Waking up in the early hours of the day is nothing uncommon in this household. Early morning runs, preparations for the day ahead, and just not being able to sleep - you choose, either myself or my wife will fill the answer void.
This morning, was one of those morning you don't mind waking up early for. Snow, snow, snow, snow... the first accumulation of snowfall that's sticking around more than a few moments. In fact, the car has enough snow on it to make a few snowballs.
Leading up to this morning, running has been getting much more difficult on the mental side of things. The boring flat roads that are Southwestern Ontario are enough to get any passionate runner to drive hours just to find a rolling hill on trails - and when you mix in the bitter blustery winds... it's easy to understand how frustrating it can become.
For the past 5 weeks, I've been stretching out my mileage into 'double runs'. One run in the morning, and another in the afternoon. The overall weekly mileage continues to grow, my speed is increasing quite dramatically and my body is responding really well. I've also cleaned up my eating habits and really tried to focus in on my Plant Based Whole Food lifestyle. I cut out the man-made crap from my diet and eat mostly fresh veggies and fruit, lots of shakes of course (thank goodness we invested in a Vitamix last year). Since re-booting the food habits, I feel so much better, lighter, and my runs have become so much more fluent. My recovery time has shot through the roof (pardon the lame cliche) but I can run 15km in the morning, and pound out another 10/15km in the afternoon. Now, seeing that from a far, you may thing, "but you can run a marathon every day for nearly a year straight"... it isn't the same as 'double-runs'. Your body recognizes the shorter fast runs of a 10/15km run and before it's fully healed up, you're pounding out another difficult speed run, finishing the week with an LSD (Long Slow Distance).
Do I still have ya on board?
NOTE: being told the pictures are upside down, but it's there showing me the correct way... I'm stumped. Happy Monday :)
So with this new layer on snow on the ground... I bundle up this morning, smiling ear to ear, and head out for my usual Monday morning 10-15km run.
Right away, I knew I had made a small mistake to start the run, I had decided to stick with routine and wear my Road Shoes (New Balance Minamilists), instead of going with a more traction based shoe. I slowed the pace, made a slight stride alteration and pushed on.
At what was is my usual half way point for a 12km jaunt, my feet were soaking wet but I was feeling great. I can't ever get over the beauty that a snow fall brings to any area. Turning the basic farmers field into a beautiful landscape worthy of being framed. Every stride providing a new portrait, you can imagine why I love getting lost in running.
Turn right and head back into town, or turn left and add a few kilometers to my run. Everytime I looked back at the town, I knew I had made the right choice to push on. My legs felt totally renewed and full of energy. The cold and wet toes weren't a bother and the winds weren't too much to handle. This is when I knew I was in 'the zone'.
At any point you think I'm crazy for spending so much time running along the sides of roads, just take a peak at what I get to see first hand, day after day. The beauty of nature... the only thing better would be if I had access to some trails, but until that day - I'll make the most of what we have.
Running back into town, I took a moment to reflect on the morning 20km run route I had chosen. No watch on my wrist to let me know my pace, just the feeling from within telling me I had sustained a quick pace, without using up too much energy.
Running is such a beautiful sport it's no wonder it can become so addicting.
One last point, as a family - one of our favourite things about the winter seasons is Chestnuts are abundant in the stores. You want a tasty treat the whole family can AND WILL enjoy? I promise you'll love these.
Prep: 1) Preheat oven to 400 F
2) Cut an X into the flat side of the chestnut
3) With flat side up, place on baking sheet
4) Bake in over for 20 minutes
5) break open and enjoy!!
Peace + Plants + Run