Sunday, March 10, 2013

Winter's Back!

Saturday Workout: 4 miles, 11:34 average, Pace Gloves
Sunday Workout: 6 miles, 11:33 average, 3 miles in socks (treadmills are pretty brutal on bare skin), 3 miles in Pace Gloves

called it. Winter's back!

Ugh. Finally accepting that long hair really isn't my thing. I've been in denial because I'm lazy and like putting it in a pony tail when I don't shower. Might have to go for a drastic chop soon, though. I do it every year - hate my hair, cut it all off, love how it looks but decide the inability to put it up is too much to deal with, vow to grow it out... It's a never-ending cycle. Aren't you glad you read the picture caption so you can learn so many new and interesting things about me?!

Yesterday we were on our seventh-straight day of tropical weather, and then BAM! I wake up this morning and it's snow city. This is totally fine with me (I'm still trying to soak up as much snow as possible after two largely snow-free winters in New York), but it meant I took today's run inside. Pre-Hanson Jeano would have said, "Screw it! Outside run ahoy!" but now that I'm all serious and marathon training-y, I'm doing my best to avoid any more deep-snow runs (which are less "runs" and more "polar expeditions"), so I went for the treadmill. Thank you, thank you, no applause, please; just throw money.

I'd say my hate for treadmills is pretty well-documented, so I won't rehash it. I did what I could to ease the pain of what was sure to be a torturous run (mainly, getting Life and Times of Tim queued up on my laptop and attempting to open the nearest windows which, to my dismay, are painted shut), and it actually wasn't that bad. I don't know if it's that I'm stronger, or that I'm running more frequently, or that 6 miles isn't really any farther than I've been running every other day of the week, but it was more than manageable. Probably a combination of all three. Well, that and Life and Times of Tim. Hilarious show, if you're into that kind of humor (many aren't).

Because I'm obsessive and require some sort of data from each and every run, I wore a heart rate monitor for this. My average bpm was 151, which I'm more than happy with. I'm pretty sure it was a good 10 bpm faster than it would otherwise have been, due to treadmill panic (an undocumented disorder I just made up).


Like I said, yesterday was pretty "spring"-like. I went to the Coastal Trail! There were no ski races happening this week, so the run was a win from the get go.

The roads were disgustingly slushy, but the trails were perfect! 

[Side note: someday we'll talk about the fact that in Alaska, we don't get "spring;" we get "breakup season." Think slush. Everywhere. All the time. You would be extremely hard-pressed to find an Alaskan who names spring as their favorite season.]

I think all this boring neighborhood running is doing good things for my overall level of fitness. I really had to pull back the pace on this one. Every time my mind wandered, I would look back at my watch and realize I had sped up by, like, 30 seconds per mile. Whoops. It helps that the Coastal Trail is pancake-flat.


So we're done with week 5 of marathon training!

Mileage: 24
All runs 4-6 miles, all easy
5 days of running

And now we enter uncharted territory! By "we" I mean "me" and by "uncharted" I mean "six consecutive days of running." Six. Who am I? I'm not sure I'm the kind of person who runs six days a week. Whatever. I'll try anything once! Sell me a bridge!

My body's holding up really well. Shin pain seems to be a thing of the past, fortunately, and apart from some tightness in my left hip, everything feels A-OK.

Questions, questions, questions:

  • Do you get a pretty spring or a gross spring? Vermont (where I went for undergrad) has nothing on Alaska's breakup, but it can get pretty gross. Ditto New York.
  • How bad do things have to be before you resort to treadmill running? What do you do to make it tolerable? I say t.v. beats music, especially when you're in a windowless basement and have nothing to look at.
  • Anyone have tips on keeping short hair out of your face? I'm pretty sure I'm chopping it off but I'm already pissed off at not being able to put my hair in a full ponytail. I can't handle having any hair touching my skin while I run.


  1. Colorado trails are TERRIBLE in the spring. I totally get what you are saying. Where did you go to school in Vermont? I am heading there for a couple days next week and totally looking for suggestions of fun March-type things to do.

    I make the treadmill tolerable by changing the pace each half mile. I do a harder half mile, followed by an easy one. It keeps me more focused on the running task at hand.

    Finally, (I think this is the first time I have answered all the questions!), I always have kept my hair long precisely because I can throw it in a ponytail at any given moment it starts to annoy me. Yours is cute in that picture!

    1. Ahaha, thanks. It's hard to tell when it's covered in snow, but once my hair passes a certain length I seem to have eternal "triangle hair." Not a very flattering look.

      I was in Middlebury, roughly 35 miles south of Burlington. Where are you going to be? I'm afraid to admit my Vermont geography knowledge is pretty pathetic. I can totally tell you where the main bar in Middlebury is, but apart from that I'm not the greatest guide (Middlebury students don't leave campus very often). I will say that Burlington is a lovely, lovely place so if that's where you're going, you can't really go wrong no matter where you end up!

    2. Oh Middlebury is a good school! Don'tworry-I went to school in the middle of rural PA and the college was the nicest place around so we never left campus much, either :)
      We are staying in Stowe and plan to spend a day or so in Burlington. I have no idea what hiking conditions are going to be like or if it will even be possible, so we will just see when we get there!

    3. Phew, thanks for not making me feel bad about about never leaving. Whenever someone mentions somewhere in Vermont, I always get a "you know all about this place, right?" sort of look, and I usually just shift uncomfortably and change the subject. I guess a good excuse would be "I was way too busy studying to explore!" but really, it was more than my friends and I just didn't feel like leaving campus.

      I'm not totally sure what the weather's like there right now, but I imagine the hiking would be a little soggy. If not, and if you somehow find yourself in the Middlebury area, Snake Mountain is absolutely beautiful (at least, it is in the summer!). I liked it way more than the other places I hiked in Vermont. It's not the most challenging hike, but the views are pretty stellar.

      In Burlington, the obvious place to visit is Church Street, its version of Boulder's Pearl Street. Such a wonderful place! I'm not a huge fan of the East Coast at the moment, but Burlington is a place I would very gladly live. I'm so jealous you're going!

  2. Upstate NY (yes, Rochester. yes, U of R.) gets pretty gross spring, too. Well, we'd get like 6 nice spring-like days a year, but that was inbetween melting, grey, slushie, cold rain, freak April snowstorm, etc...

    I hate my hair in my face, too. I also hate the headachey pulling sensation of an elastic in my hair. Bobby pins worked pretty well for me, until I realized that people don't use them much because, if you aren't really careful, you can break your hair really easily.

    I, too, get caught in vicious hair cycles. I try to grow it out, get fed up with everything, and do a drastic chop. I'd just decided to grow out the front for a reverse bob...when we landed in Singapore. My hair here is neither straight, nor curly. It just gets a weird kink. Plus, it's freaky hot out here. So, my chop is scheduled for Wednesday. Can't get here soon enough.

    1. What a coincidence, my haircut's tomorrow (Tuesday for us Americans)! When I decide to do something, I kind of can't stop thinking about it until it's done. Once the thought of possibly cutting my hair entered my mind, the appointment pretty much scheduled itself!

  3. Your hair looks great!
    I really don't see how you run in such cold conditions. I am such a baby that this morning it was in the 30's so I hit the treadmill instead.

    1. You're too kind! It really doesn't look great, although it's hard to tell what it looks like at all when it's covered in snow! But I appreciate the kind words.

      I think running in colder temps is all about what you're used to. The fact that I get ridiculously hot when I run helps! Even when it's well below zero I'm always burning up after ten minutes or so.