This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
The unusual weather patterns continue...
Yeah, for my morning run (remember this is still the first part of March in Maine), I ran in shorts, t-shirt and long sleeve tech shirt for my first run it was 46*F - no breeze. Then for my second run I ran in shorts and a sleeveless top, it was 61*F partly cloudy.
Now mind ya, I ain't complaining - perfect running weather on the roads. However, since I prefer down-back's dirt road and running trails when I can, all this great weather is causing the frost to come out of the ground, which results in copious quantities of mud where I like to run.
Or worse on the UMA trail that wonderful thing called hoarfrost. Where parts of the ground are still slightly frozen, but not enough to support your weight. So that when you step on it, you break through - very suddenly - to wherever the ground is more solid or still frozen.
Which makes for some serious problems if you are not paying attention. Especially when you hit a section that looks normal and suddenly you breaking through with each step. If you are a heel striker like I am when I am running faster, it leads to hyper-extended knees, so you do quickly slow down and become a prancer on the ball of foot, shorten up the stride, with the knees never fully extended for a while.
Enough whining how were the runs.
I don't have that devil-may-care attitude when running in the mud, especially when there is still ice in some places too. Which means that I tend to go slower in the muddy sections - along with the idea of slipping, sliding and not being able to toe off all that well, which enforces the slower paces.
Which in reality was a good thing after yesterday's faster treadmill speed session.
The first run down-back with Bennie had some good stretches and when we got on the tar it was not too bad. However, we didn't even try to go over Blake Road, the ice and mud were too much when we started up the hill, so we turned around went over to Bartlett.
The we met Mary on the flat down-back. Yes she is stubborn and was doing a 2.0 mile walk, she will not let a minor inconvenience like a broken wrist slow her down too much - tough lady. Well she got a phone call from the doctor's office and we had to make some decisions right then and there. Not the best place, in the middle of a muddy road, but it got done.
However, once I got going again, whatever ummmpppphhhhfffff I had was gone and we just plugged along to the finish, not pushing at all - as you can see on the Strava graph
Good recovery run, where I got to work on my proprioception
During my lunch (I work 11-8, so my lunch is 3-4), I decided to run on the trails at UMA. Now most of it is groomed trails, well all of it, so most of the time it is pretty easy going, except for the minor hills which are quick hitters. However, today there was still just enough ice on the trails to be tricky and make me walk through those sections.
Then I ran into the hoarfrost sections and damn near hyper-extended my knee (it was on a downhill section where I had started to pick up the pace a little). I slowed down in a hurry and the rest of the run was done at a much gentler pace.
I enjoyed getting back on the trails again and I can see this becoming my regular lunch time run for as long as I have this schedule, it is scenic, has enough challenges to build up the body, but at the same time is easier on the legs than road running all the time.
Thank you everyone for your concern about Mary, she is doing okay, a bit crotchety about not being able to do things she wants to do, when she wants to do them and the uncomfortable at times with the pain, but otherwise doing well.