Recap: Polar Vortex Winter

Ok, I’m already bored with recapping by week.

During January, I worked on building my long runs back up. I ran outside when I could, but did a lot of cross-training because it got really freaking cold and there was a lot of snow in Minnesota this year.

In February, I joked that I earned my Minnesota Runner badge by running a winter half marathon:
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I wasn’t too sure what I’d be able to pull off, since I’d only built up to 11 miles the week before and my running had been so slow due to the cold and poor footing. I surprised myself with an 8:16 first mile, but was not able to maintain that pace.

I wore my Yaktrax for the race, which was a good idea. The race started and ended at one of the high schools, and we had use of the cafeteria. After the race, I went into the cafeteria, and was going to sit down to take off my Yaktrax. But before that could happen, I wiped out hard. You gotta love that I managed to run 13.1 miles without falling, only to wipe out afterwards. I got a lovely pair of bruises for my effort (picture taken the next day, before they got really ugly):

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Also in February, I got stuck on my treadmill for a lot of my weekday runs. I did discover the hill program, which helped remove some of the boredom from running inside. I was able to suck it up and run outside for my long runs:

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For that 17, the pavement had been cleared when I ran at lunch on Thursday. Then it started snowing and it came down hard and fast. At least half of our night shift at work called in because the roads were closed, and about 15 people total made it to work the next day. They’d cleared some of the roads by Saturday so I thought I was okay to run outside. The first 9 miles weren’t bad, but then I ended up on pretty shitty roads to close out the run.

March kicked off with a 15 mile treadmill run, due to subzero temperatures. The next week, I was able to run outside for 18 and actually averaged 9:09.

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Getting in my first 20 of the year, in the cold, was something to be happy about. But the next week, I was back on my treadmill again for 13 – either snow or cold, I can’t remember which.

By this point, I was following the FIRST schedule for long runs but I wasn’t doing the tempos or the intervals (snow covered track makes that difficult). I had been planning on running Med City, but trying for my BQ seemed like a huge stretch. At the end of March, I decided that maybe this would be a good time to try to run farther instead of faster – and registered for the Chester Woods 50k that was 2 weeks after Med City. I decided I’d do Med City as a training run, and have a 2-week taper.

March (and winter) ended with me getting sick. I had an infected cuticle thanks to manicures my oldest daughter and I got for her 6th birthday, but I’m not sure if that’s what took me out or if it was that combined with an illness.

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