Slip sliding away…winter running. #Crash&Burn

I’m a big advocate of getting outside. I enjoy the peace and quite of the trails when I tackle my long runs, but living in Wisconsin that can pose a problem at times.  I try to get out and do my best to attempt all runs regardless of the weather outdoors.  This Saturday was no exception.  Up to this point El Nino has been working its magic on Wisconsin weather and given us a mild winter.  On Christmas night I ran 16 miles with not a flake of snow in the air or on the roads and the temperatures were mild (25 degrees) in comparison to past years.  For many of us this was shaping up to be an awesome training season…then snow storm Ashley hit and we caught right up on our snow fall.

This brings me to this weekend.  I was scheduled to run 18 miles.  I have come to check out the weekly forecast in preparation for my long runs and adjust the date to fit the best day possible.  Given that Sunday we were going to hit a cold snap (2 degrees and windy) I made arrangements to run on Saturday.  I was looking forward to getting out and hitting the newly groomed trails in the area. We have a local snowmobile group that does an excellent job of maintaining the trails.  It is a runner’s dream come true!

After bundling up and loading my Orange Mud hydration vest with supplies (Picky Bar & Nuun) I headed out the door.  I live in a subdivision that is well taken care of and the roads were clear sailing.  I expected that main street in town would also be clear…wrong.  I need to stop assuming things like that.  No big deal, I planned to be careful and take it easy since it was about adding miles not speed today.  I was really disappointed that the sidewalks were not shoveled. It had been days since it snowed. I did not expect that on the main drag in town I would be jumping through piles of snow, dodging dog poop, and avoiding ice patches.  Well let’s just say things did not go according to plan and 3.5 miles in I lost my footing.  I will never claim to be graceful or coordinating in any way shape or form.  Arms flaying and a few choice words later I hit the ground HARD!  I got the wind knocked out of me upon impact.  Not knowing if I had sustained any injuries I head slowly home to assess the damage done by my fall.  Thankfully I was lucky, just a little sore but I did not have it in my to finish out the rest of my run.

This brings me to Sunday.  Overnight the temperatures dropped dramatically and taking another go at things outdoors was not possible.  To the dreadmill I went and with grumbles and lots of DVRd shows I pumped out my 18 miles.  I had a bit of time to reflect on what went wrong on Saturday. As runners we expect that sidewalks will be cleared, but should we really.  When I head out maybe it is my responsibility to be prepared.  I had covered my bases with food, fluids, and clothing…not however, my feet.  In cross country back in the day (high school) we always wore spikes for better traction.  Why was I not wearing them now?!?!?!

After doing some research it appears that runners prefer two brands over many others on the market:  Yaktrax & IceSpike.  Both are different in their approach with a similar goal to keep you on your feet.  I ordered both and will give them a try.  I would not like to fall again. I’ll check back when I’ve had the chance to try them both out.  Until then, happy and safe running!

#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive

Update 2/6/16 – Running the Seroogy’s 15k today I pulled up next a women also running and heard the tell tale sound of metal on the pavement. This sound brings back memories of cross-country in high school when we would wear cleats to help get better traction on the courses, which always varied in technicality.  I asked her if what type of spikes did she have in her shoes…much to my surprise she responded with Ice Spike.  We chatted a bit and I asked her if she liked them.  She went on to explain she was trail runner and absolutely loves them.  Not that my clumsy self needs more convincing, I’ve been gun shy to run outside ever since I fell.  Just thought I would pass on the love that others have for the product I mentioned above.

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