At one stage today, despite the overall quantity of white stuff having fallen over Ashford not yet covering the lawn to full grass-blade depth, I found myself running (almost) at 8.23 pace for a mile into a biting wind, uphill, on ice. I felt and probably looked as graceful as a pig on stilts. But, much like a porcine hero, I remained right-side up. One step forwards, several inches back, I think was the mantra.
On the run overall, that was my main bad decision. We haven’t had enough snow to warrant heading out in my trail shoes yet, least of all these gorgeous offerings from New Balance…
I’m presuming that we won’t be lucky enough to have that much, but I’m ready. I’m itching to get back on the trail routes – my old shoes have loads of life in them, perfect to use while I get used to these New Balance offerings which are the minimal range – there’s nothing to them, including cushioning! The box advises 10% of your normal distance to get used to them and work it up over time so I’ll be wearing them in cautiously, but around the house and a quick sprint up the garden and they feel good – I’m excited to give them a go. But not unless it’s either properly white on the roads and there’s something for them to bite into, or the fields thaw. Unforgiving is the brief at the moment, I think.
So my route today was fine around the main lanes. One of the larger routes (that’s a relative term, by the way. A few cars an hour rather than a few a day for my favourite roads) hadn’t been treated at all so was mainly well compacted snow and ice with no option but to stay on it or run in the ditch alongside; the rest were clear and wide enough to pass a car without hedge- dodging. The worst was my linking and favourite road on the route which was largely untracked by vehicles, so for me was fine in offering virgin snow up the middle to gain grip.
The other change today was wearing a new pair of tights and new long-sleeve top. Again, I’ve put my trust in New Balance – my three year old top of theirs is still my favourite; the new one feels just as good and performed superbly today. I’ve not had NB tights before and these feel good – a proper lace type draw-string and a flash of red for some style on my wafer thin legs lifts them visually; they seemed cool to start compared to my favourite Adidas offerings but immediately became forgotten for the rest of the run and were dry and warm once home. I declare them perfect.
So another Janathon run done. I’m worried one of the last runs will be lost due to the weather but have my first leg niggling-worry type thing developing so am not about to up mileage to potentially compensate – my right shin is getting quite sore on the inside bit that flared up after last Janathon. I’m managing it with hard massage, but it’s a worry. I don’t want to fuck up February and beyond any more than I want to miss my Janathon target.
Hmm, it might yet get tense and exciting as we come through the second to last week…