It's the first week of December and it looks like winter finally decided to show up for the end of the year party. But even after a couple of inches of rain in the foothills and a couple feet of snow in the mountains, I managed to not have to run in any really bad weather. I did my first "dark" run Friday morning. I wanted to get it out of the way before the family woke up so I headed out early and had to use my flashlight the whole time. It's amazing how much slower you run in the dark, even on a familiar trail. Takes practice I guess. My legs felt a little heavy and lacked spring. I met a mountainbiker on the trail and he was so excited to see someone else out that early. Funny, it was 6:30 but being December, it was still so dark. It started to drizzle as I was finishing the run but I was warmly tucked in the house when it really started to rain.
Yesterday I had planned a 14 mile long run after I took the girls to daycare. It was a cold, grey morning and still raining pretty good, not very inviting. The forecast called for clearing skies so I changed things around and ran some errands after dropping the girls off and by 11:00 the rain had stopped. I loaded up my hip pack (could have managed with 1 hand-held bottle), grabbed Yuba and hit the soggy trail. The trail was full of BIG puddles and I even hit some snow at the 4100 foot level (I live at 3500 ft). Once again my legs felt heavy and the run out seemed difficult. I know I've been fighting a bit of a cold earlier this week, my resting heart-rate has been 6-10 beats higher than normal. This is also the first week in a while where I've exercised everyday.
Yes, that's the trail
But enough excuses, it was enjoyable to be out in the post-storm weather. I ran up the Pioneer trail avoiding the puddles as best as possible. My goal was to run to White Cloud but just a half mile short of that I decided to turn back. The run back is mostly a gradual downhill and I felt much better. I averaged a 10:00/mi pace but it felt slower and the miles went by pretty fast. Yuba had finally burned off some energy and stuck right by my side.
Today is a rest day and I welcome it. Sometimes it can be tough getting back into a regular routine but it also feels good to be back on track.
This week we also managed to decorate the Christmas tree with the help of a 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old. Needless to say, lots of ornaments clumped together on the bottom 1/3 of the tree but they had so much fun.
Waiting for Santa under the tree
I've also added one last race to the year. Gordy Ainsleigh's Cool Yule Jingle Jog 5K in Meadow Vista on Christmas Day. Pat works Christmas so we're celebrating on Christmas Eve and with my parents in town, I'll be able to run. Should be fun and it's for a good cause :)