Spent Monday and Tuesday rather sore. That's good, in its way. Wednesday...well, if you live here, you know what kind of shit Wednesday was. Not particularly cold, but snowy/slushy; slippery as snot. I didn't even try it.
So today, I got out for a 4-miler. Only, after surveying the myriad icy patches in the first block or two, I decided to head uphill instead and do my 3.7 mile hill run to the park. The weather is gloriously sunny and just below freezing - which means that while the thinnest watery/icy patches have run off and dried off, there's many areas where the footing is treacherous. Some people did not scrape their walks yesterday - and now it's all ice. Lumpy, malformed ice, too; the kind that forms from walked-in slush. Some people did shovel/scrape/snowblow, so the walks there are mostly clear and dry, except for runoff areas that cross the sidewalk - which end up being 3-foot-long, sidewalk-wide sheets of very slice ice. Nearly went down twice trying to cross these.
You CAN run on ice if you don't change speed or direction - you have to go with the inertia you've got. Not always easy to do in this city.
So there were a lot of little walk breaks in this run, particularly on the way up to the park. I was trying to dodge traffic, other people, and ice and sometimes just had to slow down to avoid calamity. But I'm not upset about that - my lungs were needing some acclimation time. They were wheezing from the second block onward, almost all the way to the park.
So I struggled up the hills to the park, amazed to find that I have enough breath support to actually tackle the hills with some gusto and only walked the upper 1/3 of the longest hill. I am very happy with that. I took a few minutes to stretch while at the park, then headed home.
This time, I choose sides of the street in direct sunlight, which reduced the number of icy patches, but increased the number of pedestrials. (Yes - new word: pedestrials (n): people who are technically classified as pedestrians, but whom are perceived primarily as obstacles by runners.) I also chose to run in the street a lot more, dodging and weaving among moving traffic, parked cars, ice that extended out even into the streets, over-salted areas (which can be just as slick), etc. I'm sure you know what I mean. I did get a break: some of the streets were closed to traffic by the time I headed home, so I could freely run right down the center.
As for the moving traffic, I wasn't TOO worried. I was keeping an eye out for myself and I had purposely worn my most eye-searing ensemble: red marathon knit gloves Jerry Cahill bought for me, bright orange long-sleeve marathon t from a couple years ago, and a hi-viz yellow cap by Asics that I bought to match my marathon running jacket. Frankly, I looked like a clown. A hideously dressed, sweaty clown. But surely the drivers couldn't miss me, right?
And it was cold. I dressed right, but didn't bank on wind. Coming back, I was running right into a headwind and was quite cold by the time I got home. For several minutes, I couldn't work my fingers well enough to get my gloves off or fish out my key.
The best part of the run was that I used the flat stretches on the route home to do some strides - I picked up the pace to about a 8:30 pace for 200 yards at a time, and used the downhills or further flat parts to slow down for a couple hundred yards. Had it been a little more structured, I could have called it a speed workout.
And it felt good. I'm actually looking forward to this weekend's long run. I'm planning eight to nine miles.