Chilly Spot of the Week 1

In all its glory, I’m resurrecting my spot of the week. If you’ve been reading along for awhile, you might remember the first generation of this series in the spring of 2012.

Back then, I was training for the Earth Day Half Marathon and determined to break the 2-hour barrier. My previous best had been 2 hours, 12 minutes, and since then I’d run my first marathon and built up my endurance. I wanted to chronicle and share my training, so I decided to create a weekly interest “spot” and combine it with my training details.

All these posts are categorized in my archives, but here’s an example.

As it turned out, my training was successful that spring, and I ran two half marathons in 1:54 and 1:55. Maybe this success was helped along by being accountable to blog about my training each week? 🙂

This spring, I’m returning to the Earth Day 1/2 in April and then planning on the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon in May. The marathon goal? Under 4 hours.

Depending on how things go over the next 15 weeks I may refine that number even lower, but overall I know I would be thrilled with a marathon time that starts with “3.”

Without further ado, I’ll share my first spot and last week’s training. You said you wanted to hear more about running, so I hope I won’t disappoint.

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Blizzard. Yuck.

Sunday was windy, like Minnesota hurricane windy. Huge drifts blew every which way, and the snow we got Saturday night made things even worse. Then, on Sunday night as the winds died down slightly, the cold crept in.

7 below. 10 below. 12 below.

At 5 am on Monday morning it was about 15 below, and by 8:00 I know we were colder than 20 below.

I’m sorry to be a drag about the weather and make this my first “spot,” but it’s rather all consuming right now. It makes my days longer and colder and my nose and cheeks steadily more chapped and red. Winter is hard on the skin and toes.

It’s also hard for a runner trying to get in shape. I ran every single mile last week on the treadmill. I thought Sunday afternoon I would sneak away for a few outdoor miles – it was forecast to be 18* for a high – but then we had a blizzard. Wouldn’t ya know…? 🙂

But I’ll get to the running in a minute. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at snow, blizzard aftermath, and cold in MN.

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The barn may be closed up, but snow finds its way in every crack & cranny when it blows like crazy.

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The world is white as the loader moved snow and created mini mountains.

20140128-105810.jpgThe dogs are feisty after being cooped up too much.

20140128-105957.jpgThe roads are white and slick, whether you’re a motorist or a hopeful runner.

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The calves are cute and happy to be dug out of their drifts.

Running for January 20-26

I’m generally not big on strictly following a training plan. I’m flexible with when I get workouts done and try not to worry about missed runs. Unless it’s a lot of them. This time though, I have a prescribed schedule with workouts I’m attempting to follow. It doesn’t mean everything will be verbatim, but if I want to run faster than I ever have perhaps I need some expertise beyond my own?

In the first half of January I ran about 45 miles, and last week was the official start of my plan. Nothing earth shattering, but here are the details.

Monday – off
Tuesday – 4.4 miles in 43:00 with 2 x 800 meters at 8:57 (goal marathon pace)
Wednesday- 3.16 miles very easy in 33:00
Thursday – off
Friday – 4.26 miles in 40:00 with 2 x 1 mile at 8:30 (goal half pace)
Saturday – 9.31 miles in 90:00 with various speed & incline changes to keep my sanity! 9:40 avg pace
Sunday off / blizzard control

Total – 21.1 miles

Voila. Week 1 complete.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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4 Responses to Chilly Spot of the Week 1

  1. Great job getting your runs in, even on the dreadmill! I must say, I’m starting to rethink my desire to move back to Minnesota… ha!

    • Lisa says:

      This winter has been brutal for wicked wind & cold temps. On the bright side, I think it’s about average for snowfall. You know deep-down you miss Minnesota winter though, right? 🙂

  2. Emily Grace says:

    This running thing is fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I hung out with my kettlebells today because we had lots of snow down here…lot for us. The ponds are frozen, but the creeks are still running, so no H2Obstacles yet…and hopefully not at all!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Nice job getting in your miles despite Mother Nature’s lack of cooperation. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain about our single digit temperatures!

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