Well again the weatherman got it right.
My training plan today was to complete a long run and a yoga class. I went to yoga first. It was an amazing class! I loved the heat, especially knowing I would be spending a substantial amount of time in the cold not too long after. During the class the teacher talked about the difference between yoga and running. How yoga requires you to really be attuned to your body whereas running is more of a put one foot in front of the other. A meditative state can be achieved during both but by using your brain and body in a different way.
The way I would explain it is like this. When I am in a yoga class it’s my 90 minutes to focus on me. Running gives me a chance to clear my head by thinking about all the random thoughts and worries that might be on my mind. I sometimes think I achieve a stillness running that I’ve yet to manage in the hot room. I know I’ll get there though……so I’ll just keep on going back. If you’ve never given yoga a try I recommend it. I am partial to Bikram but all yoga is good yoga!!
I packed my camel bak and my fuel belt and had one of my yummy Chike shakes and off to Philadelphia I went.
So 15 miles today. That was the plan. I met up with a friend at Lloyd Hall already wondering how much of this run was going to get done. We had a winter weather warning….and snow was already falling. Big fat flakes, it was very pretty but I knew it was supposed to turn to freezing rain which FYI is not pretty. I’ve run in freezing rain once, it was the one time I had to call someone to come get me. I managed 6.5 miles that day but could barely walk let alone run it was so slippery. Between a fear of slipping and not wanting to drive home on bad roads I was just not feeling the run from the get go. I promised my friend though and I’m a woman of my word. We took off and kept a decent pace for the first 4.5 miles. The majority of the path was clear except a few icy spots. Those were easy to find after I slipped a few times.
My friend just finished reading Born To Run….I let him borrow it. I created a monster!!! I read the book too and I absolutely loved it. Such an inspiring book and reading it made me want to go run 100 miles too. I love his enthusiasm, my friend, but I’m also realistic enough to know I need work up to those distances. I’ll never become a vegetarian or run barefoot though….never!
Prior to East Falls Bridge the entire Schuykill River was frozen. We saw people walking across the river and I’ll be honest I wouldn’t have risked it.
Things started to get a little more treacherous after the bridge. I casually mentioned to my friend that the path leading into Wissahickon Park might be really icy. He hadn’t thought of this until this morning. I’d been pondering this for a few days. Guess what, icy doesn’t even begin to cover it. We made it only about a tenth of a mile in and I put my foot down and said this wasn’t a good idea. He quickly agreed. We both maintained a death grip on the railing on the way down.
So we decided to run back and cross the East Falls Bridge and run on the other side. That too was pretty icy to begin with. We almost turned around at one point. We kept seeing people running towards us so we figured it couldn’t be icy the whole way. We ran on. Thankfully the ice cleared away.
Then the freezing rain began. At this point I was committed…..the only way I could get back to my car was by finishing the damn loop. I was a little bitter and annoyed….I didn’t want the roads to be bad enough for the bridges to be closed. After getting pelted in the face for a few miles we saw the dam and I knew it was almost over. We picked up the pace a bit which was a challenge considering the ice was really starting to accumulate on the path.
I ended up only running 10 miles, my friend continued on and got his 15 miles. Of course he didn’t have to drive back to New Jersey.
I started my month off on the right foot and finished my last run as a 32 year old!
I also learned the hard way that in the cold weather Gu gels shouldn’t be exposed to the elements…..makes getting them out an effort that sometimes I just don’t have the patience for. Oh and I don’t need to bring so many along. I only used 1 Gu and drank my water. I like to be prepared though.