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Saturday 19 January 2013

Week 5, Day 5: Deep snow, burning calves and a fox

Week 5, Day 5

Goal: 7 miles with middle 3 at half marathon pace
Actual: 7 miles at an average of 10.07 min/mile … unable to speed up to HM pace on the middle 3 miles due to deep snow.

I knew that this session was going to be slightly different than the one scheduled due to the amount of snow that came down today. It was a beautiful day, but not one designed for moving at speed.

I decided that I’d aim to go out and get the miles in. Even if the paths were too treacherous to change paces at least the whole run would be at a higher intensity than usual due to the ankle deep snow.

The light of the snow meant that tonight I could reclaim one of my favourite routes which is usually lost to me in winter due to its darkness and loneliness. It's beautiful and crosses muddy trails, gravel paths, several bridges, fields, lanes pavements and canal paths all in 3 miles. I would add on a 4 mile route through a housing estate but the first 3 miles would be a treat.

It was a GOOD run. Not good in terms of pace, nor in terms of fitting into my training schedule but just a run on one of those days that it is good to be a runner and to be able to run on. 

It was a sensory run. No audiobook tonight. I was listening to the crunch and creak of snow under my shoes – who knew that snow creaks when you run on it? Smelling the grey, dusty smell of wood smoke and seeing the yellow light from the barges on the canal. Feeling the cold brush of the snow on my skin. 

I ran on and into the housing estate and there was a fox in the road. He stopped and looked at me as though considering whether I was worth running from. A bark from a dog up the road made up his mind and he flowed smoothly across the road and into the hedge.

The snow was loose and powdery and there was almost no ice at all. My calves were burning from the extra work as it was like running on dry sand. With every step, the ground shifted and moved and I left a trail of deep footprints behind me.

Car drivers crawling their vehicles up the road craned their necks as I passed as if they couldn't believe someone was running today. I ran on.


  1. Sounds lovely - it's nice to go off plan ocasionally and just remember how much fun running can be.

  2. Evening Abradypus! It was wonderful to run to how I felt and to be able to have a look around and remember how much I love running. I even stopped to have a chat to a lady towing a small child on a sledge. She wouldn't give ME a turn on the sledge though ...! :)

  3. Snow does creak I learned that too!!! weird, all for the running for running, it really can be fab :)

  4. It was SO nice running in the snow. It turned my ordinary route into something quite different and it was wonderful to run for the joy of it rather than have to stick to a pace! :) Proper labrador running again! :)