For several weeks, I’ve opted to spend most of my time running indoors, on a track, going in circles.
Instead of icy roads – coated thick and uneven like frosting on a homemade cake – offering up sketchy footing, I have opted for the comfortable confines of the Bemidji State recreation center.
But Sunday I decided to venture outside. For one, I was too impatient to wait for the center to open so I could start my 14-mile run. And I had plenty of other things I wanted to do and I wanted to finish the run so I could get on with my day.
Soon I discovered how nice it was to run on clear streets again. Those snow-packed roads, crusted in ice, had turned to bare pavement after a week of warmer weather, a sign the sunshine had done its duty as spring beckoned.
For the past few weeks, the difficulty of the long run had become more mental than physical. As I finished up Sunday’s run, I realized it hadn’t been that tough of a run, especially without the added challenge of staying upright. Unfortunately, this bonus was short lived as a winter storm, packed with several inches of fresh snow, arrived today.
As I shift into long-term training mode – with intentions of running Grandma’s Marathon in the midst of Ironman Wisconsin training – my schedule is beginning to become more clear. It’s obvious that I must focus on running less frequently while making sure the miles are high quality. In addition, I’m extending my swim workouts and slowly building my ability in the water. And I’ll have to add the final piece – the quality cycling workouts – to an already packed schedule.
It seems juggling 2 of the 3 sports is easily manageable, but it’s finding the balance for all three – and being comfortable with the balance – may be the biggest challenge.