This week the Melrose Running Club held their Holiday Party on Saturday night, so we had our Sunday Long Run on Saturday. Some people don’t like to stay out all night and then go for a long run.
Since this is the third week of our program, the Saturday Long run dropped down to 10.5 miles. After the hilly 12.5 miles the previous week, it was a welcome distance.
Last week, my Garmin showed that I climbed the equivalent of 77 flights of stairs on that run. And my legs certainly felt it!
This week we left our starting area behind Brueggers on Main Street in Melrose and headed north on Main Street. Somehow, we forgot to get a group photo!
This Saturday the temperature was around 33F with an occasional breeze and a constant, light drizzle. I think the precipitation kept our group small, probably 25 people?
The first mile out I ran a 10:57 pace in an effort to warm up and see what was going to hurt this time. And I did run a bit with Marty Hergert this week!
Over miles two and three the group settled into groups of runners by pace and I ended up running with Joe Winslow and Dan Slattery. We ran around 10:15 over those two miles and my left knee was bothering me.
This early in my Boston Marathon training, this had me a little worried. Knee pain has been a constant issue but I have learned a few tricks.
When I first started back to running, my PT would have me walk four minutes and then run one minute and slowly progress to running a 5K without walking over the course of about five weeks.
When I got to the point in this process where I was running more than walking, almost every time my knee would hurt. So the walking breaks were welcomed.
What I discovered by doing this progression was that often my knee pain would go away after I took the walk break. Even if I did more than the usual pre-run warm up my knee would still hurt. But walking almost always made it feel better.
So when we got to our first water stop at about 5K I took an extended walking break to the men’s room at the local McDonalds.
Don Cranley is the guy in the red jacket next to me in the above photo. We both have a Boston Marathon number through our club and both really needed to get this run in.
Don wasn’t really feeling it, so I told him I’d catch up and run with him after my pit stop.
Now, Don might not have been feeling it, but it took me almost four miles to catch up to him at the bottom of Lake Q. I ran all of four of those miles well under a 1o-minute pace. So he was cruising along.
Finishing the Saturday Long Run
As I ran down North Ave in Wakefield I could see Don’s red jacket way down the road. And I could see him taking walking breaks. When I caught up to him he asked me which direction to go in, so I think he had been checking the map on his phone.
This is the second week that someone has asked me for directions, which is generally not a good thing to do. Fortunately, I know these courses very well and they are some of our easiest.
But if you add in a few rotaries and intersections with five roads and poor signage, I could get you lost!
As we ran down Main Street in Wakefield almost every driver let us cross the street and were just great in general. I think both of us really appreciated that.
When we got back to the water stop Bobby Taylor was there manning the stop and the only person there. Then Zelia showed up and started snapping pics. Just like she did last week.
We were about seven and a half miles into the run at this point. I didn’t feel great but my back and left knee were manageable. And while my cardio wasn’t in marathon condition, my breathing was comfortable.
After a minute or so, Don and I headed out for the last 5K of the run.
Don was kind of struggling and he told me later that I helped push him along. He was only going to do the half distance.
Soon after we left the water stop we hit a small hill and both of us felt it, but we kept on going and talking.
It’s always a good sign when you can talk and run!
At around mile nine Don said he had to walk and that I should go on. We’ve all been there and it’s no slight to run on ahead of someone during a training run. Especially when you are almost done.
I ran in the last approximately 1.7 miles by myself around a 10 to 10:30 pace. It felt comfortable and my pain was manageable.
My total distance was 10.81 miles at an average of 10:02 which was the pace I wanted on this run. Now I want to try and run this pace at the longer distance next week.
I had to do some club business in town after the run, so I didn’t hang out for coffee afterwards. Maybe next week.
Customized race bib for download 30th anniversary commemorative long sleeve shirt Custom participant medal and ribbon Sampler box of chocolates Valentine flower Personal online photo album Virtual online leaderboard results Access to members only Facebook group Personalized digital finisher’s certificate for download
This race was cancelled for 2021 but came back for 2022 and for 2023 it has gone from a 5-miler to a 10K. And it’s close enough to Valentine’s day!
The race is based out of Harry’s Westgate Pub and Grill in Brockton. Race start is at D.W. Field Park about a quarter miles away at 11:00 AM.
This race is produced by the Colonial Road Runners and registration is $35. First 250 to register are guaranteed a gift. All runners will enjoy hot chili/pasta and one complementary beer or soft drink.
Age group and top finishers receive awards. This race does not provide a finisher’s medal to all runners.
12 February | Saturday | 10:00 AM | Willimantic, CT
The Cupid Made Me Do It is a 2 mile run or walk to be held in downtown Willimantic. This “urban scramble” will be held as a part of the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival and will benefit the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry.
Valentine’s Day fancy dress is appreciated and applauded.
The first 250 registered runners receive a free Cupid Gloves or a FANDANA.
Everyone registered by February 3rd receives a shirt. There are age-group awards and team awards – so bring your friends!
IRIS served more than 2,000 immigrants last year and welcomed over 280 newly arrived refugees! The mission of IRIS is to enable refugees and other displaced people to establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut’s communities. Refugees are men, women and children who fled their countries of origin due to persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religious belief, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Celebrating twenty years since my first training run, I ran the second Sunday Long Run with the Melrose Running Club and guests.
The Road to Boston has begun with the second Sunday Long Run. The Melrose Running Club has been sponsoring these Sunday runs for the past twenty years and all runners are invited.
The Road to Boston SLR 1
Since January 1st was the first Sunday of 2023 we didn’t have an organized club run that day. Many of us ran various New Year’s Day races, such as the Hangover Classic in Salisbury Beach.
Because I was running a New Year’s Day race I decided to do my first long run on December 30th.
For that run I started at my house, ran through Malden and out on the North Spur bike trail to Saugus.
This route in almost entirely flat, so it was a great way to start ramping up the miles. I ran 10.3 miles that day at a comfortable 10:05 pace.
On the way back I stopped in at Idle Hands Brewing and had a nice half liter of Emelyn, their Vienna Lager. I also had a nice conversation with the bar tender, John. I was the only customer in the bar!
The Road to Boston SLR 2
January 8th was the first official Melrose Running Club Sunday Long Run. And since it is technically the second week of Boston Marathon training, we ran the week 2 route which was 12.5 for the long run and 7.1 miles for the half distance.
I know, not great math there. But when you’re not up for almost a half marathon, 7.1 still feels like half of the full. Or a short run.
We had at least 44 people show up for this chilly run. I think a few more people joined us after this photo was taken.
When we started it was 24F and it really felt like it. We were lucky in that there was no wind or rain. That makes a big difference in the comfort level.
In this photo you will notice that several of us have our hands stuffed under our arms. Even with gloves my fingers were freezing.
It was so cold that I headed out with the first runners. I knew I would warm up eventually. And if I was in the lead pack all the faster people would catch up and I’d get to talk to everyone. I’d also not be at the end of the pack.
At mile one my fingers and toes were feeling a little better, but I was trying to figure out if they were warming up or if I was loosing feeling in my fingers and toes!
At mile 1 we were close to the intersection of West Wyoming Ave and the Fellsway East. The road was clear so we crossed the Ave like a stampeding heard of beast breathing frost into the air.
At the intersection we took a left and headed for the hills of the Fellsway East.
At this point I began to adjust my running pace and approached the hills by my self. I’ve been doing this twenty years and I know what running hills can do to you if you’re not prepared.
As I made my way up the first hill our former club President, Bobby Taylor, caught up to me.
He noticed that I was wearing trail shoes on a road run and asked if I always wore them for road runs.
I told him I have been for the past few months.
I started wearing the Brooks Cascadia shoes about 10 years ago. At the time I was looking for a shoe to keep my feet warm in the winter. At the time these shoes featured Gore-Tex which helps insulate the shoe.
Trail shoes are generally stiffer and heavier than road shoes. The outsoles are designed to give you extra traction and support. They do not flex as much and are good for landing on stones and tree roots.
But they are stiffer, don’t have as much cushion, and are very loud on the road. Like many runners, Bobby prefers more cushioning. I agreed that I should pick up a pair of road shoes to use on nice days. It’s good to rotate shoes and the Cascadia are a bit much for a road run.
Eventually Bobby moved along and the group prepared for and made our move across the Fellsway so we would be ready for our next turn onto Highland Avenue.
Highland is a nice wide avenue with a wide bike lane to run in. It’s also a hill for the first half mile.
5K and Water Stop One
Shortly after turning onto Highland we hit 5K. Only 9.4 miles to go!
At this point all of us still felt good and both the long and short runners were still together.
Julie and Gail had the first stop set up for us. When you get a group of runners together, it can be hard to get them going once again. We have so much fun catching up.
Zelia Magliozzi had run down the Fellsway and met us at the water stop. She was doing a recovery run after doing her long run on Saturday.
I left the water stop by my self. If you hang out too long the muscles tighten up and you get cold.
As I headed out of the Fulton Street rotary I could see a few runners ahead of me heading up the Elm Street hill. They had crossed the road already and were moving along nicely.
I put my head down and dug into the hill. About half way up the hill I made my crossing to be in position for our right onto the Fellsway West.
As I approached the turn I saw a runner in a 2017 Boston Marathon jacket. He was standing there looking at his phone.
When I reached him I asked if he was okay and he said he thought he was lost. He had downloaded the half-map and thought he needed to turn left.
I assured him that we were taking a right and off we went. His name was Eric and he was with The Mystic Runners. Eric is also training for Boston 2023.
This piece of road has a number of challenges. The breakdown lane is nice and wide in most places, but there is hill. There is also a ramp to Rt. 93 South and if someone is coming up behind you and doesn’t care about hitting you, it can get dicey.
Fortunately we waved someone on who was coming towards us to take the ramp.
The run over the Rt 93 bridge wasn’t too bad. Some days this wide open area can be windy and cold.
Shortly after the bridge we hit mile 5 and approached the exit ramp from Rt. 93 North. People come flying up this ramp, there isn’t a cross walk and no one would expect to see runners crossing their path.
Once again, we were fortunate and there wasn’t any traffic.
10K and Water Stop Two
Just as we hit mile 6, we made our turn at Straw Point for water stop two.
Nicole Jacob was our goddess at this stop. We weren’t especially parched or anything but it’s always nice to see a friendly face.
After a quick drink we continued on our way and hit 10K before we left the parking lot.
Eric hadn’t run much beyond 10 miles in quite a while and as we told Nicole, “it’s beginning to feel like a run.”
We ran down Pond Street in Stoneham and made our way past the Stone Zoo. Running past the parking lot we had to run another hill.
Shortly after we hit mile 7 the road turns into Woodland Road. This is one of those curvy, hilly roads that our forefathers designed for Sunday driving in the suburbs. We managed to stay pretty close to our average pace running the hills they designed for amusement.
As we approached Flynn Rink we hit mile 8 and it felt like a gift. I hardly noticed the mile. I still felt pretty good but both of us had become more focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
We negotiated the Fulton Rotary again and headed for water stop 1/3.
It’s always nice when the club can use a water stop twice. It’s often challenging to get enough volunteers to man all of our stops. Sometimes one person will cover more than one stop.
Four miles to go at Water Stop Three
Eric and I were the only two runners at the stop this time.
Julie and Gail said they ran out of cups and had to go buy more. Based on the cup count they figured 40 runners were on the course. Amazingly, there were a few people behind us.
We didn’t hang out long. We were both sweaty and tired and didn’t want to get cold and have our muscles tighten up.
Stiffly we started out and crossed the road to get ready for our next turn.
This was onto East Border Road which is a hilly piece of road on the south side of The Middlesex Fells Reservation.
As we ran down the hill approaching the Fellsway East we hit mile 9. Only 3.5 miles to go.
The turn onto The Fellsway had us running up hill immediately.
Drivers tend to fly up this road also. Seems to be a common theme here!
But the pavement is only a few years old and there is a pretty good break down lane for most of this section of The Fellsway.
We continued to chat as we made our way over these hills. As we crested the second hill we hit mile 10 and still felt pretty good.
As we ran down the hill I knew I needed to make a pit stop at the Dunkin Donuts.
Eric asked if I wanted him to hang out, but I told him to go on and I’d try to catch up.
Fortunately the restroom door wasn’t locked and I was back on the road in no time.
As I left Dunkin’s parking lot I didn’t see any other runners. But I knew where I was going.
As I crested yet another hill I saw Joe Winslow ahead running on the sidewalk. It took me a bit to catch up with him, but when I did we ran the rest of the distance together.
Joe and I haven’t run together in probably three years. We did chat after a club run a few weeks ago, but it was still fun catching up. Both of us once had little girls and are now empty nesters.
As we approached West Foster Street I made sure we got to 12.5 miles. This early in a training program, you don’t want to be taking short cuts. Training is about doing the work.
Apre SLR 2
Before COVID we used to hang out at Brueggers after a long run. They had a few long tables and we could get twenty or so people seated. It was great and we left some cash in the till.
But Brueggers removed all of their tables during COVID and still hasn’t replaced them.
So we headed to a new coffee shop called Café Nero. It’s in a new building on Main Street and is a new shop in town. I think they are a local chain.
There menu looks like Starbucks but they have a wider variety of food and the décor is a bit more modern and hip than Starbucks.
I was celebrating twenty years since my first ever training run. So I got a grande coffee and an almond cressant.
As one of the last long-runners to come in, I found the table full. But AJ Drummond was gracious enough to offer his seat. He had to head out.
It was fun to hang out with everyone. Some people I knew, some I recognized and some I didn’t.
I finished my cressant, said my good byes and headed home. While I sat there my muscles had tightened up and I knew that I needed to get home and stretch.
When old man winter blows in hard and furious, creating icy roads and huge snowbanks narrowing roadways, what can you do (besides treadmill running)? Running on roads with less traffic still has risks. Seeking out well plowed streets offers limited choices. Well, there’s another choice which is safer, more fun, and gives you a more forgiving surface than running on the roads: snowshoeing!
If you want to get into snowshoeing, you’ll first need to decide which type and model of snowshoe to buy. The majority of snowshoes on the market are designed for either mountain hiking or trail walking. Running in the former is possible but challenging. The latter is fine for starting out. These will cost $100-$200.
However, if you want snowshoes primarily for running training and possibly snowshoe racing, you are better off getting running or racing snowshoes. These will cost $200-$300 for better models.
The good news is that companies are starting to offer more choices every year as this sport catches on. The bad news is that most outdoors specialty retail stores do not carry this type of snowshoe, so you will most likely have to buy online and read up on different options, vs. having an in-store salesperson help you.
Try before you buy
If you have never been snowshoeing before, you will probably want to try it before buying snowshoes. REI rents snowshoes, or you may find a small local retailer that does. Rentals typically will run $10-$20/day. Many XC ski touring centers will also rent snowshoes. A great opportunity to try out different models of snowshoes for free every winter is “Winter Trails Day”, held in several states on different dates in January. Go to www.wintertrails.org for more info. There you can try 3-4 different models in an hour or two and get questions answered.
You are not likely to find racing snowshoe models at these stores or events. However, many races will provide an opportunity to use a racing model provided by a sponsor for an extra $5 – $10. The numbers are often limited so you may need to register early.
If you were buying snowshoes for hiking, you would want to learn about “flotation” and get a snowshoe size based on your weight and type of snow conditions you will encounter.
For snowshoe running and racing, you will want a narrower and lighter snowshoe. The following webpage lists 35 models of racing snowshoes which are ‘legal’ per racing snowshoe regulations: http://www.snowshoeracing.com/legal_size.htm
Here in New England, Dion dominates the market, with their Model 121 being most popular.
One thing you will want to consider is how easy and comfortable it is to fasten your hiking or running shoes to the snowshoes via the bindings, which typically involve some type of leather, rubber, or plastic straps. Dion’s ‘Quick Fit’ binding comprised of flexible VELCRO®-type straps is one of the easier types available.
Other details to consider when trying snowshoes for running is how closely the snowshoe snaps back to your foot, kick back of snow, and weight.
Lastly, while most snowshoe hikers also get a pair of ski or trekking poles, for both balance and leverage, they are not needed for snowshoe running, and are not used for racing.
If just looking looking to get into snowshoeing as cross-training for hiking, hiking shoes are your best option. For running training, consider getting a GORE-TEX® running shoe, especially if you are prone to getting cold feet. See “The best way to enjoy winter running” for some suggestions. Another advantage of these shoes is that they will offer better forefoot protection against binding straps, which may otherwise provide uncomfortable pressure points.
Such shoes are also fine for racing, where you might not mind trading off some extra weight for comfort. At the other end of the spectrum, some racers looking for the lightest weight and comfort have found ways to custom mount a pair of racing flats directly to the webbing of the snowshoe, eliminating the need for bindings.
Gaiters are especially helpful for snowshoe running. This topic was also covered in the blog post mentioned earlier. For most conditions, ankle height gaiters will be your best option. Most models will attach via clips to your laces, and laces or straps under your arch to secure the gaiter. Instead of the latter, some models attach to your heel with a strip of VELCRO®.
You will quickly find out when you do snowshoe running workouts that you will generate more heat than for a corresponding road workout. Thus, an initial guide for what to wear is to dress for about 10 degrees warmer than what you would wear for running. You will quickly find what works best for you. The only other special consideration for snowshoeing is that there is just no avoiding kicking up snow behind you, which can leave a mass of ice crystals clinging to the back of your pants. Slicker materials such as running tights or rain pants will minimize this.
Where to go
If your local golf course is available for winter recreation, you can run with as little as 2” of snow if the ground is well frozen. Avoid running over the greens. A similarly good location is around playing fields at local schools. Rail trails and some woods trails will be fine with about 4-5” of snow, whereas rocky woods trails may need 8” or more before you can get out without risk of damaging your snowshoe crampons or twisting an ankle.
If you go on trails and find cross-country ski tracks present, proper trail etiquette requests snowshoers to avoid stepping in the tracks.
Racing and Race opportunities
If you are a competitive runner and get into snowshoeing, you will probably want to try snowshoe racing at some point. The quality of the snow at the time of the race will be the biggest variable that you will encounter, from very hard to very soft, very smooth to ‘choppy’, and from well packed to fluffy fresh powder.
The conditions obviously will affect how fast you can go. As a result, times are not comparable even for the same race from year-to-year. Under typical racing conditions, expect your times to be anywhere from 50% to 2x (or more) greater than your times for a road race of the same distance.
All that being said, snowshoe races offer runners a fun and interesting experience for racing, quite different from other races. You’ll generally find other runners at snowshoe races, typically those who enjoy cross-country, trail, and mountain races.
Snowshoe races frequently have ‘single-track’ sections: narrow paths in woods where the snow-packed trail is not wide enough for two people to run side-by-side. It is very difficult to pass on these sections. If you sense someone is on your heels and itching to pass you, try to quickly find a good spot to step to the side to let them pass. You will appreciate the same favor when the situation is reversed!
Here are a few snowshoe races and sites to learn more:
The Goose Adventure Racing Snowshoe Series consists of five races in 2020. At each event, racers will compete for points based on their placement (not time) in each race. 100 points will be awarded to the first finisher in both genders, 2nd place will receive 99 points, third will receive 98, etc. Cast a Shadow presents an opportunity to rake in a lot of points! Every lap completed will earn 10 points up to a maximum of 100 points (relay team members only collect points on their own laps). The Little Rodent 4ish Mile race the morning of Cast a Shadow will also award points starting at 50 points for 1st place. However, a maximum of 100 points can be earned from combined points from both events. Competitors must race in a minimum of TWO Goose Series Races to be eligible for prizes. At the finale of the Series, awards will be presented to the top three male and female points leaders as well as first place in the Masters (40+) age group (with no double dipping).
Lastly, snowshoeing with others is a great way to keep active during the winter. Having someone guide you through trails, especially at night, is a lot easier than going off by yourself. Also, when there is deep fresh snow, making tracks is a lot easier with a group.
So, whether you are looking to find a safer alternative to running on the roads during the worst winter days, interested in a growing way to stay competitive during the winter, or looking for a fun way to take advantage of winter’s bounty and enjoy the company of friends out in the woods, consider taking up snowshoeing!
Windburn is dry, chapped skin caused by prolonged exposure to cold, dry air.
Windburn is caused by your body’s response to cold, dry air. Wind accelerates this process by drawing heat and moisture from your skin.
Sunburn has similar symptoms but is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) from the sun. It’s not unusual to get windburn and sunburn together.
Moisture evaporates from your skin through a process called Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Thisis part of the natural process your body uses to maintain your skin, the largest organ in the body.
When your skin is exposed to cold, dry air your body responds by dilating blood vessels near the surface of the skin. This increases blood flow to restore normal skin moisture and temperature levels.
Over prolonged periods of time and in harsher conditions, the rate of evaporation exceeds your body’s capacity to respond. When normal skin temperature and moisture levels cannot be maintained your skin becomes damaged and you get windburn.
In the short term, wind burn results in red, dry skin which may become chapped or crack. In the long term, repeated or extended exposure can cause permanent damage and pre-mature aging of your skin.
Sunburn is caused by exposure to the sun’s Ultra-Violet (UV) rays. Similar to windburn, UV rays also cause your skin to dry out from accelerated TEWL. More significant is the damage UV rays cause to the DNA in your skin cells. This accelerates the aging process and can also lead to cancer.
It’s not uncommon to simultaneously suffer sunburn and windburn. It’s not uncommon to experience dry, cold and sunny conditions together.
Five Ways to Prevent Windburn
The best way to treat wind burn is to prevent it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
For athletes this means training indoors when conditions are harsh or changing the time of day you exercise outside. This is just like avoiding the hottest, sunniest parts of the day during the summer months.
For most athletes, over exposure to the elements is common. We cannot control the environment and sometimes we are unprepared to deal with harsh conditions.
It’s not unusual for conditions to change during a run. If race day turns into a bad weather day, most of us still show up.
Since most of us still show up for races in harsh conditions and still train in less than ideal conditions, we need to take steps to protect ourselves.
Here are Five Ways to Prevent Windburn
1.) Use a skin cream that locks in moisture. Products that contain petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, shea butter, lanolin or beeswax are good to use.
These ingredients are known as “Occlusives.” Occlusives form a thin non-permeable film on your skin which locks in your skin’s natural moisture and helps prevent TEWL. Check out these articles from Skin Therapy Newsletter and Botaneri for more information on occlusives and products to look for that contain occlusives.
Occlusives stay on the surface of your skin and are not moisturizers. They form a protective layer to lock in your skin’s natural moisture. Since occlusives cannot be absorbed, they can clog pores and cause acne.
A product containing occlusives will need to be washed off with soap and water.
Some dermatologists recommend using sun screen every day. When you know you will be exposed for long periods you should use a sunscreen containing an occlusive. The most common occlusive found in sun screen is zinc oxide.
This is the easiest tip to implement. Keep a tube of quality sun screen in your bag and in your car. Keep sunscreen out of the heat and check for experimentation dates.
2.) Don’t forget your lips. Our lips are exposed to sun every day and the bitter cold of winter does not help. Some chap stick and lip balm is made with bee’s wax and have a decent SPF. Beeswax is a natural occlusive that most people are not allergic to.
I often use chap stick when running. My lips always seem to dry out and it can drive me crazy. I don’t always use a product with an occlusive but I always look for the SPF on the package. Always read the label.
3.) Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods of time. In the summer time you want to avoid outside activities when the UV Index is highest. In cold temperatures you want to avoid being outside for long periods of time in harsh conditions.
You may have to run at different times of the day or drive the kids to school. When the days are short and the nights are frigid, a treadmill may be your best friend.
If you do have to run in harsh conditions, cover as much skin as possible. Use a lotion with an occlusive on your nose and exposed portions of your face. When it’s below freezing I try to wear lotion even in the dark.
Kids should wear gloves and knit caps for the bus stop or walk home. A baseball hat doesn’t protect ears from frostbite or windburn and has virtually no insulation for your kid’s head.
4.) Break up your exposure time. Your body responds to the conditions and can protect you over the short run. But it needs time to recover from exposure. See the chart below for frost bite. Cut those times in half for windburn and plan accordingly.
Your body will heat up from running but exposed skin is still vulnerable to wind burn. Try breaking a long run into shorter runs and give your skin time to recover in sheltered warmth. Re-apply your skin cream.
You can also break up your outside chores by taking a break from snow shoveling to re-hydrate and help your skin recover.
Breaking up activities is probably the most difficult thing to do. It’s hard enough to get outside when it’s cold. Taking a break could cause you to not go back out.
If the conditions are really bad you may have to use the treadmill or risk cutting your run short. Sometimes a little in-doors cross training is the best bet!
5.) Check the weather forecast; know the wind chill. Quite often winter forecasts will include the wind chill factor. Knowing the conditions is key to protecting your skin.
Use this chart to estimate the wind chill in your area. Click on the chart to get a National Weather Service pdf down load.It’s important to keep in mind that conditions constantly change. If the air temperature is 20° and you get into a 30mph wind, you have a 1°F wind chill.
Due to the variability of conditions it is best to be a little cautious. Wearing a quality sun screen all the time is a good idea. If conditions are marginal, you should be prepared to seek shelter and change your plans if conditions worsen.
How to treat Windburn
Windburned skin is damaged, sensitive skin. Moisturizing lotion and avoiding further exposure will help your skin recover. Avoid lotions with fragrances or harsh ingredients and look for lotions for “sensitive” skin.
Aloe Vera is a good choice, but consult with your physician or pharmacist for advice on the best treatment for you.
While a hot shower may feel great after coming in from the cold, hot water is not good for wind burn or sunburned skin. If you want a hot shower try to keep the hot water off of your damaged skin.
Hot water and soap break up and wash away the lipids on the surface of your skin. Lipids are the natural oils in your skin that hold in moisture and help keep your skin soft. Try to wash your damaged skin with warm water and then apply lotion.
Sometimes a long run doesn’t go as planned. I thought twelve miles would be good then dropped back to ten. One wrong turn and I ran almost 14 miles! 19 degrees turned out to be the least of my worries!
Sunday was the Melrose Running Club’s 6th long run of 2020.
My weekly miles have been pretty low so far and my longest run this year was The Great Stew Chase at 15K or 9.53 miles for me.
The full long run this Sunday was 16.2 and I decided that 12 miles would be enough for me. You really don’t want your weekly long run to by twice as long as any of your previous week’s runs.
I’ve read that the long run should be no more than six miles longer than your longest week day training run. I find that a tough rule to follow.
At shorter distances you can get away with increasing your long run to 150% of your longest weekly run.
So you could go from running 6 mile training runs to a 9 mile long run. You can definitely go from running fours to a 6 mile long run.
The key is to take the long run easier than your shorter week day runs. Most of us would not run a half marathon at our 5K pace. The same thing applies to your weekly long run.
Longest Run of 2020
When I reviewed the 16.2 mile route I figured that I could cut it back to twelve miles easily.
At about 5.5 miles I took a right and the long run people turned left. My plan was working.
I made my way back to the water stop and had two cups of Gatorade/water and headed out. One of the long runners left the water stop just ahead of me and I followed him. I knew there was a turn coming up that I always miss.
I made the turn and Mike Sikkema caught up and passed me. I managed to keep Mike in sight long enough to see him take the right turn onto Main Street/ Rt. 28 in Stoneham.
This took us along the back side of Spot Pond. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I wanted to go straight and run the front side of the pond.
That was my crucial error.
I was now running by my self but knew where I was and all of the turns.
Soon after the wrong turn my watch chimed in for mile eight.
After I left the long run group I decided that ten miles was a better idea than twelve.
This route is very hilly and my quads were beginning to feel it.
When my watch hit eight miles on the back side of Spot Pond, I knew I was in trouble. There was no way to turn this run into 10 miles from this point in the run.
I had left my phone in my car and only had $5 in my pocket. There was no way to bail on this one.
A Bridge Too Far
As my watch hit nine miles I went under a Rt. 93 bridge. It was definitely a bridge too far.
My pace was still pretty good at 9:24 but I was fading fast.
The next turn was a left onto Elm Street in Medford and another hill. I then took a right onto Highland Ave at the rotary by Flynn Ice Rink. I thought there was a water stop there, but I didn’t recognize the car.
I avoid trying to open trunks of unknown cars.
It was a cold day, so it was okay.
As I continued down Highland I knew the next turn would put me on East Border Road. This is another hilly section which would dump me onto the freakin Fellsway East.
When I got to the second rise in the hill on East Border Road I decided to walk. I hit mile 11 just after cresting that hill and began to run down to the intersection.
Mile eleven came in at 10:34. At this point I wasn’t too concerned with my pace. I was more concerned with surviving to run another day.
I wasn’t cold or depleted but my left knee was beginning to act up. My body just wasn’t prepared for this many miles.
I took the left onto The Fellsway and cursed my self for not turning left at the rotary instead of right. With that turn I would have run about twelve miles and avoided these bloody hills!
I walked some of these hills and ran the down hills as best I could. While running down the last Fells hill I hit mile twelve. That was my stretch goal for the day and I knew I had at least another mile and half to go!
I ran to the intersection with West Wyoming Street and was able to cross the street quickly. Traffic was light and people let me go.
I was now on the home stretch and my knee was telling me to stop.
After mile thirteen I decided to walk. I was beyond anything I had planned and who cared anyway?
As a runner approached I waved and they didn’t even acknowledge me. I guess you don’t look like a fellow runner when you are walking.
As I neared the rail road tracks I started running and kept on until I turned the corner onto Main Street. My ankle and knee were both killing me. Than I “ran” in the last bit to the finish but didn’t have the juice to round it out to 13.75.
13.72 miles was quite enough, thank you!
Hydration and recovery
I went into Brueggers, got an ice coffee and sat with friends for about ten minutes before heading home. As I sat there I could feel both calves getting ready to cramp.
On the way I drank a BodyArmor sport drink which has electrolytes and a variety of vitamins.
After a nice hot shower I applied some arnica gel to both knees and slipped my Body Helix knee compression sleeve onto my left knee.