I had been planning to head south to the Zumbro River Bottoms to run today but with ice forecast for late morning in Rochester and early afternoon in Big Lake, I would have been driving in less that stellar conditions. I'm glad I stayed near home. The forecasters were right on. It rained for a while here and is now snowing.
There hasn't been any snow fall in the past few weeks so I thought I'd head out to Lake Maria State Park to see if the trails were still designated as ski only. I headed over yesterday morning and was SO happy to see that there hadn't been any ski tracks for a very long time. Yay!! It was cold, -6F and a good stiff wind, very icy. Topaz had his booties and I wore my Inov-8 Roclite 312's with an additional 15 screws I put through each sole. They worked beautifully! No slipping, power running up each and every icy hill. Loved it! Topaz and I ran 20 miles yesterday and then headed back out today.
Topaz has renewed youth in the winter months. He rolls around in the snow to cool down-yes-even at -6F and chows down on snow. He refuses to drink from my bottle or his bowl while running in the winter. I don't know why. I can't ask him. Well, I've tried..he hasn't given me any indication as to why it is this way. Oh yeah. He just isn't thirsty.
Today was a balmy 16F when we went out. Still, not a soul to be seen on the trail. My plan was 6 hours, starting to run long back to back. Yippee!!
No booties for Topaz but I still wore my screw shoes. Worked like a charm. We ran all of the main trails, quite a few deer trails and then spotted a trail with a blue hand made sign "winter bike trail". Nifty! We ran through a section full of rolling hills, frozen ponds, a few new trails to us that we hadn't yet discovered. I've been running out here a few years so it's always exciting to discover new trail!
I brought along a mixture I've been trying lately while running. Quinoa, banana, almond butter mixed with a bit of lower fat coconut milk. It sits in my stomach nicely, doesn't cause me any inflammation and gives me plenty of energy. Because I was circling back to my car I didn't have to supplement with gels and I had plenty of energy without any stomach upset.
Why the quinoa? During my physical a few weeks ago I learned I have high cholesterol. I shouldn't be surprised. I had been eating meat like a cavewoman along with yolks, quite a bit of fat, too, and not all good fats. When battling the herniated discs I was having problems with grains causing inflammation, which was causing me more pain. I went off the grains for a while and compensated those lost calories with meats. My discs are now feeling good, grains are no longer causing me pain. Because heart disease runs in my family (what doesn't run in my family) and Mom was using Lipitor, Dad is using Lipitor, I am tweaking my diet. Still whole foods, nothing processed, tweaking those whole foods.
I have a few ultra friends who were using statins and began to experience ligament and tendon breakdown. They've since lowered their cholesterol and are statin free. Certainly can be done with diet.
I know, I know, there are those who say high cholesterol is just fine..not an indicator of heart disease, that BMI, blood pressure, etc. are better indicators. Believe me, I've read my fill of information.. 310 is too high for me. My ratios are pretty poor. Dang.
My doc asked me to come back in 8 weeks for another fasting blood test. This little experiment will show a new improved result. Remember in 2009 the 6 month vegan experiment? My cholesterol went from 230 to 165. Big difference.
So, back to my run! My Garmin told me we covered 28 miles. Sweet!
On the trail today we saw 0 human, 2 eagle, 8 deer and 21 turkey. I hope the snow falling now doesn't bring the trails back into ski condition!!
My first back to back long runs in a long frickin' time. Sure feels good! I hate to get too excited because man, about last year at this time I was feeling the same way. Ran Psycho Wyco 50K in February, feeling great, training for Zumbro 100 and Bam! A training run in March with one fall and it was back to disc pain and starting over again. Ah, scratch that negative thought.
Onto Louisville Lovin' The Hills 50 in two weeks! I got this!