Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Unfun Run

After seeing the temperature hoover around 36F degrees at 10a.m. this morning, I decided to head out for a run before all the sleet and rain we've had in the past few days turned into ice as it cools down. We could be back down in the single digits as early as tomorrow. Boo!

For the first time, I'm venturing to say I almost did not have a fun run. I love running, and by the end of the workday I can't wait to get out and fit in a few miles. Well, if the Greenway wasn't slick ice today, it was inches and inches of slush. I put bags on my feet this morning, but the slush was so viscous and omnipresent that they didn't make a difference. Not only were my feet miserable, running in slush is like running in mud. I couldn't get any traction, and when I could, I could barely move. And even though I was barely moving, I was working twice as hard and quickly grew exhausted. This winter running is undoubtedly hard work.

I headed over to the Lake Calhoun/Lake of the Isles canal to attempt to run on the frozen water. Remember what I looked like when I saw that runner on it Friday afternoon?
This is what it looked like this morning. Almost like a giant pond of urine!

Of course you can't gauge how much slush that is based on a picture, but if you were step on it, you'd sink a few inches into the earth. I know that there's still plenty of ice to walk on this (especially because the canal is so shallow), but one of my biggest fears is falling through the ice and I didn't even want to risk it. So much for lake running this weekend!

Instead, I ran around Lake of the Isles, which I haven't run since probably September. It's a little out of my way, but it's a beautiful lake. The houses along the lake are gigantic and date back to the 1800s. I know that the Mary Tyler Moore house is on this lake, but I haven't found which house it is, so don't ask me to point it out. :) During the summer, this lake is filled with runners, walkers, bikers, canoers, picnic-ers, and Frisbee throwers. Apparently in the winter there is ice skating, hockey, and still plenty of runners.

I decided to rename the lake today, though, to Slush of the Isles, because the ice looked like it was melting faster than an ice cream cone in the Sahara.

This portion of the lake must be the ice rink... only it looked like a few inches of standing water.

A little further down the lake is the hockey rink. If you can find the two kids out skating, kudos to you. And kudos to them for making it out there! That is one sloppy rink. All this standing water is what is they had to cross to get over there!

From this side of the lake, the Southwest side, there is normally a very clear view of Downtown Minneapolis above the brush in the background. Only Downtown is all fogged over today. The only thing visible is Slush of the Isles.

This run was so hard this morning and I am definitely not feeling good about it, but I'm still trying to find the positives: I got to get out and enjoy some warm weather. I am blessed in that I have the ability to run -- and I enjoy it. I have amazing access to running paths. I live in a beautiful city that permits me to enjoy the outdoors in the worst times of the year, weather-wise.

And now to the Negative Nancy technical stuff: Thanks to Mr. Anastos's GPS capabilities, the pink line in the graph below charts my distance over time, and the blue line charts my speed during that time. You can clearly see the spots (the abrupt falls in the blue line) where I had to stop to walk for ice -- and my slow progression over time. I didn't even hit an average speed of 7.0 for ANY of my miles. The closest I got was a 6.9 average for Mile 4! (I guess, again, this is good training for my marathon pace...) The last mile was definitely the worst in terms of invisible ice, as you can see how choppy my running got -- speeding up and slowing down, literally every few seconds. This is where I actually had to hop off the running trail and run in the snow because it was just too icy to even stand on.

7.59mi splits: 8:54, 8:54, 8:48, 8:41, 9:03, 9:08, 9:50, 6:09
Air Temp: 36F

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