Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! After a brief blogging break for the holidays, I’m back!
Ryan and I enjoyed a beautiful Christmas in Seattle this year. Snow started to fall on Christmas Eve and covered the ground by the time we headed to midnight Mass. By Christmas morning, there were about 1-2 inches of powdery white snow on the ground. Snow is a rare occurrence in the lowlands and a White Christmas is even rarer!
After opening gifts and enjoying Christmas breakfast, we took the dogs to play in the snow. Ollie and Charlie both love running in the snow and catching snowballs. We had to stop after about an hour, however, when Ollie repeatedly attempted to steal the base of a snowman that people were building…because he thought it was a giant ball.
As I mentioned in my last post of 2017, I started running eight days after my laparoscopy. Since the surgeon only removed two adhesions (the cause of my pelvic pain), my physical recovery was quick. My post-op appointment indicated that I was recovering well and could resume normal activities. I did find out at the post-op appointment that since they found no endometriosis, I will still deal with dysmenorrhea and other issues that I was hoping surgery would resolve. Running has always been a mental release for me, so I was glad I could get back into running after I got that news.
I was eager to get back out and run. Early winter is one of my favorite seasons for running (especially if it’s not obnoxiously rainy in Seattle like it was last year): I love those sunny cold days and don’t mind temperatures in the 20s.
The first few runs back felt a bit harder: my core felt weak, my endurance limited, and I was oddly sore, especially if I ran on any hills.
My runs have been in the 3-6 mile range. With each week after the surgery, my running feels better and closer to normal.
The week of Christmas was full of fun runs:
Monday: Rest day – we played with the dogs in the snow!
Tuesday: 3.1 miles on a slushy, snowy path. It was really fun to run in the bit of the snow that hadn’t melted yet! I wore my Saucony Peregrines, which work like a charm on slush and ice.
Thursday: 4 mile easy run with Ollie. We had to stop at least half a dozen times for Ollie, including when he lost all composure when we found the remanents of the same snowman he tried to eat on Christmas. We stopped so he could manically dig at it and eat bits of snow, all while yodeling and yipping. Cattle dogs are perhaps the most delightfully strange dogs that I have ever met.
Friday: 5 mile run with some friends! One of my friends/coaching client’s birthday was this week, so we celebrated with a 5 mile afternoon run along Lake Washington. This day was warm – 50 degrees for our run!
Saturday: 3 mile run. Ryan intended to do a time trial and I was going to run it with him for a hard workout, but neither of us felt like running super fast, so we ended up doing a short run and heading out to brunch.
Sunday: Ryan and I explored a new-to-us route. Our run started on a 150-foot climb in less than 1/2 mile, went through a neighborhood full of rolling hills, and winded through a paved path in a nature preserve. I forgot to take photos, but this was a pretty route!
During the week between Christmas and New Year, Ryan and I pulled our snowshoes out of our gear shed and headed to the Nordic Center at the closest ski resort. Backcountry snowshoeing and Sno-Parks are an option, but the Nordic Center is free of avalanche dangers and snowmobiles.
The weather was perfect: temperatures in the high 20s and lightly snowing. Most of our Christmas gifts this year focused on winter sports, including vests, snow pants, ski mittens, and Buffs, which kept us toasty warm. We snowshoed for two hours, covering 5.5 miles of terrain. Snowshoeing is a workout, especially when you don’t use poles!
Ryan and I took ski lessons this year! Neither of us had skied in at least a decade, and I had only skied in Wisconsin… which is just a bit different than in the Cascades. Both Ryan and I were surprised how quickly skiing came back to us. We were in a group lesson and our instructor quickly bumped us up from the basics to more intermediate drills. After our lesson, we did a few runs down one of the green slopes.
We both had so much fun skiing. Snowboarding was a struggle for me even after three lessons and I never felt completely comfortable, but the skiing feels natural to me.
The one thing I have totally slacked on is strength training. Honestly, I did one core workout last week and it left me sore for a few days (on top of feeling sore for runs). My goal for the new year is to build back up my strength with 2 strength workouts and at least one Pilates per week.
This winter is already reminding me how much I love winter in the Pacific Northwest. Last year was so rainy and dreary that I was dreading winter, but between skiing/snowshoeing and chilly runs, I’m relishing it.
What’s your favorite snow sport?
How was your past week of training?
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