Snowy mile repeats (6:09, 6:02, 6:00, 5:57)

Today marked the first snow of the year!  We had a workout on the schedule, but I’ve learned that the weather doesn’t care what your running plans are. 😉  The first flurries began to fall around 7 am and got progressively heavier as the day progressed.

My friend and I met up around 10:30 for our workout and ran three miles to the track to warm up.  It was 20 degrees outside with a “real feel” of eight.  To these Virginians, that was like the arctic tundra! (I’m sure all the Midwesterners/Northerners out there are laughing at us, but so be it.)

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Sorry, my phone’s in Spanish, but I wasn’t lying about the eight degrees thing

I layered up in tights, a long-sleeve tech shirt, an ear warmer, a sweatshirt, and light gloves.  My tightly tied sweatshirt hood did not leave my head the entire time, and my extremities quickly lost all feeling…

Keeping it real— honestly, neither my running buddy nor I were in the mood to do this workout.  The weather didn’t help.  I had a long day yesterday and actually fell asleep at 7:30 pm last night and woke up terribly disoriented two hours later.  I was groggy and exhausted this morning and my piriformis was hurting a lot and I almost called my coach and asked if I could please not do today’s workout.  We’ve both been working pretty much full-time throughout this entire break, and we sometimes feel burnt out.  5 am solo runs get old real quick.

But!!  Knowing that I had a running buddy counting on me forced me to get out the door.  And it’s not like this workout was optional.  We got to the track, and there were only a few other crazy souls out there braving the elements.  We did drills, and then it was time for the workout: 4-5 x mile with 2 minutes of recovery.  We agreed to start conservatively, get through 4 miles, and only do the fifth one if we were feeling amazing and if the weather cooperated.

The track got treacherous quickly as we went through the workout.  The first two miles flew by with relative ease (6:09 and 6:02).  My partner struggled to stay positive; the snow had picked up to the point where we couldn’t see anything, and the track was getting more and more slippery.  My eyebrows and clothes froze.

We hit 6:00 flat for the third mile, and I was feeling great!  Compared to the very short recovery in the past few workouts, two minutes was a luxury.  The last mile was a 5:57, and we called it a day because of the conditions on the track.  I finished the workout feeling counterintuitively cheerful.  It was eight degrees, blizzarding, and by all accounts miserable outside, but I had just crushed a workout that I really hadn’t wanted to do!  The effort had been comparatively conservative, too!

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The cool down was probably harder than the workout as the sidewalks had become un-runable over the past hour.  It took us awhile to get back.  But warming up inside afterwards was that much better. 🙂  I literally had icicles hanging from my eyelashes!!

Of course there will be some days where running just sucks.  It’s the nature of the beast.  But most of the time, you feel drastically better after a run or workout than before!  Getting out there is honestly the hardest part.  I’m so thankful that I had a running buddy to brave the snow and crush the track workout with me today– without each other, we probably would’ve either laid in bed or cried through some repeats on the treadmill.

And afterwards, I got together with two of my best friends from high school before one of them leaves to go back to school tomorrow.  We intended to play Scrabble and Bananagrams and do yoga, but we ended up just sitting and talking for two and a half hours!  Why does that always happen?? 😉

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