Hot on the heels of the first snow of the year came the first sub-zero temps, another dubious landmark that I'd rather not see each year, but is basically inevitable when you live in South Dakota. To top it off, it seems like the lower the temperature goes, the more the wind blows, which creates mind-numbing (literally) wind chills and results in me running in a bunch of circles on the indoor track at the gym. Ugh. You know it's getting bad when you get excited about the mercury breaking 20. In any case, enough bitching about the weather (well, not really, because I'll pretty much bitch about it for the next 5 or 6 months until it warms up and then I'll bitch about how it's too hot outside....it's a vicious cycle).
Monday - First run of the year on the indoor track. 7 miles (80.5 laps).
Tuesday - Even colder than Monday, so back to the track for another 10 miles (115 laps).
Wednesday - What sucks more than running 115 laps around the track. How about 161 (that comes out to 14 miles)? Actually, my legs felt REALLY good, which is why I ran so far, but I couldn't help but thinking how much awesomer (that's a word, trust me) the run would've been if it wasn't -15 outside and I could actually see some sights instead of the same four walls of the gym 161 times.
Thursday - Even though it was still cold enough that your spit might freeze solid before it even hit the ground, I ran outside. Why? Because I'll do damn near anything for the chance to win a pie. So I drove to Rapid City for the annual Turkey Trot and, thanks to the cold, there were more pies to give away than there were runners to win them, so I got one. Well worth it. Oh and I was reminded of why I haven't run a 5K in over a year....because they suck. I did run a 20:50, which is decent for me considering I haven't done speedwork since....uh....May?? I don't really remember. What I do know is that I'd much rather run far at a steady pace than short at a fast pace. I mean, if I run a marathon or ultra, I feel like hell afterward, but I also feel like I've freakin accomplished something. When I run a 5K, I still feel like hell and I've only added 3 miles to my training log. The cost/benefit analysis just doesn't work out. It's for that reason that I tacked on 3 miles of warmup/cooldown so I could at least claim 6 miles for the day.
Friday - I've always known that I'm not very good at doing math in my head, like trying to calculate splits near the end of a marathon. I found out on this day that I can't even do simple math. I headed out for a 10 mile loop (the temp had finally risen to a reasonable level) but got confused at some point and was somewhat surprised when I got home and my Garmin said 11 miles instead. Oh well, better to run too many than not enough.
Saturday - DOMS!! If you're not familiar, that stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It's a phenomenon where you put in a hard effort and feel fine the day after, but then 2 or 3 days after, you suddenly feel like crap. It happens a lot after a marathon, but I guess for me it happens after a 5K too (after all, my body is more adjusted to marathons by now). I set out to get my long run of 16 in, but immediately (like within one block) could tell that that was NOT in the cards. My legs were dead and sore in places that they haven't been sore in awhile (stupid 5K....but it was still worth it for the pie). So I ran an easy (albeit painful) 7 instead.
Sunday - Still felt a little of the DOMS, but better than Saturday so I made another attempt at 16. I made it through alright, although I was pretty damn glad when I got home that I hadn't set out for 17....or even 16.5.
Total - 70.2 miles