Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Around the Corner!...Really???

Another snowstorm is heading for us, here in northeastern PA.

I really wish someone would broil that wretched groundhog!

After a Super Bowl Sunday of excess, at the Ausherman farm (A diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, I finally experienced a Super Biowl victory with my favorite AFC team, the Ravens), my Monday and Tuesday workouts were sluggish. Yesterday, I logged 6 slow miles on the snow, in the mountain behuind my house. This is the mountain where anthracite coal was discovered by a logger, Necho Allen, in 1806, as he tried to extinguish a wood fire. Running on the snow is similar to running on a hard-packed sandy beach. Good for all the leg muscles, bad for an overall time. Even the slow miles, however, produce an elevated heart-rate, and despite a minor spill, a mere 1/4 mile from my home, on ice that was well-disguised under two inches of snow, it turned out to be a good workout.

Runners, especially those who, like me, prefer races of 10K or above, often fall into the routine of grinding out their miles at an even pace.

That's why we need the track!

Today, I jogged toward the local high school track, located exactly one mile from my home, hoping the snow had melted sufficiently to provide me with one lane for a couple of fast miles. Except for about 20 meters of snowy/icy patches, the crimson surface of the track offered a breath of spring on a day when the temperature hung in the low 30s, with a biting wind.

Winter track workouts are for maintenance purposes. A way of alerting stale muscles that faster workouts and races are to come.

After a 2-mile warmup, my sore legs responded slowly, producing a 6:28 mile. After an 800-meter jog, I was able to come back with a 6:19. Next month I plan on doing 4 to 6 mile repeats in preparation for the Boston Marathon, but on a cold February day, I'll take today's effort.

2 Miles warmdown gave me a 7-mile workout for the day. Depending on the storm, I have an 18-20 miler scheduled for Saturday.

Damn that groundhog!