Back to It – December 20, 2021

My week off is over, so it is time to run again. 
Notice that I said running versus training. 
I have to admit that taking the week off was a lot of what I needed. I was tired, mentally and physically. Even though I had an excellent training block from June until the end of November, I was a little nicked up. The time off gave me a chance to step back from running and clear my head quite a bit, while the body recovered a lot as well.
As a result of all that thinking, I am stepping back in time to my old-fashioned Winter training mode and will see how it works out. My focus on running will be without the pressure to perform at progressively higher levels that go along with training. If I go to a race between now and the end of March, I go into it knowing that I am not in training and not racing. That I am there just to run the distance, work harder than I would on a typical day, and enjoy being around other runners.
Even so, I still intend to use a weekly routine to give my Winter running some structure. It won’t be all loosey-goosey without any idea of what I will be doing next. That would be a bit too free-form, even for me.

Today’s Run

Today was an off/rest day, but since I rested most of last week, I figured that an easy run this morning wouldn’t be a bad idea. 
The center of the road was pretty clear.
Walking Bennie first thing this morning in 5*F temps wasn’t too overly thrilling, but the roads were passable, although I had to keep focused. Since there was still a lot of ice and frozen salt/snow slurry to contend with. Those conditions improved to 14*F by the time I got out the door, so it was a bit chilly, but there wasn’t a breeze, so that was nice.
I also wanted to see how the Glycerins did in those conditions and how they worked with my thinner merino wool socks.
The first lap was getting loose and figuring out the safer lines to run on the road. It was a good thing there wasn’t a lot of traffic because while figuring out where to run was a little interesting at times. In a couple of spots, I was glad to get off the road entirely and run on the shoulder because the ice/snow didn’t want me to remain upright.
I did have to chuckle when one of the neighbors slowed down and gave me a bunch of grief for running when it was so cold out. He is a great guy, retired Air Force, and we pick on each other just a bit. I told him I was getting so old that I was reverting to being stoopid again. We both laughed. 
Then we bantered back and forth about the weather while I kept running. I usually stop, and we gab for 5-10 minutes, but I was dressed for running, not standing and chatting in 14*F weather. When I told him I wasn’t stopping to talk because it was too damned cold and that — even I wasn’t THAT stoopid. We both laughed again, said our see ya’s, and he drove off.
Lap number two, things were better because I knew where the icy spots were and was able to avoid them since there was so little traffic. I wasn’t too worried about running with my back to where they would be coming down the road for a little ways. There was enough ice and stuff on the road that I would definitely hear a vehicle crunching along the road behind me.
It is also somewhat surprising the amount of melting on the road while you are out running, even when the temps are in the teens – as long as the sun is shining. 
On the third lap, there were starting to be wet spots on the road, and the snow/salt slurry was unfreezing to being more of a mess. I did pick up the pace a little, but not too much, and focused more on enjoying being out there.
Well, as much as you can when the thermometer hasn’t reached 20*F yet.
The Glycerin’s did what I wanted and surprised me at how warm my feet felt even though it was pretty cold. While the grip wasn’t as good as the Catamounts would have been, they were better than I thought they would be for the conditions. I wouldn’t want to run super fast in the Glycerins, but that is not what they were designed for. 
Brooks Glycerin 19
So far, they are doing everything I want, and while they are not the latest and greatest super shoe, they seem to be a good daily trainer that I will be able to get many miles out of. The exact reason that I got them.
A good Winter’s day run.
Come with me now — the best is yet to be.

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