Snow running

15 01 2011

Lots of these beautiful bright Cardinal’s along the path today!    Even a dark black mink on the ice taking a look for a fish under the ice.  

Path…..well thats a bit of an exageration…..maybe a dog path….a rabbit trail…..windblown powder 8 cm deep over the previously rutted and frozen 20 cm of snow made for an interesting run!  Run is also an over statement…perhaps agressive jog and hike!

What a great training day.   When i first started running again a few years back, i was always hoping for the perfect conditions.   My training with my sister Ava in Halifax was always an adventure.  winds so strong on the bridge you felt like you weren’t moving, asphalt so hot on the Bedford loop that the pavement shimmer.  Then for a while i was always hoping for  the flattest course, the smoothest surface, no wind, no rain, not too hot, not too cold………………………its the complete opposite now.  Day like today are so much more valuable for training.  When you aren’t fast you need to be strong and consistent. Running in the snow like today on a slippery under-surface,   dressed heavy and wearing Yak Trax, it was easy to keep an elevated Heart Rate even while moving at a fairly slow pace.  Sometimes the pace slowed to a brisk hike, but the point of a day like today is the strengthening of all the small connective muscles around the ankle, and calf.  You get so much benefit from the uneven surface as it constantly changes the angle of the foot, stretching and contracting the muscles.  This is the perfect type of training for running a technical Trail run.

I can’t take the repetitive pounding of training on asphalt. This is why i started trail running in the first place.  Well that and the fact that it’s so completely peaceful and spiritual.  Something so good for the mind to be out there in the fresh air and see the animals and just run the powdered single track.

1200 calories on the run. So i loaded up on oatmeal with raisins and honey 1 hour before the run.  I know a lot of runners who like oatmeal but because it takes 15 minutes to cook they buy the instant.  Instant oatmeal is decent but not nearly as beneficial as a fuel source as the complex carbohydrate of dry unprocessed  oatmeal.   So if you want to eat the real stuff but don’t have time in the morning do this shortcut.  

 Mix together 1/3 cup of oatmeal and 1/3 cup of milk or water, pinch sea  salt, pinch cinnamon, squeeze of honey and a scattering of raisins or dried apricots,.  Put this in the fridge the night before.  Put a pot on the stove with 1/3 cup of water in it.  When you stumble out in the morning turn on the pot of water and when it boils ( in 1 minute) stir in the soaked oatmeal until it returns to a boil ( 3 minutes) and now you have Instant oatmeal but of a much higher quality.    I love eating this for any run over 1.5 hours and especially when its cold out.

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