Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winter Running

After nearly two months "off" since UTMB I decided that yesterday would be the day I would return to everyday running. I put "off" in quotes because in the 56 days since UTMB I have actually run over 400 miles, including a 100k race. In that time though I took 30 days completely off from running! So it hasn't been a typical two months off, but it has been the most number of days off from running that I've taken in a two month span in at least a few years.

I thought it to be very fitting that my return to everyday running yesterday was the first outing of the season in which I was running in snow and serious winter like conditions. The next 4 months for me will be very focused on preparing for and hopefully completing The Iditarod Trail Invitational.

I signed up for this race in April and it has been mostly out of my mind since then. There have been numerous times this summer when I doubted whether I actually wanted to try this one again. Yesterday though, as soon as I got up into the serious snow and wind that I ran up into I was more excited than ever for the coming winter running season, and attempting one of the most extreme and challenging winter races in the world. There's something about running in extreme winter conditions that is somehow really relaxing and really satisfying.

At the end of my run yesterday we had a half mile long stretch of straight road, heading directly into a 30 mph wind. You could see the trailhead where our car was at the very end of the straight away and it felt like it was going to take forever to get there. Everything about it pretty much sucked, and yet it was one of the most enjoyable moments I've running I've had in a long time. This brief moment was all I needed to be certain I am making the right choice in ramming my head against the wall of the ITI for a third time.


Local Mind Media said...

The enthusiasm in your voice while explaining the evolution and design of your sled for this event when we ran up Green almost this time last year made it obvious what this race means to you. Looking forward to following your prep for it!

Ellie Greenwood said...

Sitting here in sunny Chile, I shuddered when I read 'winter running', yet soon into reading this post I almost can't wait to get home to Canada and hopefully some fresh snow - it's a love/ hate relationship with winter running for sure but some days it can't be beat!

Hone said...

I hear you. That is why I am heading back to the SU this year.

3rd time is the charm for you! Besides the last time you ran it you were sick. It was not your fault for dropping. It was bad luck.

momroes said...

Oh, I thought that maybe you were blogging to say that you had changed your mind about running the ITI. It is not fun as a parent to sit home where it is nice and warm and worry about your son/daughter out running in such horrible conditions as what the ITI usually brings. I am sure you will do fine and you know how to prepare for this race, BUT that does not make it any easier to follow from home. We love you.

Derrick said...

Can't wait for the snow to fly either. Pondering a winter race as well and reading your post certainly didn't dampen my feelings.

Look forward to following along on ITI...and of course seeing the latest pulk construction and training in your leadup.

Unknown said...

"There's something about running in extreme winter conditions that is somehow really relaxing and really satisfying."

-I like to think it builds character in a runner. I feel if I'm willing to put the time in no matter what the conditions then I'll be ready for almost anything thrown at me on race day.

-Glad to hear you are back in that running frame of mind. Time off never hurts anyone.

Jim P. said...

A voice of dissent...running in cold, windy conditions sucks. I'll happily take a warm, no-shirt day over snowy conditions any day!

G. Anthony Kunkel said...

i've been dyin for snow here in colorado as well!
im so jealous that you're doin the ITI! thats one of my big goals for the future, but probly not till i'm at least 25 (another 6 years from now). you'll have to set the bar high for me!
i'll be keeping up with your progress for this one for sure, and if you run Arrowhead some time down the road, i'll see you there -i'll be the one trying to give you a run for your money!

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