False thaw

The flurry of snow that fell during my run on Friday evening had appeared to herald the end of our week of chilly weather.  By the time I got back to the village, the air temperature was noticeably warmer, and by the following morning the thaw had set in.  As described in my post yesterday, I was left wondering whether or not the minor roads would clear soon enough to allow me to do the final tempo run which I hoped would help me decide on a pace for next week-end’s half-marathon.

Yesterday, the thaw continued through the day, and by late afternoon, much the snow was slush.  As expected, the temperature dropped below freezing overnight, and the dawn was shrouded in fog.  The westerly breeze that had brought the warmer Atlantic air had dropped, leaving a scarcely perceptible north-westerly that once again carried an arctic chill.  When the sun broke through, the sky was bright ice blue and it was clear that the thaw had stalled.  The snow that had started to turn to slush by yesterday evening was once again crisp.

It seems unlikely that conditions will allow an informative tempo run on either the minor roads or along the riverside path in the next few days, so I decided to abandon that plan and instead to do some long hill repeats today.   I took a camera with me, and took a few pictures during the warm up.

River Trent below Clifton

Riverside path

Reed beds below the escarpment

The young oaks and beeches retain their autumn tint

Birches mark the start of the uphill repeats

Instead of the muffled crunch that had accompanied the impact of my shoes with the snow during the delightful evening runs last week, today each footfall produced a snappy crunch.  In a few places the uphill path was icy.  I needed to maintain a cadence of 215-220 steps per minute and a short stride in order to keep upright.  However it was a very satisfying session.

That completes the planned brief campaign to prepare for the half marathon.   On the whole it has gone well.  Most important of all, the knee that has hampered me since the episode of arthritis in February has coped well.  I have achieved my major goal: I have done 6 weeks of systematic training with only a few minor mishaps.  I will do a few short runs at whatever pace the surfaces allows during the coming week.  It is a shame that I did not manage to do the planned final tempo run under favourable conditions.  Over the next day or two I will weigh up the evidence from my training log in order to refine my estimate of pace for the Turkey Trot.  However, at this stage I feel that whatever happens next week-end, it has been a good campaign.

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4 Responses to “False thaw”

  1. Ewen Says:

    It has been a good campaign — similar to the English cricket team!

    Thanks for the photos. It’s always good to see how close my imagination matches actual imagery. Looks a lovely place to run (in the warmer months). The hill repeats were a good alternative to tempo running on the treacherous looking riverside path.

  2. Rick Says:

    yes nice to see where you train, great photo’s.
    Last year when the snow turned to ice i wore my X/C spikes which worked well.
    Also if you bought a Runners headtouch you could train off road at night.
    i just got a ALPKIT GAMMA, WHICH i’LL BE ROAD TESTING SOON!

  3. Rick Says:

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/product-reviews/alpkit-gamma-headtorch—quick-test/5174.html

  4. Rick Says:

    http://www.facewest.co.uk/Head-Torches.html

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