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Over a month since I wrote! I wasn’t even back to running at that point…The good news is – I am now! I’ve run up to 8 miles. Last Saturday was supposed to be 10 but with fresh snow on the ground, my coach didn’t want me to do more, and since she was actually running with me, I couldn’t “cheat” and run more. I’ve been released to return to normal training by the Chiropractor, but that still means increasing my miles carefully. Hopefully I’ll actually be able to do 10-12 on Saturday, but the bad news is I’ve caught a stomach bug. Last night I felt pretty gross until my stomach expelled my dinner – then I just felt kind of gross. Fortunately, I didn’t get the truly nasty stomach bug that’s going around and I slept well last night, and I stayed home from work today eating lightly all day. I did just tempt fate by eating a seasoned chicken breast and baked seasoned fries for supper. It would have been better to stick with really bland stuff, but I didn’t want another bowl of plain white rice or a banana or any of the other bland things I ate earlier today. Forest Park St. Louis Forest Park St. Louis Saturday’s run was one of those absolutely gorgeous winter runs with fresh snow clinging to all the trees in one of the best parks in St. Louis, Forest Park. It was fairly warm, especially compared to now and most of that snow actually melted before the day was over. I am still just so happy to be running pain free. I ran Christmas day and the day after out at my parents’ house. Christmas Day sunrise Christmas day, Ellie my sister’s dog was out running loose so I couldn’t go much past our property so she doesn’t get any ideas about taking off too far down the road. So I’d run out from our driveway not quite ½ a mile (which is how far we walk the dogs on leash, but about ¼ mile past the edge of our property) and turn around and run back. Ellie would follow, or rather, run way ahead – I’d yell to her when I turned around and then she’d come speeding by back toward home. She was having a great time, veering off to look for rabbits to chase then rejoining me. I wish I could run like her – so effortless, so fast. But I’m not sure even Meb or Shalane could keep up with her when she’s going full speed. (Our guess is that Ellie is part Greyhound or other speedy breed, part yellow lab, but she’s a rescue so we don’t know anything for sure) The day after Christmas I got out the door before Ellie was out and so I could run out farther. My plan was to run out 2 or so miles and turn around and come back. Just as I was reaching the 2 mile mark I was running past a house at the top of a hill, I heard an “alert” type of bark and looked back to see a dog running toward me. I don’t often curse, but I might have here. 9 times out of 10, the dogs out here aren’t a real threat, but I don’t want to find out. I was already past the property and the dog stopped long before it got to me, but now I had a problem. This is where I wanted to turn around, but obviously I wasn’t going to run right back past where that dog was. So I ran on toward town. Then once I was really sure the dog wasn’t lurking behind me I paused and pulled out my phone and called for rescue. My sister answered the house phone and said someone would come for me. So I kept running toward town. It would have been more interesting if I had kept going toward town till she caught up with me just to see how far I could get, but I turned around after I thought I was far enough out not to get back to where the dog had been. Sis pulls up with two dogs (ours) in the back seat and asks if it’s ok if we go into town so she can buy coffee. Having just been rescued I wasn’t going to argue (even though I was pretty sure I’d be freezing in a few minutes). I got a hot chocolate out of the deal besides so it worked out really well. My Christmas day running buddy Yesterday I chose not to brave the 2* temps and potentially icy sidewalks and ran on the treadmill. I only got 5.75 miles in during the hour the gym treadmills let you run, instead of the 7-8 I had on the plan. Since it turns out I was probably already getting sick it was good that I didn’t chill myself besides. Today I would have had a cross training day, but it ended up being a sick day. Tomorrow I expect to run 3 or so, probably outside partly so I don’t push to hard since I can’t stand to run an actual easy pace on the treadmill. It’s also supposed to be “warmer” with a low in the teens. I will be a bit undertrained in February for the Austin marathon, but if I get to the start line uninjured and it isn’t crazy hot, I should be able to finish. After 2 marathon fails in 2017, I will gladly take that. I’m still running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via Team in Training. My other favorite running group.
Trail running really started one summer when I just couldn't stand running on hot pavement through hot air while the hot sun beat down on me. Even though my closest trail system was on top of a mountain with no cell service I felt I had little choice and OH SO CAREFULLY trained myself to run on trails. I was terrified of rolling an ankle and breaking something as the sun set, my DH (non-runner) would never find me in time and the healthy population of black bears would have me as a substantial meal. I split my time between the trails and roads depending on time of day, mileage and weather. Around this time last year one of my running buddies introduced me to her running buddies and a running crew as born. We trained for a 5 miler that we ran together last December. After that race we all agreed that we really enjoyed each other's company on our Sunday afternoon jaunts and wanted more. All winter long we met on Sunday's, no matter the weather, and ran all kinds of fun trails. We trained for a ridiculous race in May (Hyner) requiring massive climbs and learning to descend with no regard for ones own life. We were appreciating what a beautiful area we live in- ESPECIALLY in winter (this was last year on the Loyalsock Trail): On Saturday, we got to run a race on more of these beautiful, cold Pennsylvania trails. I'm just getting over a wicked case of peroneal tendinitis so I chose to run the 10K race while my crew ran the half. The temps on top of the hill hovered around 13 balmy degrees at the start. YIKES! It's been since February that I've run in temps that cold! But I was ready in tights, long-sleeve tech t, vest and headband-ear warmers. No gloves or heavy coat needed- even though it was super cold there was no wind and the sun was out. I will admit it took a full mile before I could feel my fingers but after that I was fine. This 10K course is extremely runnable- mostly double-track or wide single track. Sections of technical stuff but it's not extreme and does not last long. The worst is the last mile and a half which is all downhill but goes through an oak forest. You really can get some speed up but the trail was completely covered in leaves. Because it's my bread-and-butter trail- I KNOW what roots and rocks lurk under those leaves- totally stressful in fun sort of way? This was not the fastest time I've ever had on this trail, but it was good enough for 4/18 in my AG so I'm really happy considering the extent of my tendinitis earlier this year. My hips were a little tight, and I didn't have my shoes tied tight enough so I've got some callous blood blister issues to deal with so I'm also happy with the choice to run the 10K instead of the half. After I finished I changed out of my gear into warmer clothes- I checked the parking lot but there is a chance someone got a very good look at my anatomy- and headed back up the trail dragging coats and gear for my RBs. Everyone was happy with their times and we headed to the local bar for snacks and lots of hard cider! I am so happy that I'm healthy going into this winter- my favorite running season. Get out there and enjoy the cold! Sure love our new home- so much easier to post pics.