Weather: Stunt run!
Not the coldest day yet, by any stretch, but with several centimeters of fresh snow, and more falling constantly, it was pretty tough.
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With the snow blowing, and still falling, this was the toughest run I’ve done yet this winter. Well above 1 beat per meter, but there was a clearer measure.
Garmin usually recommends less than 24h recovery time. This kind of thing usually means I went hard. With all the snow, it was probably the hardest run I’ve done this year.
This run doesn’t measure up very different from many others, but I am more proud of it.
Training Tip: Frostbite
About a year ago, I had my first direct experience with frostbite. In short, don’t do it. If you want to find out more, read on.
If you are going to risk dealing with it, learn what to do and what not to do. Get that from medical sources. This is just my experience with it.
I was a few kilometers along my usual run, and noticed that my feet were a bit cold. When I ran through some deep snow near coop, some snow stuck to my ankles and legs. I reached down to brush them off, which I usually don’t need to do. My toes were fairly cold, but I thought they would warm up on the 2.5km trail between Coop and the Legislative Assembly.
They didn’t. Usually, the varying terrain has a warming effect on my feet, probably because they have to flex a lot more in response. This time, they were just cold. I got downtown and thought about giving up. My sweetheart has her truck parked just a few blocks away, but I didn’t want to bother her at work. I stopped in the mall to say hi to my Barber (Hi, Jimmy!) and may have even invited him to come running, but I figured I’d be fine, since it was only a half hour home.
I could have warmed up at any of those places. I could have stepped into our Territorial or City government buildings and waited safely for a ride. I could have stopped in any of a dozen offices, as I have many warm friends in the downtown area.
Bah, it’s just a half hour or so.
So when I got home, my toes were COLD. I got in and undressed, warmed as well as I could, and my toes started to hurt. A lot. While trying to warm up, I got in a tub, and could not submerge them.
Later, I got them into slippers and warmed up the rest of me pretty good. Examination revealed a strange kind of colouring. There was pink flesh like normal, but the tips of the affected toes were white, and there was a pretty clear line between pink and white.
Later, blisters formed on the three toes of both feet. The pain got worse, and stayed that way for a few days. I decided that I would not run until the blisters self-deflated.
My research during this time led me to self-treat. As long as things were improving on their own, and there was no ‘black skin’ (indicating necrosis) then I was going to do it on my own. Also I decided that if I needed serious debridement I would go get help with it.
Funny aside – during my recovery time, I got notice from Saucony Canada that I had won their ‘We Are Winter Warriors’ contest on Instagram and was being awarded a new pair of their ‘Peregrine 7 Ice+’ shoes.
The recovery went swiftly. By the third day, I could submerge my toes in the bathwater comfortably, and a week and a half or two weeks later, I was able to go running on them again.
It’s been a year. I’ve run those free shoes well beyond 500kms (I keep using them because they are my warmest) and have run the other 2 pairs they gave me (they gave me 2 other types to try out) out. It was a great prize, but the frostbite was a pretty awful lesson.
It’s a year later now, and those toenails are still a bit weird. It’s like they are thicker. The tips of the affected toes still seem to have more dead skin than others, which builds up and needs occasional debriding.
This is why I developed my sealhide spats, and why I have placed a high value on quality socks (merino wool)
My toes on the left are now more sensitive to the cold than they used to be. They are sort of an ‘early-warning-ache’ when things start to get too cold.