Training for my first half marathon officially began this week, and it coincided with our first snowstorm of the year. Here in Arkansas, we are experiencing sub-zero windchills and more snow than we know what to do with. I worked from home yesterday because I can get much more done that way, but today I didn't have another choice. Roads were icy and slick, and since I already had my laptop at home, there was no reason to risk driving to the office. But after two full days of being here with two whiny dogs who don't want to stay inside but don't want to go out in the cold either, I was going stir CRAZY, and I went for my first snowy run.
Since I was home in the middle of the day, I was able to run in the daylight, which is a novelty lately, and even though it was wicked cold, the sun was shining bright and melting the snow a little bit. When I left, it was 19 degrees with a windchill of NINE. I bundled up in my warmest running clothes - two pairs of socks, the best pants on earth - Nike dri-fit thermals, a toboggan covered with a fleece headband, my super warm running jacket from Target and one of Trea's Buffs. So what if I couldn't move my head? At least it was warm.
As soon as I stepped outside, I realized the roads were worse than I thought, and I immediately began to worry about slipping and falling. But according to Hal, I had 3 miles to run, and I was too afraid to try driving to the gym. I walked very carefully around my neighborhood until I found a dry stretch of road that was in direct sunlight. It was only about 0.15 miles of snow/ice-free surface, so I just ran back and forth until I got my 3 miles in. And it was mostly a hill, so...bonus points for hill training. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was crazy running back and forth up the same stretch of road, but everywhere that was shaded by trees was covered in snow and ice.
My weather.com app did a great job of terrifying me of the risks of frostbite, which is why I opted for the Buff. It actually worked pretty well at keeping my face warm - until it froze from the steam from my breath. And then it was like wearing a big fat ice necklace. Thank goodness I didn't have to go more than 3 miles!
I haven't been running much the last month or so because of a minor knee injury, so my weekly mileage has been crazy low. One of the most important rules of running, I'm told, is to increase mileage by only 10% each week to avoid injury. So because I've only been logging about 5-6 miles a week, I can't just dive right into my training as I'd hoped. Hal's plan calls for 12 miles in the first week, which would more than double my mileage. Not smart to do this probably, so I ran/walked the last mile today, and I'll be hitting the gym more frequently these first couple of weeks for some elliptical action and stationary bike training. According to Coach Pink Girl, this will give me the cardio, leg work and mileage without pounding my knees.
My snowy run wasn't ideal. It wasn't comfortable. My pace was ridiculous because I walked so much to keep from slipping on ice. But I felt so good for getting out there and sticking to my plan. So bring it on, Old Man Winter. I have 81 days to train, and it's gonna take more than a little wintry mix to slow me down.