Ironman, Shmironman. THIS Is The Most Hardcore Thing I’ve Ever Done...

>> Monday, December 08, 2008

As promised, I’m back with some CRAZY photos from our interval workout on Saturday. We had just gotten 1.5 - 2 inches of snow overnight, and it was about 16 degrees with a windchill of around 0. I showed up to the track with a shovel because it looked like this:

There should be 8 lanes just in front of me...

Here’s what the middle of the home stretch looked like, with about a 1/2 inch of snow covering everything:

I shoveled the home stretch first:

Then I turned into that nasty-ass wind and shoveled the first turn and the back stretch. That was cold, windy, and just plain gross. The snow was deeper in these parts as it was starting to drift a little - it was maybe 2-3 inches at spots. As soon as I got it shoveled and grabbed my camera, the wind started drifting the snow right back into my path! Here’s the back stretch:

(don't laugh at my crooked line)

I felt like screaming a very “Mom” sort of line: “COME ON, MOTHER NATURE! I JUST SHOVELED THERE!!" I mean, look at this next photo! That’s 2-3 inches of snow that is filling what I had just shoveled in a matter of minutes!

Jen showed up as I was “retouching” certain spots, and we figured, “Aw, what the heck – let’s just do this thing.” So we started our workout. We were both going to run 800s with 1:30 rest between.

(Side note: Jen and her hubby were living about 5 hours apart for the last 3 months. She had moved up to the Cities, and he was still wrapping up his old job before he could move too. On Friday, he finally was able to move up to the Cities to live with his wife. Hurray! So what does Jen do on the very next morning? She gets up to do a cold, snowy, nasty interval workout when she could be snuggling (or better!) with her hubby! That’s the kind of dedication that helped her qualify for the Boston Marathon! Still... I woulda stayed in bed with my spouse if I were in her shoes...)

I wanted to do 5 or 6 800s, but after 2, Jen and I agreed that 4 would be enough. The snow was filling in, and it was HARD to run in it. Splits were slow. Here were my 4 800 splits:

Average: 2:53 (I normally average 2:44 or 2:45)

Here I am breathing hard after I wrapped up:

I apparently have a curled lip once I finish a workout;
this photo looks a lot like the one I posted Thurs night.

Meanwhile, here’s Jen with 1 lap to go in her last 800:

I took my camera down to the first turn to take some photos of how bad the snow was filling in. Here’s the turn after I shoveled it and Jen and I both ran 8 laps:


Here’s farther around the curve:

No wonder times were slow!

Calyx left a funny comment on my post basically saying that if this entire workout had a name, it could be considered a Crossfit workout. So, honor of Jen and her hubby finally getting to move in together, I’ll dub this workout “Jen’s Hubby.”

Jen’s Hubby:
• Shovel a path in the snow around a 400 meter track
• Re-shovel some of the areas that start to fill in (for a total of about 600 meters)
• Run 4 x 800 meters on previously mentioned path as it begins to fill up with snow and become worse than had it not been shoveled at all
• Go home and shovel out your yard
• Sit nearly nude in front of the fireplace for 10 minutes
• DO NOT REPEAT (after one, you’re done!)

After warming up and doing a LOT of grading, we got the gang together and went bowling:

Mike, me, Borsch

This middle-aged, drunk cougar in the lane next to us was hitting on me. She told me she “liked my form.” Well, I DID totally school Mike and Borsch: I got the high score of 169! After 3 games, Pharmie and Steph showed up too:

1/2 of Mike, Pharmie, Me, 3/4 of Borsch, and Steph

Next weekend, there will be NO track workout! That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. But I think that on either Thurs Dec 11 or Tues Dec 16 I’ll be at the Metrodome for “Dome Running.” I’d like to do some short/fast speed work to get ready for an indoor track meet. Any locals planning on Dome Running on the 11th or 16th? I’ll let you all know if I’ll be there. Happy (warm) running!


Unknown 1:49 AM, December 08, 2008  

We haven't got snow yet - but when we do, I'll have to give this workout some consideration...

then again, maybe not.


Unknown 2:16 AM, December 08, 2008  

You *are* hardcore. or insane. or maybe both.

Ordinarylife 2:50 AM, December 08, 2008  

Oh my word! Please remind me NEVER to complain about your weather again. A slight drizzle and I think its bad here. We don't even get close to freezing EVER!

duchossois 6:00 AM, December 08, 2008  

Great photos from the track. You cannot fight the snow. Just accept it and run through it.

Calyx Meredith 6:35 AM, December 08, 2008  

Maybe this is a question for Pharmie - but did you do crazy things before you had a blog to post them on? Good luck with Dome running.

teacherwoman 6:37 AM, December 08, 2008  

Yeah, this weekend's weather wasn't too favorable for outdoor workouts! But, that's what makes us hardcorem midwesterners, right?! LOL.

Missy 6:40 AM, December 08, 2008  

You should win a prize, er, somethin! Jeeze. I would have busted my a!@ out there. Did you have cramp-ons and a pick axe too?

Mel-2nd Chances 6:49 AM, December 08, 2008  

i didn't even bother with the snow and hit the treadmill. wasn't going to carve my 13k route, so i guess i'm not the athlete you are LOL Have run at the dome.

CoachLiz 6:55 AM, December 08, 2008  

I am glad that i will never have to shovel my track before a workout in Houston.

Anonymous,  7:02 AM, December 08, 2008  

You guys are crazy!

Jess 7:09 AM, December 08, 2008  

Seeing all that snow, I no longer want to come to MN for Christmas!

Marci 7:18 AM, December 08, 2008  

Why would you run on the track if snow was covering it in the first place????

Charlotte 7:45 AM, December 08, 2008  

I hate Minnesota winters. Truly, I do. I know it's not kosher of me to complain, being a newbie here and all. But your post just brought it all home:)

PS> WTG you two!

Unknown 7:49 AM, December 08, 2008  

I would have swore a lot at mother nature if she would have been doing that to me after I was trying to clear a path on the track. Heck I swear at her just running in the cold wind without snow.

Marlene 8:07 AM, December 08, 2008  

You guys are hardcore!

M*J*C 8:18 AM, December 08, 2008  

Wow, I could NEVER hang with you guys!!! However, I did think of you this weekend when I ran (in costume) for our Jingle Bell Run!!!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg 8:36 AM, December 08, 2008  

I ran a 5k race on frozen grass Saturday and, until now, was patting myself on the back over it.

Thanks, Steve, for keeping me so humble. No wonder you're cougar-bait.

P.S. If you see that cougar again, please pass this message on: Come HOME, Ma! We MISS you!

Borsch 8:39 AM, December 08, 2008  

I love the bowling pic!

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland 9:14 AM, December 08, 2008  

Just so you know, you're kinda insane.

That's what indoor tracks are for, silly!

Jumper 2.0 9:32 AM, December 08, 2008  

Hey, it's nice and warm at 18 degrees this morning so I think I'll go for a 8-10 mile run.
I'll most likely be at the dome both thursday and tuesday so hope to see you (and Pharmie) and others there.

X-Country2 9:48 AM, December 08, 2008  

I would have gone running in the snow.

I may have actually shoveled a path.

However, the second the wind blew snow over what I did, I say "f it!" and go back home.

You are waaaay tougher than me. :o)

tfh 10:16 AM, December 08, 2008  

Shoveling the track so you can run it???

That should be an event, not a workout!

Irish Cream 11:37 AM, December 08, 2008  

I'm thinking next time you should up the ante and bring a snow blower -- we'll see how mother nature likes that!!

Jess 11:48 AM, December 08, 2008  

Wow props to both of you for putting the time in out there. I would have stayed in bed!

Unknown 12:17 PM, December 08, 2008  

If I have to take a shovel to the track in order to do intervals, I think I'm just going to use the shovel to bury myself instead. Too #$%& cold!

J 12:28 PM, December 08, 2008  

Dome running sounds a lot easier than shoveling and reshoveling the track!

Meg 12:32 PM, December 08, 2008  

Shovel + intervals or sleep....hmm I know what I'd do. That is DEFINITELY hardcore.

Marcy 12:37 PM, December 08, 2008  

Dude that is mo-foing insane!

Chic Runner 12:43 PM, December 08, 2008  

you are straight crazy. but good work on getting it done and I pray I NEVER have to shovel snow like that. And Congrats to Jen and her Hubby!

Jeff 1:34 PM, December 08, 2008  

So sick!

My 26.2k race got cancelled Sunday for a friggin quarter inch of snow! (Okay, it did turn to ice, but I'm just sayin.) Never thought about having somebody plow a path infront of the pack!

AddictedToEndorphins 1:35 PM, December 08, 2008  

I have a feeling that I'll be doing a lot of that workout you just mentioned. You, my friend are hardcore!! Good for you:)

Amy - the gazelle 2:33 PM, December 08, 2008  

wow, this almost makes me regret moving away from south dakota - there's just no way I can do Jen's Hubby (or THE Jen's Hubby....that sounds less dirty).

ShirleyPerly 3:41 PM, December 08, 2008  

Yike! The more I see all that snow, the more I'm glad the marathon I'm running in MN is INDOORS. I just hope those roads are plowed!!

Michelle Simmons 4:34 PM, December 08, 2008  

There's a reason why I live in Hawaii. You've summed it up perfectly with this post!

Triteacher 4:51 PM, December 08, 2008  

I think you showed a fair amount of dedication too - sheesh, who's the guy who brought the shovel. Way to stick it out!

Anonymous,  7:01 PM, December 08, 2008  

If we were still living in Minneapolis, I would've come to the track to shovel your path and then KEPT it shoveled til the end for you to finish your workout.

But...not living there anymore, you are on your own. :) And that is hardcore. Shoveling the track of all things to get in a workout. But I love it! Great running times for SNOW SHOEING :)

ECrunnergirl 7:59 PM, December 08, 2008  

What??!! No snotcicles hanging from your nose?? Must not have been cold enough :=}

I am inspired and in awe of yours and Jen's dedication to the run. Seriously, I will never complain about the cold again...and when I feel like complaining, I will come back to this post....

Anyway, you ARE hardcore dude...nuf said!

Aka Alice 11:06 PM, December 08, 2008  

O.M.F.G. You cold weather peeps are F-ing INSANE! I will never complain about the weather in SoCal again (well that's not true, I will...but I'll do it shamefully).

You all are completely inspirational (but I also think you're crazy...) :-)

Darcy Franklin 7:42 AM, December 09, 2008  

Have you ever heard of the off-season? Here in Minnesota that includes the months of Dec, Jan & Feb! You crazy!

Smithposts... 7:59 AM, December 09, 2008  

"Brisk" comes to mind when looking at your photos! And I am having trouble staying motivated with temps in the 20's and a few flakes coming down.

cdnhollywood 8:10 AM, December 09, 2008  

I know I haven't been around for a long time, but I had to come back to say this:

You're a great runner, but you suck as shoveling. :D

In saying that, if you need to practice that more, c'mon over - I've got lots for ya! :D

Vickie 9:00 AM, December 09, 2008  

I pretty much decided last weekend, in the beginning of a blizzard--but a clear track--would be the last outdoor interval training. Maybe or maybe not. Another way to do this of course would be to just do it on the road after it is cleared or around a block if people are kind enough to shovel.

Brooke 9:29 AM, December 09, 2008  

LOL...I don't know if you are really dedicated or just have too much time on your hands! Hahhaa....that's what treadmills are for, silly! Though it does definitely count as cross-training in my book. Ugh..I don't envy your winters, though...everytime I think I miss Boston I should just look at pictures like this! Hmm...maybe next time you should bring a leaf blower with several hundred yards of extension cord? :)

GP 10:30 AM, December 09, 2008  

Like all runners, I'm sure you're asked what on earth you do about running during the winter (probably by people who don't know you well enough). And when people ask me, it's usually about the cold and myths about breathing freezing air that grab interest.

I'll do sub-zero temperatures... but you take the cake with snowy track workout. Whew! Props to you, man! Talk about stability and balance training. I would have just turned it into one cold bout with slip-n-slide.

Sonia 11:26 AM, December 09, 2008  

you guys are hardcore! Good job, now where was Pharmie for this track workout?!

Aron 1:03 PM, December 09, 2008  

OMG you guys are soooo hardcore!!! i freeze in our 40 degree temps!

LHE 6:21 PM, December 09, 2008  

100% hardcore insanity! Now about the chasing your tail shoveling snow - did you not um, expect that to happen?? I live in sunny so. califorina and even I .... :)

brendaj 12:20 AM, December 10, 2008  

The last time I shoveled may have been the blizzard of 96, but I still remember it being VERY hard work!

RunBubbaRun 5:50 AM, December 10, 2008  

That's some dedication there.. Looked like fun..

Maybe you need one of does snowthrower golf carts.. That might do the trick to clear the way for you..

Anniversary Moments 12:39 PM, December 10, 2008  

what is up with that snow!!! and here i am in san diego dreading getting back on a plane to go to 40 degree boston weather, i guess it could be worse

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