The Time I Almost Had to Chop Off All of My Hair

Where did we leave off?  Ah, yes.  I was midway through Week 1.  Well, Week 1 has come and gone.  Was it a success?  More or less.  I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it.

The Friday before my long run, I had planned on running 6 miles at marathon goal pace (MGP) (8:00 min/mile).  Due to frigid temps, I decided to run on the treadmill.  Mistake #1.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I have issues when it comes to running fast on the treadmill.  Mistake #2 was probably not canceling my run altogether due to illness but I am a crazy runner person and I will run unless I am dying and/or my legs are broken.  As a result of the aforementioned mistakes, my run did not go as planned.  I quickly realized that running 6 miles at MGP was NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, so I spontaneously decided to downgrade my plan to 2 x 2 miles at MGP.  Despite this downgrade, the run was still a struggle-fest.  It probably didn’t help that I had to blow my nose every 12 seconds.  (I’m sure my fellow gym-goers were thrilled by this.)  Here is a picture of me during my run:

JK, obviously I don't run in a bandana.
JK, obviously I don’t wear a bandana when I run.

Luckily, Saturday morning arrived accompanied by slightly warmer weather and only the flurriest of flurries.  I donned my winter running attire and headed out the door.  Twelve glorious miles here I come!  Screeeeeech…hold the phone.  I spent the first 7 miles struggling down a snowy dirt road.  During the warmer months, this particular road is my favorite, with the exception of one stretch adjacent to the smelliest farm in the entire universe.  For those of you who have not experienced the pleasure of winter running, running on snowy dirt roads is a a lot like running on the beach.  Seven miles felt like an eternity and probably super important stabilizer muscles I didn’t know I have ached after only a couple miles.  Eventually I veered off the beautiful, yet evil, course and found some sweet, sweet pavement.  My legs never fully recovered, but I was able to bust out a fast finish.  I finished Week 1 with 40 miles for the week.

It looks so innocent...
It looks so innocent…

As I alluded to in the title of this post, Week 1 was capped off by a somewhat traumatic incident.  Upon competition of Saturday’s long run, I discovered that not only was my hair tangled into 10,000 intricate and finely woven knots, but it was also frozen!  Instead of spending the hour following my run foam rolling/stretching/drinking my recovery beer smoothie, I was forced to spend it whimpering in the shower with my new best friends Mr. Comb and Mr. Bottle of Conditioner.  The moral of the story is ALWAYS BRAID YOUR HAIR DURING LONG RUNS!

Had I realized the full extent of the problem when I took this picture, there would have been tears in my eyes.

Obviously, I am well into Week 2 at this point, but I will wait until it’s over to summarize the highs and lows.  I will close with a few random thoughts:

  1. I am overall pleased with Week 1.  I hit my goal of 40 miles, and I had some quality runs.  Due to snow/ice/cold, I ran on the treadmill for 28 of those miles and I only feel mildly murderous.
  2. I did a bit of strength training, although I can always do more.  I need to remember to break out the old stretchy bands for some fun-filled hip exercises!  (Including my favorite, the monster walk.)
  3. I need to foam roll more.  Every day, preferably.
  4. I own a lot of running shoes.  I have 6 pairs currently in the rotation, although 3-4 of these are nearing the age of retirement.

    My babies.
    My babies.
  5. I eat a lot of bananas.  Bananas are the perfect food.  I love bananas.
Sometimes I even make banana phone calls.
Sometimes I even make banana phone calls.

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