Monday 2/21 (5.1mi, 47min, 9:15/mi) After 20 miles on Sunday I wanted to just put some easy miles in and circulate the blood in my legs. I ran down to Grass Lawn Park at lunch on a surprisingly sunny but very cold day to run around the track barefoot. I got there and remembered how cold I was last time I tried running barefoot so I left my DryMax socks on and ran in those. They're great minimalist footwear and were just warm enough. I ran 2 miles on the track and then headed back to work with my shoes on. It was a pretty slow run but with my aggressive long run schedule leading up to Chuckanut I'm treating almost all of my other runs as easy recovery so that my legs will be ready for the next weekend's long outing.
Wednesday 2/23 (6.6mi, 1h 4m, 9:44/mi) With a big snow storm in Western Washington I worked from home on Wed, Thu, and Fri. I made a point of treating them like normal work days and set an alarm to go run at lunch time. On Wednesday the snow was really dumping just before noon so I hurried to get dressed and got out for a run in the snow. It's rare that we get a good bit of snowfall in the area so I just had to get out and run in it. It was great running with big fluffy flakes falling (I grew up in San Diego where they don't have snow so this is novel to me) but hard to see when they were hitting my eyes. I should have worn glasses. It's also neat how the snow dampens the noises you normally hear and makes everything quieter. The hard snowfall only lasted about 20 minutes. I ran up the tunnel trail and out to Kopachuck State Park where I ran down to the main parking lot and then down the path to the beach. I stopped on the way down and ran on a few short hiking trails that were really hilly and muddy but eventually looped back to the path I was just on or to the parking lot. Some of the trails were muddy and technical enough to make them un-runnable. After playing at Kopachuck I headed back the way I came but took the long way around past the Arletta store instead of going back down the trail. Easy peasey.
Friday 2/25 (5.6mi, 51min, 9:08/mi) Again working from home I set a workout alarm for lunchtime. There wasn't any snow falling but the ground was covered from another couple of inches of snow that fell Thursday night. The roads were somewhat clear but very icy in spots. I tried to run on the shoulders and trails. I stuck to my normal 40 - 50 min time allowance that I do at work so I just ran up to the corner by Kopachuck and back the long way. Running *in* snow is much more fun than running *on* snow.
Sunday 2/27 (24.5mi, 3h 34m, 9:07/mi) For the second Sunday in a row I had a long progression run scheduled. No distance goal, only to be on my feet for 3.5 hrs or more. I didn't feel very good the last hour of my long run last Sunday so I didn't have big hopes for this weekend. On top of that the rest of the family is still sick and I swear the boy tries to cough in my mouth every time I'm holding him. Somehow I'm avoiding getting the cold.
Before I set out to run I did some active warmup exercises (leg swings, hip/trunk twists, lunges, and rolled my legs with "The Stick") Then set out in light rain and sub-40F temps. For the first time in a while I got the clothing choices exactly right. Nothing was cold or overheated. I barely thought about what I was wearing other than unzipping my jacket 1/2 way and back up a few times when running into the wind. I also got my nutrition right for a change. I went with my 2L Nathans bladder and put 4.5 scoops of HEED and 1 scoop of CarboPro in it for ~600 calories. On top of that I had a flask with 500 calories worth of my Perpetuem slurry mix in it. I accidentally made the slurry a little thinner than I usually do by adding some of the left over coffee from the morning after adding water to it. It didn't taste quite as good as usual but making it thinner made it much easier to eat.
I ran a big loop around the West side of Gig Harbor, starting by going past the Fox Island Bridge, heading out to the trails off of 70th ave for six 1KM laps to add a few miles to my day. I really like these trails. They were still snowy from the storm but not slippery at all. It's a great place to run, I just wish it was much longer. From there I headed down to Cromwell along the water where there was no shelter from the strong off-shore wind. I was lucky though as it was only a headwind when I was running down the big hill to get to the shore. I ran up the East side of Cromwell and down Wollochet up to Skansie ave and then 54th / Bujajich. This took me past the women's prison and the McCormick park trails that I ran last weekend. I stayed out of those trails and headed over to Sehmel park to run the trails through the park and down 86th ave where I stopped at the Shell station. I thought I was about out of water and bought another liter when it turned out that I still had enough left to get me home. From there I ran to past the Island View store and down Ray Nash drive and up to the Tunnel Trail, down it and back home. I had a couple of 10min miles but the rest were mostly sub-9's. I was feeling much better than last week's long run thankfully. It gives me great confidence going into Chuckanut in 3 weeks. I could have gone farther on today's legs.
I also decided to try a few new things for recovery after my run. I had a couple of TBSPs of Udo's Oil to see if the claims that Scott Jurek, Devon Crosby Helms, and Geoff Roes make about the product hold true for me in the least. I also had my first ice bath. I stayed in for 10 min at 51F. After googling, the interwebs recommended 10c - 12c (54F - 60F) but the cold water that comes out of the faucet was only 50F so I went with that. I added ice but not enough to affect the temperature. I barely lasted 10 minutes and I think that it helped my recovery other than the horrible Hamstring/Glute pain I'm still getting.