9 Miler on the Greenway

>> Tuesday, January 06, 2009

(First of all, thanks to everyone who left such kind comments on the last post! I’ll try to keep it up in 2009! I don’t want to let you down!)

Yesterday, my left hamstring was still pretty sore from the 5000 stairs on Saturday (see Saturday’s post). But when I tried running on it, it was fine. So I figured I’d do my long run for the week: a 9 miler.

I drove to a spot about a mile into the Greenway trail to see how it looked. It was plowed, but still covered with a thin, slick layer of snow/ice:

I figured it was worth a shot, so I drove home and got ready to run. It was a nice day for a run, as it was 24 degrees with a wind chill of 16. Downright tropical!

I “layered up” and hopped in the car. A few minutes and about 2 miles later, I was at the start of the trail. I had a sheet inside one of my mittens with “mile markers” that I had written down from the Greenway website (basically, what cross-street was at each mile).

I hit the trail. Instantly, I was slipping. I was wearing my YakTrax for grip, but they only do so much. It’s not like they’re a miracle drug like Viagra (or whatever is keeping Keith Richards alive). I quickly found that running within 5 inches from the edge of the trail was my best bet. In the photos of the trail above, you can see a little more packed snow at the edges, and that’s great for running in YakTrax.

Mile 1: 6:34.

Mile 2: 6:54. Those were both MUCH faster than I normally start off. I wondered if a weeks worth of speed work (Tues: intervals, Thurs: track meet, Sat: stairs) with no long run was making me start too fast. I soon found out I was right. D’oh.

Mile 3: 7:01.

Mile 4: 7:05.

Mile 4.5 (turnaround): 31:23 total time. Near the turnaround, I saw the only other runner out there. And I saw him slip a little. I feel his pain.

Mile 5: 7:10.

Mile 6: 7:12. I’m not used to consistently slowing down like that. I knew this was the time to start kicking it in. I was also seeing my “YakTrax Tracks” from on my way out, and I could see where it was slippery. A good “YakTrax Track” looks like this:

But half my tracks looked like this:

That’s spinout. And spinout sucks. There was nothing I could really do about it at this point. So I just tried to pick up the pace. But I was hurting.

Mile 7: 6:59.

Mile 8: 6:57. The end of the trail is along a slow, easy curve. I couldn’t see where the end was, so I was kicking it in pretty hard a little sooner than I would have if I had known where the end really was (whew - that barely made sense!). It was tough, but I was trying to negative split the run.

Mile 9: 6:06. Sweet. But ouch.

Total: 1:02:02 (6:53.5 / mile)
First half: 31:23
Second half: 30:39

I was beat. It was a good run. I took the mile markers out of my mittens, and it was a covered in sweat:

I hopped in the car. I was nice and sweaty too (and a little red):

I got home and assessed the damage to my feet. Running in YakTrax is a MUST on the ice, but they add extra pressure points to the balls of my feet, so that’s why I get a little more beat up in the winter. Here’s how ole righty looked:

Part of it was tearing up to expose a blood blister beneath. And you can see a new little deflated blister at the bottom. Yum.

We’ll see how my legs feel - if they still feel good later this week, I hope to do a 10 miler just before the weekend. Then, an 11 miler next week. Then, a 12 miler on MLK day (Mon the 19). THEN, THE ST. PAUL WINTER CARNIVAL HALF MARATHON ON THE 24TH! A month ago, I KNEW I could PR at the half marathon, being I’m in MUCH better shape than last year. But after this extra snowy and icy winter we’ve had so far, I’m not as sure. The conditions have been taking a toll on my runs (I can do “cold,” but there’s only so much I can do about “ice”). I guess we’ll see...

Happy training everyone!


Iron Jayhawk 10:34 AM, January 06, 2009  

That photo really pains me, Steve. But way to crank it out. I think you'll surprise yourself at the upcoming half mary.

Charisa 10:42 AM, January 06, 2009  

Love the yaktraks snow photos - awesome! Awesome run - great work!

chia 10:47 AM, January 06, 2009  

I have mad respect for anyone that keeps up that kind of pace on this ice. My hood is covered in that crap too and seriously YakTrax ain't touchin it. Great run!

Trishie 10:53 AM, January 06, 2009  

damn, super speedy steve... esp with the ice/ snow!

IronGambit 10:53 AM, January 06, 2009  

You just need to move to Texas dude.

Borsch 10:54 AM, January 06, 2009  

Wow....not a week goes by that we don't get an upclose and personal shot of your foot. One of these days I'm going to lose my lunch.

K 11:09 AM, January 06, 2009  

Your foot looks like an autopsy.

jen 11:29 AM, January 06, 2009  

Aww man, I can't see the photos for some reason. Not missing the blister pics but the snow ones sound neat. Anyway, really nice work on the long run Steve!! Amazing pace on that last mile.

GoBigGreen 12:16 PM, January 06, 2009  

Great pics, thanks for the Greenway picture, now i know i can ride on it!
I have to laugh at the FACE photos, I am waiting for you to be saying "But Officer, i have this blog, Steve..in a speedo..and...no really, i do...no...not for kids...for adults.."

joyRuN 12:42 PM, January 06, 2009  

Damn, Steve. Just when I thought your feet couldn't look worse...

tfh 12:48 PM, January 06, 2009  

I don't know how you manage that pace on ice, even w/ the YakTrax. You must be more fearless than I am! And no falls? More coordinated, too.

Chic Runner 1:07 PM, January 06, 2009  

Wow, thanks for sharing the good yaktrax and the bad pictures. I really enjoy seeing things that I hope to NEVER experience. You are too hardcore my friend!!

trimybest 2:20 PM, January 06, 2009  

sorry the greenway was so slippery! its usually not so icy when i run on it. also im heading to the dome tonight i will let you know if i can manage to run stairs. great run!

X-Country2 2:41 PM, January 06, 2009  

I KNEW the nasty feet picture was coming, and yet I still read on. When will I learn?

Marlene 3:29 PM, January 06, 2009  

I have no idea how you run with that on your foot. OUCHIE!

I also can't believe you ran with that paper shoved in your mittens. lol

Nice job! Quick miles for such crappy terrain.

Bootchez 4:00 PM, January 06, 2009  

Your feet are something else . . . how many blisters on top of blisters are possible! Superfast, yaktraks blisters and all . . . impressive!

teacherwoman 4:35 PM, January 06, 2009  

I don't know how you ran THAT kind of distance with THAT kind of speed on THAT kind of surface even with Yaktrax. Nice work!

jtrimom 6:21 PM, January 06, 2009  

my kids look over my shoulder as I am reading your blog...one says, "oooh, is that his feet?!"
another says, "ew, gross!" then they say, "Let's see them again!" with glee in their voices. So thanks for the gross pics of feet.

Marcy 7:01 PM, January 06, 2009  

DAYUM SON!!!! That foot looks like a pack of ground beef.

Kevin 8:36 PM, January 06, 2009  

OY! Those poor feet of yours

Casey 9:56 PM, January 06, 2009  

Yarg. That looks unpleasant.

I'm sure Keith Richards' key to longevity is chasing his Viagra w/ a shot of formaldehyde.

Michelle 10:00 PM, January 06, 2009  

Once again you amaze me!!!

I'm just saying!!!

bloomers shoppe 11:08 PM, January 06, 2009  

thanks for the comment steve! happy new year!

Born To Endure 6:44 AM, January 07, 2009  

You look like a crazy man in that pic!!

Bill Carter 7:39 AM, January 07, 2009  

Hi Steve

Wow, you had a great '08! Congrats on the 4 victories and running as a reaper and a tomato and ....

Best of luck in '09 and it would be nice to see those feet healthy and happy for once. BTW, my bottoms are OK and my toenails.. not so much.

Alisa 10:33 AM, January 07, 2009  

Wow, great job getting in the run in the snow and ice...at least 24 degrees is somewhat warmer than what you had a few weeks ago, right?

I get blisters too...don't they suck!

Scheri 11:40 AM, January 07, 2009  

OUCH! I can't believe you ran like that. You're amazingly speedy and have fewer nerve endings in your feet than the rest of us :-)

Calyx Meredith 1:34 PM, January 07, 2009  

Oh man - you totally suckered me with that toe shot! I always sort of start of skimming your posts with my eyes half closed for some forewarning but this time I didn't scroll far enough down. It's like - cute card, snow, icy snow, tv screen, somewhat sweaty Steve, EGAD - gross, gross blister! You caught me with my eyes wide open. Happy New Year anyway. :D

M 9:42 PM, January 07, 2009  

good grief those blisters look terrible! way to stick it out!

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