I just got back from running 8 miles in snowshoes at "snowshoe marathon pace." If you're wondering how fast that is, it's not. As far as I'm concerned it's a slow jog with walk breaks. I am beginning to realize that if I am going to finish the Peak Snowshoe Marathon, it is going to have to be at a relentless slow shuffle. Today I averaged 12 minute miles and the terrain wasn't all that hilly. My heart rate was in the 150-160 range most of the time even at this slow pace. The snow is pretty soft today and that makes forward progress hard work. I imagine that for the marathon at the beginning of March the snow might be even softer.
Today I ran out on the Stinky Mud Trail which, believe it or not, had some open holes with black stinky mud showing through the snow. These were small and easy to step over. This mud is black oozing stuff that brings to mind the tar pits of the dinosaur days. It's one of the wonders of the world where this stuff comes from and why it's there year round.
My quads are tired, but they feel STRONG. Plyometrics, skiing, snowshoeing, and leg workouts are working. My jeans are all tight in the quads now and hard to get on. I know a lot of women would be upset by this. I consider it a good thing, it's not as if I expect to be out in a bikini any time soon. This strength will give me a good base to build on in the Spring. Once I start putting the running miles in the legs will slim down pretty quickly. Until then, I have plenty of stretchy Yoga pants and running pants I can wear!
I am going to try to do most of my running on snowshoes from now until the marathon. It's tough and time consuming, but it sure is a good workout!