Beaten up, not broken

After 16 miles on the indoor track Saturday, I knew the rest of the day was going to be a mixed bag, regardless whether I had lots of energy.

The issue wasn’t one of being tired, but the constant pounding that such a hard surface would have on the leg muscles, tendons and ligaments. Add the odd angles and turns of the track, and there’s a recipe for a workout hangover in the form of soreness.

But don’t get me wrong: I’d rather take on the challenges of running indoors than the hazards of outdoor workouts. For years, I’ve run outside in all conditions, but it is impossible to run at the appropriate pace, even for long runs, when Mother Nature requires such drastic measures. It makes sense for some people, especially those runners who have winter races in the snow. But not for me.

In the coming weeks, I’ll need to transition some of my indoor running to the treadmill as I look to add more specified race training to my workouts. The benefit of treadmills is being able to dial in pace for speed and tempo-boosting runs.

Lately, I’ve seen articles, including this one, discussing the benefits of compression socks. Personally, I don’t need research to tell me that they work for me. A few years ago, I began racing marathons while wearing them, and I was convinced of the benefits. And I know I can’t run the mileage I’ve been doing, 40-plus miles per week indoors, without them.

But not all compression socks are made equal. Some pass as compression socks but are nothing more than tight fitting. Others have graduated compression aspects and do the job quite well. And knowing that I’m now committed to running indoors for most of the winter, I went on a spending spree to purchase several pairs of my favorite CW-X socks, a high quality yet moderately priced piece of clothing.

So, for the next few months, I’ll look for chances to run outdoors. Frankly, I would much rather be outside. But the weather, combined with my running goals, will lead me to spend several hours each week indoors. But I will look for chances to get outdoors to run or cross country ski, something I enjoy doing with my dog. Recently, Coby went on his first skiing adventure, a short one that reminded me a lot of time spent with Riley on the trails near Bemidji, where I hope to return once or twice yet this winter for similar outings. Below are pictures of him during and after our adventure.

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