Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Running?

Enough already! This snowy, winter weather is really hampering my training. It’s not that I don’t like training in the winter. It’s just that I am having a hard time finding places to run. I still have a bad case of plantar fasciitis in both feet so running on pavement is not an option. I have tired a few times to run on the roads. Each time I do, my feet are sore for a week. Without roads, my only other option is the treadmill or trails. The treadmill hurts my feet almost as much as the roads and the trails are buried in snow. I have been able to get to the trails on the weekends for some snowshoe running but that isn’t possible during the week when you work in one of the most congested areas in the City of Boston.

I know taking a break from hard training is good but I’ve had enough rest already. I ran less than 60 miles in December and I’ll run less than 100 miles this month. I am rethinking my goal for The Fells Race, my first trail race of the 2009 season. I was aiming for 3-4 loops (24 – 32 miles) on the Skyline Trail but my poor training, particularly the lack of long runs, has caused me to lower my goal. I’ll be happy with 16 miles on this rugged trail.

On a positive note, January 2009 will be a better month than January 2008. Last year I returned to running after a 7 month hiatus due to several medical issues. I only ran 12 miles in January of 2008 so I’m way ahead of where I was last year at this time. And last year turned out pretty well after all.

It’s Friday!

PS: This is my 100th post!!


  1. I know what you mean, with the early darkness, the weather and the total inconience of winter running, I too am behind in my training. I suppose if I was a skier I would fair much better but that wouldn't work either because I would probably break some bone and get no running in. Soring will be here soon and the trails will open up. I hope! By the way, I like the new color scheme of your blog.

  2. Hey, Dan,

    I'm still running trails although not as much. I run the Skyline Trail at the Fells most weekends. I find that with all of the hikers and dog-walkers, the snow is well-packed. The result for me is usually a faster loop than in no snow conditions. I run faster because I'm not as concerned about taking a serious fall in the snow. Also all of the voids between the rocks and roots are filled in. These days my big problem is dragging myself out of a warm bed early in the morning before the sun has risen. The promise of a cup of Spanish coffee downstairs often takes care of that, though. Sorry I missed you snowshoe running at Breakheart a couple of weeks ago. I had just returned from a climbing class and was too exhausted to run.

    Until later,


  3. Strep, thanks for the info on the Fells. I'll have to check it out this Sunday. Not enough traffic at Breakheart to pack things down. I read your post on the climbing class. It sounded like you had a real adventure. The avalanche must have been scary!!

  4. Hey Dan,
    How frustrating! Hopefully will have a short winter... I think that if you manage to go out for a couple of hours every weekend in February and than do one 3 h snowshoe in March you are going to be all set for the Fells Race in March. You can also try deepwater running during the week, but that may not be an option. Good luck, Spring is almost here:) Ana
    P.S. Congrats on the 100th post!

  5. Great! Maybe I should add some qualifications to my ringing endorsement, though. I just ran 12 miles this morning on a road route that I did Wednesday morning as the snow fell. On Wednesday, the old snow had thawed and refrozen into ankle twisting chunks similar to the rocks you might find on a New England trail. The later part of the storm included sleet and rain followed by warmer temperatures and later re-freezing. The result today is an almost Zamboni-slick surface. I doubt it's that icy at the Fells, but I expect the trail conditions have deteriorated, and I would not be surprised to find some ice. So go carefully!


  6. Ana - thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to seeing you at the fells.

    Streph - No problem. I didn't have much time for training today so I just went to Breakheart. Some of the trails were runnable!!

  7. Dan
    I have the same issue finding trails that are packed down enough to run on. The main trails I train on in the warmer weather near Groton are at Beaver Brook in Hollis. I love the place because it is not very one is ever on my fav. trails there..but this makes it tough now as there are no hikers to trample it down enough to run on. I did a loop today on some back roads that ended up being about 11 miles. One road, Old Dunstable off of RT. 40 in Groton was quite lovely. I discovered a series of trails (at least 4 different ones) that left right from this road...and even better the snowmobiles had driven on them and the snow looked really packed down. I ran on one in my road runners for a bit and it was smooth going : ) What a nice surprise that was!!! I plan to run these trails one day this week after work with my headlamp. I miss clear trails..I miss taking off for Wapack after work and it being light enough to get in a few hours...


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