Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ice Running, Coming to a Trail Near You

Whether you are experiencing it now, or in a few weeks when spring is just around the corner, anyone living in a climate that receives some amount of snow/ice is going to deal with it. You think to yourself, its MUCH warmer today than it has been in nearly a month (35 days to be exact), maybe I should go for a run outside. I mean, 41 degrees feels like a sauna compared to the temperatures we've had in the 20s for the past few weeks. Seriously, who chooses to run on the treadmill once the weather warms up?

Because I am sick of running on the treadmill and starring at the clock as the seconds tick by, I decided that today would be the day to start running outside. The weather is warmer, the birds are chirping now that spring is just around the corner, and I CAN EVEN WEAR SHORTS OUTSIDE. One small detail missing....oh yea....forgot about the snow/ice/slush factor. Oops, guess I went outside a bit too early. Nothing like running some rolling hills covered in ice, huh? It felt as if I was clawing my way to the top of some of the hills. It was like the difference of swimming with your hands clenched in a fist versus keeping it open as a paddle. What a BIG difference a little traction makes! Once I finally found some pavement, my pace would increase significantly, too bad there wasn't much pavement to be found.

So, it was probably not the best day to take precious outside for her first run, but i was too far into my run before I encountered the snow/ice/slush factor on the running/biking trail. At first, precious was shocked by the cooler outside temperatures and told me my heart rate was way high, but after a minute or so, she understood that the weather will not always be perfectly warm like it is in the gym and she calmed down to my typical heart rate. In total, I got in a quick 5 miles in 40 minutes. Obsessed with the ability of precious to track pace, I decided to push myself for periods to see how my heart rate would be affected by bursts of higher intensity. Despite my feeling that I was working harder during the higher intensity intervals, my heart rate remained within 5-10 beats per minute when I would increase my pace. I learned an important lesson today, aside from not to run on ice. I have some flexibility to increase my intensity/pace without significantly increasing my heart rate. So I'll continue to use precious to teach me how far I can push my pace without affecting my heart rate. (Psst - Don't tell her that I am "using" her)

1 comment:

Steph said...

Hey there,

Great blog (though I can't remember how I found it...). Be careful out there on the ice. Hopefully we'll get one more good rain to melt the last of that stuff.

Sometimes it's really fun to run in the slush-filled gutters, mud, and wetness--provided the deadly ice is gone!

Good luck with the heart rate training/pacing.

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