Week 9/52 – Fun In The Snow

Well, I’ve had a great week of training, snow joke! The weather took a turn for the worse as we encountered the Beast From The East but I ploughed on regardless to complete all my sessions. I wasn’t going to flake out of any of them! I showed a lot of grit and determination to get to Parkrun on Saturday by running there and back. Now that I’ve completed my long run, I’m chilling out while writing this post. Friday’s antics were snow much fun.

Oh, come on! This kind of weather only happens every 7 or 8 years in Scotland so you’ve got to take advantage of it!

I think I’ll dig my way out of all those puns and tell you about my training this week.

My week in review:

Monday – Rest/Mobility

Tuesday – 4 miles

Wednesday – 1400m Swim

Thursday – 6 miles

Friday – Snow Angels, Snow Diving, Snow Climbing

Saturday – 2.1 miles run to Parkrun, Parkrun, 2.4 miles home

Sunday – 18 miles.s

Monday was the usual rest day with some flexibility work and floor-based resistance work – basically, I played around with some exercises which I prefer to do rather than the bog standard gym-based exercises (Squats etc) everyone else seems to do.

On Tuesday, I only had time for 4 miles as I had an early client to see and managed to get out before the start of the bad weather. When I say bad weather, we had way more snow than we’re normally used to and in the days that followed, everything ground to a halt. I finished at lunchtime on Wednesday due to the snowfall and the number of cancellations that followed and so I made the most of the time available and went for a swim. I was delighted to manage 1400 metres with a mix of strokes although my crawl is now better than my breaststroke so I must be doing something right!

Thursday’s form drills went out the window and so I followed my 4 mile route and added in a couple of loops just off the top end of the course to get up to 6 miles. It wasn’t fast but then the temptation to jump in fresh snow as well as stopping to take photos and get caught in snowdrifts and sleet made it that more ‘interesting’.

With Thursday’s workday ‘oot the windae’ as they say, Friday was much the same and that prompted a bit of fun. We went out for a walk, came across a stretch of untouched snow and so I couldn’t resist making a snow angel. Later, as we walked up the road, there were some kids sledging down the banking next the local pub and so I decided to dive down the banking before finishing off with some snow climbing in the back garden!

Sometimes life is way too serious and it’s good to let the kid in you come out and have a bit of fun 🙂

With the roads a bit tricky round our way, we decided to run down to Parkrun on Saturday then run home again afterwards. It was a bit of a challenge as we were faced with 2 laps of the North Inch and while that can be pretty fast, it certainly wasn’t with the snow. The path on one side, in front of Bells Sports Centre had been cleared and treated so it was a bit more slushy whereas the riverside was compact but with a few people having walked, and run, over it, the snow had become churned up and trick to get any kind of grip.

I chose to wear my Inov8 Mudclaws as I thought the grip on the sole would’ve been ideal on the compact snow, but it turns out they weren’t that great after all. The path, they were great on but the snow was tricky. I tried running in the untouched snow by the side of the path and they were marginally better but I wasn’t moving any quicker. I finished in 22:19 but time wasn’t ever going to be a consideration today compared to just taking part. The greatest respect though goes to the volunteers we had on duty who were brilliant despite the conditions!

The view before the start of Parkrun yesterday

Today’s long run was interesting. When the conditions are poor, any kind of run is good and pace is going to be nigh on impossible to maintain and so the only thing you can really focus on is to feel comfortable. With 7 miles in the bag from yesterday, I had thought of 10-12 miles max and so headed off on the route I’ve followed the last couple of Sundays and thought I’d figure out a route as I went along.

I got to the riverside path, 4 miles in, and thought of heading along the path to central Perth but bumped into Alicja and Nigel, a couple I know well from Perth Tri Club, got chatting to them and joined them on their run going the other way. I was only intending to head out for a mile or so but it was so good to run with them, chat about events, training and gin (all the normal things!) and before I knew it, we were heading back, past the spot I met them and back along the riverside.

Great running with Alicja and Nigel 🙂

From the point we went our separate ways, I checked my watch for the first time and saw I was on for around 17 miles and so followed the route I intended to take to get home, saw that I would likely end up with around 17.5 miles so did what everyone else would’ve done, ran on a few hundred yards further and turned back so I would finish on 18 miles.

I haven’t looked to see what my splits were from today’s run, don’t really care as they’re not important. The overriding feeling from today’s run was that meeting Alicja and Nigel, running with them turned a good run into a great one.

Sometimes you’ll have great runs where you’ll nail the pace and distance as you’d planned but what makes a run really special is sharing the experience with others regardless of whether the pace is fast or slow.

As the saying goes, don’t count the days, make the days count. How’s your training going? What makes a run truly special for you?

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