This week was a little more chill as far as hours at work (though much more thinking-intensive), which had me anticipating totally kicking butt in training. However, it turned out to also really freaking cold, with multiple days having lows in the negatives and highs in the mid-teens. In addition to the cold we ended up having a few near-blizzard days that dumped feet of snow on the roads, our driveway, and the formerly nicely packed trails.
This cold weather, a ton of snow shoveling, and general blahs led to a slightly disappointing training week. I ended up skipping my planned Nordic race when the temps were projected to be <5 degrees F at the start, and only managed to get out to ski 2 days.
On the plus side, I learned that my downhill mittens actually work pretty well for skate skiing – I have to focus more on keeping hold of my poles, but my hands stay warm even around 10 degrees F, which is ache-inducing in my cycling lobster-mits. I’m hoping to test them out prior to doing any sub 5-degree racing in them, but at least now I know sticking with my race plan even in the nastier weather may be a possibility. I also figured out how to arrange my buff so that I keep my cheeks and neck from feeling frost-bitten but can breathe without my breath condensing on the fabric, leading to severe ice-face.
I also managed to hit just under my total ski time from last week thanks to a very long Saturday ski – 9.3 miles, my longest skate ski day yet! Lastly, I had my longest run in quite some time this morning, enjoying a 10k that took about an hour due to some very snowy trails and a few detours into waist deep powder.
In spite of slacking during the midweek, I was happy with my return to motivation-land the last few days and am really glad I learned a few gear tricks for dealing with the cold. My next challenge is to try to add another running day (going from 4 days to 5 days per week) while still getting my skiing days in to train for the last race in March. I may need to add some more run-commuting in this week!
I’m happily managing to hold relatively steady with my total training load through the unpredictable weather and have felt good even with the gradual increase in running time.
Oh, and one random cool thing for the Strava users and data/development geeks on here: I just discovered the Strava labs blog (development side rather than their other blog that covers bike & running races, user stories, etc.) and it has some great technical articles and informative explanations of the various Strava features. For example, I found out a lot more today about how the auto-pause works and about why it behaves differently between the running and riding versions in my phone app. Really interesting stuff!