Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Secret of Surviving Winter in the Upper Midwest

It was on full display today in the mid-atlantic. A cloudless sky; the sun, still low in the southern sky, reflecting off the pure white snow. For those of us who grew up in colder climates days like these are some of the most memorable of our childhood. Even if the school administrators were unwise enough to not call off school - there was a plastered grin on an eight year old putting on countless layers for school - you knew that recess was going to be epic.

Partly I think it's the light - it's almost blinding to a child who has hardly seen the sun for months. For me, the beauty of a snow covered landscape makes the "come hither" preening of a cherry tree in April seem pathetic and insignificant. The substance covering the earth has properties that seem to have been created just for our entertainment. It can turn a usually boring hill into an amusement park; everyone with a little creativity and some energy becomes an artist or an architect. How can a pile of leaves in October compete with that?

Some of the more cynical among you might say that I'm just "rationalizing" and remind me, "wasn't it this same 'substance' you're now romanticizing that caused you to take 3 hours to go 40 miles yesterday on I-95?"

Well, maybe. But, you know what? "Rationalizing" is a word used by people who don't understand that the secret to life is knowing how to look for and appreciating beauty in the middle of difficult circumstances. Sometimes the best way to get yourself through to Spring is embracing the cold and trying to find the light in a dark season.

On my run today I tried to channel that eight year old. I didn't have a sled or skis - but, I did have a grin as I trudged through the snow and felt the light warm my face.

As for running - I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm not blowing the doors off of any of my workouts, but I'm getting stronger.

Last Week
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday evening: 11 miles 4 X (200m R pace 200m jog + 200m R pace 400m jog + 800m R pace 400m jog) (35, 36.6, 2:24.4; 35.5, 35.4, 2:22.3; 36.9, 35.5, 2:25.4; 36.7, 35.2, 2:25.2)
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday : 12 miles hills
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 17 miles 10 mile tempo 58:30
Sunday: 10 miles
Total: 75 miles

This Week
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday evening: 11 miles 5X1 mi I pace (~5:10)
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday : 10 miles 3X2 mi tempo (~5:35)
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 11 miles Hills
Sunday: 17 miles
Total: 74 miles

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