Even with the hectic schedule of the holidays, I've been able to squeeze in some decent training since I last checked in. Not great, but decent.
Last Tuesday, I figured that if I was going to race on my snowshoes, I should at least run hard on my snowshoes. So, I headed for the Highland Green golf course in the evening for a temp run. So, yeah, speed work in the dark on snowshoes. Not exactly a rational choice, but it went pretty well. There's a road crossing at 1.25 miles, so I figured that the other side of the road, 3.25 miles, was the right place for the tempo run. The pace was slower than I would have liked, but I'm not really sure what to expect on snowshoes. I know it's condition dependent, but I hope to repeat this work out again.
The only negative of the run was a broken snowshoe. When I finished the run I realized that the toe cleat on my right shoe had snapped somewhere. (Note: I took my shoes off for the road crossing.) I hadn't noticed while I was running, and I was pretty disappointed. Granted, the snowpack wasn't very deep or soft, but this was only my third run in my new Dions. But, this story has a really happy ending.
That evening, I emailed Dion Snowshoes with the story of my busted shoe. The next day, much to my surprise, I received a call from Bob Dion. We talked for about 10 minutes, and he was apologetic and eager to help. He also gave me some tips for snowshoe racing this winter. In a couple days, I had a replacement cleat, and one extra just in case it happens on the other shoe. Just awesome customer service. So, in short, buy some Dions.
The rest of the week saw a couple runs on the roads. The best was 5 miles with D. Her parents offered to watch the Little Lady, so we were able to head out together. It was great to be running together again. Hopefully, once the Little Lady has better neck control we can take her out in the B.O.B. together. (I need to figure out a way to get her to push.)
On Christmas Day, I squeezed in a quick three miles, emphasis on quick. It was a time crunch, so I ran a bit too fast. Same happened two days later, when I hit the treadmill at my parents' house. Between the time crunch and my pure hatred of the treadmill, I ran 3 miles in 21:00. Ooops. I had the data panel covered because I can't bear to watch the seconds tick away, and before I realized it I'd run 2.75 miles. At that point, I just finished it off. Perhaps the Killers weren't the best choice for the iPod.
The upshot of these two quick runs, and the lack of stretching afterward, was a very tight right hamstring. Not an injured right hamstring, but it was quite guitar-string-ish. I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed on Monday, and it didn't get any better after running 5 miles in the cold rain that evening. I took yesterday off, and it felt only slightly better today. Segue...
This afternoon, I took my tight hamstring to the Bike Path for a tempo run...on ice. I'm wicked smaht. Same workout from 2 weeks ago, but I'd hoped to go a touch faster. The strange thing is that it was mission accomplished under tougher conditions, but I would describe the workout as unspectacular. The ice was a factor. The entire bike path wasn't covered, but it was certainly prevalent...and sneaky. If it looked tacky, it wasn't. If it looked slick, well, it was. OK, maybe not sneaky, but definitely a nuisance. Luckily, no major slips. The first mile was 6:44, a touch frisky. The next half mile was fine, but I needed to slow dramatically at the turnaround because of ice. (Here's the math: The bike path in 5.5 miles long. I ran 1 mile easy, then 1.5 miles of the tempo to the 2.5 mile point. I turned around at that point to finish the remaining 2.5 miles back at the beginning.) Unbeknownst to me, a not insignificant wind had been at my back the entire time. Heading back into the wind was tough, and it showed in the pace. Final three miles: 6:55, 6:57, 6:59; total time 27:35. Like I said, unspectacular. The good news is my hamstring actually feels better tonight. We'll see how it goes during the 4:00am diaper change.
Speaking of diaper changes, marvel at the cuteness:
Along with the sporadic posting (see cuteness above), I've also been remiss in my 80's references. For this I apologize and offer this: While channel surfing this evening, I stumbled upon "One Hit Wonders: New Wave" on VH1 Classic, aka the greatest channel ever. They claimed that Devo is a one hit wonder. WHA? Blasphemy.
Speaking of Devo, check out the groovy Pandora widget I've added. Devo is prominently featured in my "Skipping Gym Class" station along with the Smiths, the Cure, Depeche Mode and other awesomeness. It will make you want to get stuffed in a locker.