Friday, January 16, 2015

At least I'm well insulated

I told myself I wasn't going to stray as far from race weight this year.

Apparently, despite reduced Christmas baking and some half-hearted efforts at avoiding over-indulgence during the holidays, I lied.

Nonetheless, I will sally forth into the woods tomorrow to see exactly how difficult it is to haul my big fat ass around for 3 hours. That's right, it's Frosty Trail time once more!

I've been carbo loading for a full month.

As always, the goal is to get in more than a half marathon (21.1km / 13.1mi). While I may be much chubbier than I'd prefer, at least for once I'm not actually injured! No freshly broken toe like last year, no lingering hamstring injury like 2013, and despite some really horrifically cold and nasty conditions I've managed 3 weeks of 50+km of run training since mid-December. With a reasonable taper and a bit of sleep this week, I should be in decent shape except for the anvil tied to my ass.

It's made of cookies.

Well, plus the fact I haven't run more than 10 miles in ages. But, y'know, when has that ever stopped me from doing something stupid?

The real challenges will be the weather and trail conditions. While it's supposed to shape up to be a fairly nice day, the temperature is predicted to be around -12c/10f at start time. I can dress for that (as a matter of fact that's the same as it was for my last "long" run - 15.6km on trail last Saturday, and my water bottle valve froze on me at the 7k mark), but then it's supposed to climb to near the freezing point as the day wears on.

I'm packing EVERYTHING

While I can fairly easily drop a jacket if I'm getting too warm, I'll have to think carefully about which pants or tights I want to wear, especially with that bloody gusty wind. It also depends hugely on what the trail will be like, as I've had problems in the past keeping warm when I was forced to walk too much by shifting, uncertain footing. Speaking of which..

Both recent history and near-future prediction.

The packed, deeply footprinted snow on my local sidewalks and roadways has been enough to put my precious little chicken ankles in great peril lately - the trails (as of last Saturday) are even worse. I have no idea what it will be like up at Camp Heidelberg to begin with, nor how the conditions will evolve as the morning wears on and the combination of rising temperatures and the endless loops of running feet take their toll on the existing snow. It's almost certain to be better than last year's ice-crusted wreckfest, but the extra pounds I'm carrying will make me more susceptible to injury if I put a foot wrong. Since this is me we're talking about - a girl who can manage to break a toe while stretching in a stinkin' hot tub - I don't like my odds.

I'm also hoping things don't get too slushy - the last time I ran in slush was the night of the freezing rain storm (Jan 3rd), and by the end of that particular 1h45m slog my left big toe had gone a bit white from being constantly soaked and windblown. While the frostbite didn't get so bad as to blister, it's been very cold-sensitive since and I worry what might happen if it's exposed to similar conditions again before the tissues have fully recovered.

Still, nothing else for it but to try. After all, it's just a nice little stroll in the woods, right?

Off I go!

Crossing my fingers that I emerge (mostly) upright and undamaged, especially having just signed up to run a 25k in April at a bloody ski hill.

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