The polar vortex came and went, and with its departure left piles of snow and then warmer weather. The past few days I have been feeling like this on my runs:
It is seriously no joke. With the warmer air I can’t get enough running. Add that to the mass amounts of puddles that were all over the running paths the past few days and I felt like Lolo Jones sprinting and hurdling all over the place.
And then yesterday arrived. The air cooled a good 20º and where puddles had marked the path the day before, ice had taken over. Bound and determined to get my run in I did 7 miles that consisted of some decent running, some penguin-like shuffling, and some ugly attempts at not breaking a body part.
Moral of the story: ice is no joke. If you are going to go for a run there is a good chance right now that ice will impede your travels. Just as you would slow down if you were driving on icy roads, you are going to have to check your ego at the door on your way out and plan on a slower run. Turn your music on low and take some extra caution to pay attention to each footfall.
Plan on having to stop and start. If you live by the pace on your watch you might just want to leave it behind. Yesterday I ended up relaxing and deciding this wasn’t going to get the better of me. I chalked it up to a series of interval training; run a bit, slow down, repeat.
If you know that the paths you are going to be running on are snowy or icy, plan your route ahead of time and let someone know where you will be going. Give them an idea of when you will be back and take your cell phone with you. A few weeks ago I went for a run after a snow storm and I had to call my husband to let him know that I was ok but that I was going to take longer to get home because of the heavy snow.
I always carry a cell phone with me when I go for a run, not just for my safety but also for others. I have come across several emergencies over the years that have required me to call 911 or be there to help others take care of a situation.
Pick a route that you know well. Yesterday I ran a path along the Chicago River. I know the area well and I know where the icier areas are. In fact, some ladies from my running group told me in the fall that ice always forms under overpasses, so I know to slow down there. They were right! The picture above speaks for itself.
Bring some sort of identification with you. Last summer a runner near my home town finished their run with a splash in Lake Michigan. He had a medical emergency and rescuers were unable to revive him. He had no identification on him and the police had to go from room to room at the local resort looking for his family.
I used to always carry my driver’s license with me, but I was lucky enough to place at a trail race a few years ago and was presented with a gift certificate for a Road ID. If you don’t have one already, check them out. They are very inexpensive and comfortable. I wear mine all the time. In fact I had to be reminded on my wedding day not to wear it to the ceremony!
I have yet to try on Yak Trax or other forms of cleats but these are certainly another option to try out. There are also some great YouTube videos that show you how to make your own spikes on your shoes with screws.
Be safe and happy running.
One last note on safety: On January 13, 2014 fellow runner and mother of 3 Meg Cross Menzies was stuck and killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run in Virginia. I urge you to join the running community on January 18th for a run in her honor. Take a picture and tweet it or post it on Facebook with #megsmiles.
Today’s Slow Cooker Recipe:
Yesterday I also mentioned that I would add another slow cooker recipe to my post so today I am adding the delicious Spinach, Goat Cheese Cornbread my husband made the other night.
2 boxes of Jiffy corn bread mix (or 17 ounces of mix)
1/2 cup almond milk (you can use milk but we are dairy free here)
1 ten ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup goat cheese
Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour batter into slow cooker. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours on high. Remove and place on cooling rack.