The Last Few Snows of the Season?

Sharon Woods heading toward the section I call the pine forest.

Sharon Woods heading toward the section I call the pine forest.

Yesterday, my friend Deb and I were scheduled to do 10 miles in preparation for our half marathon in just a couple of weeks. (Yes our training is off, but we needed at least one 10-miler before the race.)

We started at 7:00 at Sharon Woods park with our friend Barbara. Sharon Woods has a 3.8 mile loop we like for long training miles.

It was snowing as soon as we started! At first they were tiny hard flakes that were more annoying than pretty. And as we approached

the hills in the first two miles, the trail was starting to get slick in a few spots. (It seemed to mostly be the areas where tar was used to seal cracks in the asphalt.) Deb discovered that the far right side of the trail was more gravel and had better traction. The wooden bridges were VERY slick, though.

The sky was gray, and as we walked the snow flakes got bigger and fluffier. Several fell in my eyes or in my mouth as we talked. It was so pretty!

The second time around, after Barbara left, the snow started sticking a little bit more. Though the hills made us nervous, they were not nearly as slick as I expected. Regardless, we stayed to the gravel side of the trail to be safe.

For our last two miles, we typically take the hills. Today we went the opposite direction and did the last miles on the flat section of the trail. We were not up for even one more slick hill.

This training walk was a little bit tougher than usual. Neither one of us has been training as well as we should and with the trail snow, I could tell my gait was off. We also were not nearly as fast as we were at the end of last marathon season and our steps were not smooth. We could not really push off at all. Our fastest mile was about 14:30 and our slowest mile was close to 15:30.

Because the loop is 3.8 miles around, we actually walked only 9.6 miles, but I’m OK with that. With my ankle feeling better, I don’t need to be pushing it when I’m sure gait is different and possibly cause a re-injury.

The funny thing is, even with it snowing the entire time we were out, the accumulation was minor! This time of year I keep hoping that the current snow is the last of the season. (It would certainly make my spring training easier!) But I live in Ohio and have for most of my life. I know we can have huge snowstorms well into April. I won’t be confident the snow is gone until May.

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