out of there, though. For now, Subway is my new post-LR treat.

So what did I wear to brave the colder temps? Here it is, a typical Jeano cold-weather outfit. And by typical, I mean only. I wear that jacket thing constantly. Somebody buy me a new one.

Those stout legs are wearing three pairs of spandex/long johns.

And just to gross you out, here's proof that you can indeed sweat (a lot!) when it's 15 below zero.

I spared you an enlargement of this one

And with that, I'm going to shut down so I can watch the end of Melancholia. If you haven't seen it, it will BLOW YOUR MIND.

Oh yeah, we do the question thing  now! Here we go:

  • Do you run with music? What's your jam?
  • Do you drink a lot when you run? We're talking water here, but if your answer's vodka I won't judge.
  • I hear the rest of the country (the Lower 48, if you will) is getting hit with some pretty cold weather right now. How are things where you are?
  • Do you have any bizarre shoes? Show me I'm not alone!
  • Do you ever switch shoes mid-run?
  • Tell me everything.


  1. Brrrrr!! It's not THAT cold here - I think it was about 30 degree for my run. I actually really enjoy cold weather running, especially compared to hot weather running! I had fivefingers, the merrell gloves, and the New Balance Trail Miniumus for a while. I really loved them both (especially the five fingers), but they gave me SUCH HORRIBLE blisters and I never found a way to prevent it. I'm sure it's not the shoes' fault, I just have horrible feet. I was really sad to finally give up on them, but I finally found a minimalist (not barefoot) shoe that works for me - the Brooks Pure line. They have a lot more cushion (so not barefoot), but have the minimal toe-heel drop of just 0-4mm depending on the shoe.

    Congrats on the 10 miles and the post injury PDR!!! I set out today with no goal (distance or pace) in mind and squeezed out 7 miles. I did a loop of all the monuments in DC and it just snowed and all of the reflecting pools were frozen so it was really pretty. Not as pretty as your mountains, though..I am having serious mountain withdrawals.

    1. No way, a fellow minimalist-ish-er! We seem to be few and far between. So the Brooks Pure line really is as good as everyone says? I'm always skeptical when a product is forced on me so hard by various blogs. I'd actually really like to try a zero-drop but more padded shoe in the near future, just to see what it's like. Maybe I'll give Brooks a shot!

      When I lived in New York I used to go to DC every once in a while and I got a few runs in around the monuments. There seemed to be construction going on every time I was there so I never saw any water in the pools, which was lame, but the Smithsonian and the Capitol Building are pretty awesome. I was also sort of thrown off by the strangely-colored pebbles many of the paths are covered in...

      I creepily noticed that you used to live in Colorado-that's kind of my first choice state for grad school! The mountains are indeed pretty awesome there. I kind of limited my school choices to "states that put me within driving distance of mountains," because that's obviously more important than the actual program, right? (No, I didn't actually mean that)

    2. Where did you apply (you don't have to tell me if you don't want to jinx it or something)? I grew up there and moved away for undergrad (Virginia - ick) and then moved back for my masters degree. I went to the University of Denver, but I grew up in Fort Collins which is where Colorado State University is and I spent my fair share of nights in Boulder at the University of Colorado Boulder because that's where my boyfriend went - ha. What are you hoping to study? And no..I chose my masters program because it was in Colorado...absolutely no shame in that. I'm hoping to get to be a stay at home wife/yoga instructor so we can move back someday and I can just hike and play in the mountains all day, ha.

      Definitely try the Brooks if you get a chance. Try to get them from REI - they have a 100% return policy so if you don't like them (even after running 50+ miles in them) you can return them and get a full refund. I actually got both of my pairs at REI garage sales, which is where they basically resell all the stuff that people returned after using it for said 50+ miles for super cheap.

  2. I run to music, although when I see shady people on the trail I'll take out one headphone so that I can hear them if they're creeping up on me. I'm not paranoid or anything...
    I don't run long enough distances to need to hydrate during a run. Typically I'll gulp some down before I head out and I'm good. I'm working up to half-marathon distance though, so I'll need to figure out how to hydrate during my training. I'm intrigued by those bottles that are kind of like plastic bags that you can roll up and you don't need a belt or a fancy holder for.
    The weather in Kentucky has definitely been weird. Yesterday the snow was falling and today it's about 50F. It'll probably be -2 tomorrow. And I'm from Chicago so I'm used to snow, but they cancel school down here for the POSSIBILITY of a snow storm. It's kind of comical.
    Sadly I have no bizarre shoes. I have a million pairs that have less than 100 miles on them (I'm guessing) because I keep thinking I need new ones and need to try new styles. It's kind of obnoxious.

    1. Huh, I've never heard of the "plastic bag" bottles. I'll have to keep an eye out for them. When I was living/training in New York it was so hot (for me) that I had to have water for anything over three miles (seriously). I have a handheld bottle that worked really well but when it's cold out I think the water will either freeze or make my hand incredibly cold (or both!). I'm hoping I can hold off on needing water for a run until it gets a bit warmer out.

      What's up with the weather this year? It seems to be swinging back and forth (temperature-wise) all over the place!

    2. This isn't the exact one that I heard about but it's the same idea:

    3. I have some of those (platypus brand) that I use for hiking all the time. I never actually thought of using them running. That would be clever, though. They are really light weight.