I’ll admit it. The cold weather this morning for the long run scared me.
When I looked at the forecast last night, zero degrees windchill and 11F, I called Coleen “Lil Big Hawk” Voeks to see if she thought it might be too cold to run. She pondered the question for a millionth of a second and then told me she would be there.
So, former victim of frostbite that I am, and scared of cold as I am, I showed up too.
Glad I did! We had a gang — about 20 starting!
Justin “GNT Hawk” Henning led for most of the 16 miles, out 10 on the white-blazed trail, then back 6 and a little more on the blue-blazed trail.
Bitter cold and gray skies for the duration, but no wind, thank goodness. Managed to keep my hands warm inside two pairs of gloves, by balling up my inner gloved hand within the outer glove. Fingers froze, otherwise.
Astonishingly, I watched Mark “Double Eagle Hawk” Boucher come into the finish with no gloves — said his hands got too hot!
My nose also froze, and my lips got so numb it was hard to talk… not like that stopped me blabbing, though. Managed to keep my hydration water line clear until the last few miles, when I forgot to blow through it after my last drink. Probably took 10 minutes or less for the liquid to crystallize.
Darin “Lincoln Hawk” Schneidewind ran the last few miles with us, at the end of his own 21-mile run. We talked about possible ultras on the Prairie Spirit Trail south of here. Weren’t sure when, but agreed — needed to be a WARM WEATHER event.
With this 16, I finished with 45 for the week — right in my Rockin’ K 50-Mile plan.
After the run, Danny “Study Hawk” Miller and some friends he brought, Carl and Kate; Coleen, James “Skull Hawk” Barker, and I did some recon up and over Bunker Hill. We were looking for extra mileage for the Hawk Hundred, 50 and 26.2-mile races this September.
We want four 25-mile laps, and by creating a 2.5 mile loop at Bunker Hill, should be able to do it.
Well it was frigid cold the whole time, but I’m proud to say I cowboyed up and faced the big chill. I just hope it’s warmer next weekend!
In other news, got a call from Brett in Sulphur Springs, Texas (where I bet it’s warm). We’ve been corresponding a little about his training for a second finish at Leadville. Brett reads this blog and is in my age group, so we talk about the issues.
Anyway, his question for Coach Gary was — “Do I do speedwork in training for hundreds?” My answer — and holler if you disagree with my position — was “No I do not.”
I find speedwork is only helpful for races where you run fast — 5 and 10k races come to mind. For some, maybe even marathon. In general, the longer the race, the less speed comes into play.
Better than speedwork — hill work. Or if you don’t have hills, find an elliptical trainer. That will give you what you need for Leadville — strength to power up those endless ascents.
That strength will also come in handy if you need to pick up the pace a little on the flat, too. Maybe this is a sign Coleen and I should start up our old coaching blog “Onward and upward.” Maybe not.
In any case — onward and upward!