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Saturday, February 17, 2007

More fun in the snow!

As promised, here's what I did after my mini-vacation...

We had an 18 mile training run scheduled for today to train for the Clinton Trail Race, which I also thought would be a good training run for the North Pole Marathon if I end up at that (I should hear about that by Monday). We drove out to Allerton in a steadily falling snow (although nothing nearly as bad as Tuesday's blizzard), and were presented with the following on the trail
Looking out on the Allerton Schroth trail
That's roughly mid-calf deep snow, with a completely ungroomed trail when we started.
A view of the Allerton Schroth trail
The plan was to run 3 loops of the 6 mile trail. The depth and density of the snow disagreed strongly with us on that...

A little over 2 hours after the start, we finished the first loop of the course, and were pretty much done for the day at that point (the loop was described by the organizer, who ran >200 miles at this year's Across The Years, as "pretty damn tough...I don't think anyone considered a 2nd or 3rd loop"), and rather snow encrusted...
Post run icebergs on shoes
We stopped at the Red Wheel for breakfast afterwards, and I had my traditional post-run breakfast (The Shea-Stack - three buttermilk pancakes, no butter, with three eggs over-easy sandwiched in the pancakes)
The Shea-stack special

The wind had picked up a bit by the time we left the restaurant, and conditions on the road were not great on the way back home. About half way back to Champaign, the truck I was in decided that the day would be more exciting if we spun around a couple times on the highway, ending up in the middle of the median, pointing in the opposite direction to our intended travel, in snow deep enough that I had trouble getting my door open to get out. The other car of runners was a few minutes behind us, so they were able to stop and help us get dug/pushed out. The unpleasant (and somewhat amusing in retrospect) part was the fact that I was standing directly behind one of the back wheels pushing, which resulted in
  1. being repeatedly pelted with snow/ice in a very sensitive place
  2. looking like this by the time we were doneGrrr


Came home, took a hot bath, and now I'm resting up for tomorrow's cycling time trial

Update: Kathleen just pointed out that I left out how I felt about today's run (probably due to focusing on the epic nature, and my run-in with the snow goblins flinging snowballs at my crotch)...I had a blast - do I wish I'd gotten 18 miles in? Of course I do, but I had a great time on the run, and can't complain about it as training for the North Pole Marathon, that's for sure.

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