10 Miles in the Snow

Usually when I switch workouts around, I don’t have a good reason. It’s nearly always because I’m “too busy” to do the scheduled run that day, so I swap for a shorter or easier option, delaying the long run or speed work to do another day. Today, my reason was “the weather”, but instead of delaying my long run, I moved it up! On the schedule for today was just a 5 mile pace run, and tomorrow was supposed to be my long run of 10 miles, but we were under a winter storm warning for Saturday 7am till Sunday 7am, with the snow scheduled to start around 4pm today and accumulating 5-7 inches overnight. Running in 5-7 inches of snow for 10 miles tomorrow did not sound appealing – it is “spring” after all! I decided I would try to beat the snow with my 10 miler by running today.

I have always done my double-digit runs on a nearby trail, but I opted to stay close to home today. Before leaving the house, I mapped out a course through some of the local neighborhoods, with the first five miles through areas I have never run before and the end of the run on familiar paths. I started running at around 3:00pm and the snow flurries had just started. Wowza! That first five miles was tough. If you ever thought Kansas was pancake flat, this run would have changed your mind. The elevation changes aren’t huge, but the hills are steep and frequent in that neighborhood. Add in a stiff Kansas wind and blowing snow, and I was working pretty hard!

I was glad I decided to use today as a nutrition practice run, I think the extra calories definitely helped. I had a package of pink lemonade honey stingers (thanks, Leah!) that I have been saving for a long run. They’re not paleo-friendly, but I’m not beating myself up about it. I ate one chew at each mile, which had the added bonus of giving me something to look forward to at each mile. I usually use dates & almond butter or Cliff Shot Blocks for race day nutrition, but I really enjoyed these honey stingers and think I’ll add them to the rotation. They tasted great and I liked the texture – similar to shot blocks, but a little smaller and easier to chew.

After the first 5 miles, I was still moving uphill, but was able to pick up the pace a little being in more familiar territory. The snow changed to sleet for a short portion of mile 7, so I ended up getting pretty soaked. Luckily, it was warm enough and late enough in the run that I didn’t get too cold. As it turns out, I mapped out more terrain than I needed to hit 10 miles, so I cut out a portion at the end of the run and just headed home.

Home stretch of our 10 miler and the snow is just starting to stick to Tara's fur.

Home stretch of our 10 miler and the snow was just starting to stick to Tara’s fur.

I’m so glad I decided to do my long run today instead of gambling on the snow for tomorrow. Even though it was a tough run, I feel great and have very little soreness. Even though they downgraded the winter storm warning to an advisory and are only predicting 3-5 inches to accumulate, I’d much rather do my 5 mile run tomorrow in a little bit of snow than 10 miles in any snow. I’m not that hardcore.




Today’s Training:

10.11 miles (10:53 min/mile pace, 172 average heart rate)

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