I love running. Ice skating, not so much. The last time I tried ice skating with my daughter's class, I wiped out and took out the instructor with me. It was not my proudest moment, nor my then 8 year old daughter's.
Unfortunately Saturday morning was a great morning for ice skating. Running, not so much. Knowing there was still a lot of snow on the ground and with the warmer temperatures, much of it had melted and then re-froze overnight, we anticipated problems with footing. We really wanted to get our weekend long run in though, so we decided to try the prairie path in Elmhurst, and if that was too slippery, we would run on the roads instead.
It seemed to be a solid plan. But, we quickly discovered that the prairie path was filled with giant puddles and lots of patches of almost invisible ice. It was better suited for ice skates. So we got off the path after a mile or so and moved to the roads. Usually, crews have laid down some salt to help get rid of the ice.
That was not the case Saturday. Even wearing Yax Trax (the equivalent of snow tires), we were gingerly running along very slowly trying to keep from slipping and falling.
I've seen several articles recently with tips for winter running. And I've been doing this long enough that I could offer plenty of tips myself. But these conditions were about the most unfavorable for running I have ever seen. So after about 5 miles of frustration on this morning, the best tip my friend Tom and I could offer was to quit, and get some coffee!
I later heard that most other groups who had gone out that morning had similar experiences. Most had also given up early. But they also had the same desire to get in a longer run over the weekend, so many of them decided to give it another try on Sunday morning.
That worked for me! In fact, it turned out to be a really nice group run with lots of friends I haven't had the chance to run with for a while. We met at the same spot as the day before, but one more day of mild temperatures made a huge difference, and the roads were much better, with very few slick spots.
My friend Stephanie called it the 'Take 2' run, and I told her I was going to steal that for the title of this blog entry. So here it is. It ended up being a good run for me at a faster than usual pace, and a little longer distance than I might have gone otherwise. Sometimes things work out well even when they don't seem headed that direction initially.
So if there's a lesson to be gained from this experience, I suppose it's that if you are flexible in your training, it will probably work out fine in the end. Oh, and runners who aren't good ice skaters should probably stick to their best sport!
See you on the roads....