Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Day?

Thursday, before I even left work, Friday was called as a snow day. Here in Mississippi people to not understand the concept of a snow day. The magical quality of the snow day is the anticipation. You still had to get up early and start getting ready for school. You did get up just a little bit earlier so that if the day was yours you would not waste any of it! You turned on the radio or the television and watched the scrolling ticker, waiting with enormous anxiety for your school name to scroll across. None of this knowing you had the day off – what is that – that is a holiday weekend – not a snow day. Now I lived in Indiana for about a dozen years and all of the kids would watch this ticker scroll across the bottom of their televisions – I lived in ‘Vigo’ county at the very end of the alphabet. It was excruciating watching all of the Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Fountain, Gibbson, Green, Own, Parke, Putnam counties go by not to mention all of the private schools. It would take forever and then when the child’s school came up they would hope and pray for the day off. These days off were super rare – the most likely outcome was simply a two hour delay. Nice but no cigar.

Back to my snow day. The campus was shut down on Friday. I knew it in advance but I still could not take full advantage of it. I was already planning on running long on Saturday and the roads and trails would be too wet and cold for the bike. I just took it easy. I took care of some school work and rode the trainer. I did not leave the house at all on the snow day – there was no need.

There were three or four groups running on Saturday morning. I did not really have a plan I just wanted to go out and be sociable. I met Steve (the postman) and Keith at Jackson at 6:30AM. Steve only ran a few miles with us but Keith and I continued on towards Epley. Charles would be running towards us. Keith and I chatted along while running mid 8 minute miles. The distance accumulated quickly and by the time we got to Charles I was at about 8 miles. We turned back towards Jackson. The fresh snow was beautiful but due to the ground down south being so warm there was almost no ice or snow on the trace. It was perfect running conditions. We were able to watch the sun rise as we ran along. As we neared Jackson I broke away from the guys. I needed to head by the house to grab a few gels – I had simply run out of the house without planning ahead. These three miles were the fastest of the day – I dropped down to 7 minutes per mile while trying to sprint ahead and then catch back up with the crew. Keith had his 12 miles in back at Jackson and Charles and I continued towards campus. Charles was having some knee issues and the pace had slowed to right at 9 minutes per mile. We turned around just before campus and we were going to meet another group back at Jackson. At Jackson I started running with Kim. She is also trying to Boston Qualify in two weeks. I was at mile 10 at this point and we started running 8 minute miles. This was solid. It was not intentional and probably not smart but I had a great day of running. All said and done I racked up the longest training run ever with 24 miles @ 9 minutes per mile pace.

That night I went to a birthday party extravaganza with smoked brisket, homebrew and tons of desserts. I did not go completely nuts but I did partake. I was in bed prior to midnight – I was tired.

On Sunday I decided to jump into the group ride for the first time this year. It was raining just prior to leaving the house and I was hesitant. I am so glad that I persevered. It was a same group due to the temperature and the wet weather but I had a good time. I accumulated the most miles of the year at 42 (I have not ridden outside much this year) and did notice my lack of cycling fitness. It is very true – cycling helps running but running certainly does not do much for running. When the ride was over I jumped off of the bike and had a quick meal (quinoa and grilled chicken) then showered. Within 30 minutes we were headed for Beer Club. Back to back bad food and good beer is tough on the weight.

I guess do to the volume my weight is down this Monday morning!


Jennifer said...

Nice run on Saturday!! You are ready for NOLA... you are running it right?

Aimee said...

Wow...24 miles! That is awesome! Congrats on your great run! :)

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

24 running on sat and then 42 on sunday is pretty hardcore ... nice work!

Missy said...

The South is getting hammered - I'm not sure when kids are going back to school. All I know, I still have to go to work and it's really putting a crimp in my workouts. Blasted.