Sunday, 5 February 2012

Making tracks in the snow

If you read this blog you will know that I have been out of action with a calf strain for a while, which has been hindering my marathon training. This week was my first back and I have been doing well on my new schedule. I managed 10 miles over the same route that killed my calf on Friday, so I was feeling a touch more confident about staying the course.

That was until snow struck London. Normally I love the white stuff. It's the perfect excuse to stay tucked up and cosy indoors and I can't help but feel a little bit festive when the landscape is quilted in snow. But this weekend I was determined to stick to the plan which meant a 4-mile run today. Not a huge distance, but I still don't want to miss a single training session out after losing two weeks to my mangled calf.

I went to bed last night watching the flakes whirl in the yellow light of the streetlamp outside our window. I woke up to see the park behind the house blanketed in a soft, white down of snow. The branches of the tree that towers outside our house were bowing under the weight the flakes, occasionally jettisoning a load onto an unsuspecting passerby.

Usually the park is packed with runners on a Sunday morning. This morning I saw a sole jogger battling his way through the drifts as kids built snowmen and threw snowballs all around him. What, I wondered, should I do? I desperately wanted to run, but equally I know what damage an injury can do to a tight training schedule so I didn't want to take an unnecessary risk.

In the end with some encouragement from friends on Facebook I decided to brave the elements, strap my Yaktrax Pro onto my trail shoes and get out of the house. I am so glad I did. I stepped high like a gazelle over the drifts made by people clearing their drives and trotted an easy four and a half miles around the local park, transformed from its usual bland urban green space into a wonderland of ice, snow and friendly locals enjoying the weather.

I only saw one other pair of runners, gingerly picking their way around a playing field, but I felt all warm and cosy inside that I was a serious enough runner to make it out come hell or high snow drifts (OK around 10cm, but that is big for London). It was a joyous run and no injury occurred, so a positive result all round. Best of all I am still bang on track with my training. Hurrah.

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