6 months ago, we never would have done this

It’s been three weeks since 26.2 and there are six weeks until the Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon. We, Mary and I, signed up for this one not too long ago. We both like DC and we both wanted a race on our schedule for after the marathon. This fit the bill.

Who is Mary? You’ll hear about her a lot. We’ve been friends since middle school, we run together and usually when I have a hare-brained scheme, she’s involved. (Our husbands are probably not overjoyed by our friendship). Anyway. We did most of our long runs together when training for Disney and now we do our long runs together training for DC.

Since we aren’t starting from scratch this time, we played the last few weeks by ear. We skipped running completely the week after the full (we deserved it) and did an easy 5 miles last weekend. Then during the week we decided to find a regular 12 week plan and do the last six weeks. We decided to use the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan (found here) which had us doing 9 miles this morning. We looked at the course map for DC and saw that there is a nasty hill at mile 5 so we wanted to include some hill training. And, since we would like to improve our times a little; we switched our run/walk from 2/1 to 3/1.

I met Mary at her house and it was a brisk 25 degrees and it snowed a few days this week so we decided that the condition of the roads/trails we would decide how far to go.

This was a new trail and it is beautiful.

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Seriously. When you think of New Jersey, you don’t usually think of this. (It’s one of my favorite parts of running, discovering how beautiful my state is. )

The trail was VERY hilly and some parts were very icy. We decided that we would take it slow and see how it went. One of the first hills we came to was pretty steep. We huffed and puffed our way up it and didn’t stop until we got to the top. We were about 2 miles in and we worked for that hill. And that’s when Mary said “you know, six months ago we never would have done that” and she’s right. Six months ago we would have looked at the hill and walked or started to run up and then stopped half way up. We struggle with hills (who doesn’t?) so it was nice to see some improvement.

We kept going, and Mary dropped her vest off because she was getting warm and eventually we’d turn around and pick it up. Unfortunately, her phone was in the pocket and that messed up our map my run. Oh well. As we ran up and up those hills we ended up on a reasonably busy street. We decided that at 3.5 miles we’d turn around. At this point I started to struggle a little. For 6 months we did a 2/1. My body knows when those two minutes are up and the last half of this run was hard. I need to re train my body to realize that 3 minutes is when I stop.

Going down a hill that was covered in ice was fun, but slow because we aren’t trying to kill ourselves.

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There was another woman running on that ice. She said she put screws in her shoes. Not sure how that works out, but it might be something to think about. All in all, it was a nice run. I don’t even feel like I cheated myself for not doing a full 9 miles.

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Here are our stats. Not a horrible time for 7 miles of icy hills. And the elevation came out funky when Mary left her phone in her jacket pocket, but you can see how high we were at that point. We kept going up for another or so too.

I have no idea what the plan calls for next week. I should probably look.

question of the day! What do you do in wintery weather for your running?

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