Thursday, March 02, 2006

Intervals in a Winter Wonderland

Plenty of people here in Ireland insist that spring begins on 1 March. Unfortunately, nobody told the weather God, and she dumped a load of snow onto us in the last two days. Well, when I said a load, I meant enough to cover the area in white. This might not impress the majority of you, but it is a reasonably rare event in Kerry. Usually when it’s cold enough for snow the sky is clear, and when the clouds appear, it warms up enough for the would-be snow to turn into rain (and haven’t I experienced it often enough!). The kids loved the winter scene, of course, but it made for treacherous running conditions, especially this morning when I was running over a lot of icy patches. There was one short-but-steep climb, which I took three times, and each time started slipping, but never enough to knock me off balance. It was also cold enough to put on two layers, and in contrast to Tuesday today I was happy enough with that.

It was interval time again, 4x1200, which I translated into 5:10 minutes of hard running and 2 minutes recovery in-between. I could have shortened the running to 5 minutes, which would have made figuring out the breaks a tad easier, but that would have felt like cheating.

Unfortunately, my legs felt dead. This could be a result of Tuesday’s 20-miler, or of last night’s Yoga session, where I once more got a cramp in my right calf. This is happening far too often, and I don’t know why.

Whatever the cause, after finishing my fourth repetition I was close to collapsing, and could not wait to get home again. Now, a few hours later, I have a nagging feeling that I should have run them a bit faster, because my heart rate didn’t go as high as I would have expected during the first two runs.

Well, it’s too late to change now, and I can vouch for the fact that I ran hard enough to feel very tired immediately after the effort.

The weather is supposed to remain cold for a few more days. Let’s hope the roads will be less treacherous though.

2 Mar: 7.5 miles, 1:06, 8:48 pace, including 4x1200 intervals


  1. I'd guess that the "dead legs" feeling is from the 20 miler. I've felt that enough myself.

    Spring in March? Here in Rochester, We once got over 24 inches of snow in March, and another year over nine inches of snow in early May.

  2. Fun - snow!!!

    Too bad the intervals didn't "feel" better - I bet "dead" legs is a good thing, though.

  3. It's so easy to second-guess yourself when you're sitting inside all warm and cozy with your feet up! I do it all the time! I'm trying to work on trusting my own judgement a little more, and not beating myself up so much when I have to back off.

    Enjoy your snowy runs for the next few days!

  4. I second-guess my workouts every time too:) But a snow cover...brr! I bet it is beautiful though, I miss it sometimes. But only for a short visit!

  5. It sounds like you had a much better run than you are giving yourself credit for. Nice job!

    I think most of us have been experiencing odd weather patterns lately. We had high seventies(F) this week as well as 30s. Go figure!

  6. To answer your ??s: I am registered for Grandma's marathon in Duluth, MN. It is supposed to be a beautiful run. As part of that preparation, I will be doing the Lincoln, NE 1/2 marathon (5/7/06) and the ST. Louis, MO 1/2 marathon (4/9/06). I may do a few short races when I get back to my normal race speeds.

  7. ah, to be back in teh moderate climes of the British Isles! When I can wear fewer than 3 layers while running again, I'll be happier :-)

  8. Snow, that's amazing. Sometimes I wish it would snow here but it hasn't.

    Nice workout despite how the legs felt, you pulled through!

  9. The legs will not lie. The reason they are dead is you are in training I suppose!
    Good Luck on your Marathon. When is it again?

  10. You don't even think about the cold weather, the only thing you care about is TO RUN. That is an incredible sense.

    Take care with those slippery roads!

  11. whew! I'm tired just reading about your work-out. Have you looked into yak-tracks for slippery conditions.i don't know much about them at all except you slip them over your runners for better traction(i think) in the snow. I was wondering too if they might help on muddy trails, it's been crazy weather here in the Eastbay, CA and it's suppose to rain on race day day:(

  12. 20 miles...impressive.

    Here in Canada. It is 2 degrees right now and is sunny..yeah Spring is here :D

  13. I believed the date in Virginia, but in Connecticut we also celebrated with more snow:( Watch the slipping...