The roads were a mess after the overnight re-freeze. Lots of black ice, frozen slush, and even a few sections of runnable tar. Which meant that I waited a bit until I ran.
With 25*F temps, wind chills bringing it down to the teens, and overcast skies, meant that melting would be a slow process.
While I walked Bennie down-back, Mary did her run and was finishing up as we got home. She didn’t have anything good to say about the road conditions and said her run was a LOT slower than usual. Mary warned me not to fall down (she may have used other words). 😎
I wanted to wait a little longer to if it warmed up a little more. But I knew that if I waited too long, I might find all kinds of excuses to get out of running this morning. That procrastination thing that afflicts me every so often.
So I got up, changed into my cold weather running gear, walked down the driveway, and started running. I go slow when I first start running to let the body remember what it is supposed to be doing. But as I was running, I got to thinking about how inflexible/tight my body was feeling and how I was setting myself up for some kind of injury unnecessarily.
Sometimes, you forget how important the warm-up is to injury prevention. How I felt during that first mile this morning helped me remember all too well.
While running, it was all about focusing on where I was putting my feet. There was still a lot of black ice, and the frozen slush had been driven over and was slippery in a different way than the ice. The first and second miles were about figuring out where the icy spots were. Then what the safest lines were, through those bad sections and where the road was almost tar.
The hardest part of the run was during the turn-arounds. They seemed like I was coming close to a complete stop and then turning. I probably didn’t need to, but I am meechy about bouncing around on the tar either arse or face first.
For the rest of the run, I focused on staying upright, and I even thought about doing another lap. When it came down to it, I was more tired mentally than I was anything else. It is mentally draining to maintain that kind of focus for me for over 4.0 miles. So I stopped after the fourth lap.
Being able to hold my focus for longer periods of time is something that I need to work on.
The Meraki’s did an excellent job of keeping me upright and were comfortable even though the temps felt like they were in the teens. My feet weren’t cold, so the protection level was quite good.
What did I learn?
One thing that I am going to change is my pre-run routine after today. I have gotten lazy and gone away from any of the dynamic warm-ups that I had incorporated last Spring. All I want to do is get dressed and run. Which is not what I need to do and will bite me square in the arse at some point.
Even though this was not a fast run, it was still a challenging run that forced me to focus on what I was doing the entire time I was running this morning. This is something that I have had a problem with my whole running life and I am hoping that running outside all this winter will help me be able to focus longer during difficult parts of my runs.
Overall, kind of a get the run done kind of day. Nothing spectacular happened, no dog encounters, and no crazy drivers doing stoopid stuff. In other words, a decent day.
Yes, warm-up exercises are important. I tend to skip them too. 😋
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