Monday, February 27, 2006

All This Cold Affects The Fire

For an apt description of Sunday's run, please tab over to Mike's blog. But let me add that following some insane plan of his during the coldest day of the year, I found myself battling fierce winds, steep hills, and tired legs in wind chills piercing the core of my body for the final 4 miles of a 21 mile run. Quite honestly, it didn't start out that way.

Last Sunday, the initial miles were brutal as I warmed up but I gradually got used to the temps by the time we turned out of the wind and back toward the cars. This week, the high winds and drop in temperature waited for our watches to near the 3 hour mark. At our weakest point, the wind gusted hard as we struggled to climb the hills. Literally reduced to the apparent form of a runner but lacking any forward motion, the wind sucked my breath away as I realized just how far 4 miles can be. What could we do but retire into our own thoughts and carry on? Conversation ceased except for some kind remarks about the weather. As we approached the car my watch said 3:16, Mike's said 3:10. I was done, he was not. I was sore and I couldn't imagine any benefit for me running any further today. I mean, if it was 40 degrees warmer, we would be nearing the 26 mile mark! But Mike soldiered on for another 10 minutes as I left him to his possible death in the woods of Perry.

I tried to feel some sympathy for him as I drove away, but I barely had the mental capacity left to operate the vehicle to carry me home. Frozen, dehydrated, hungry, sore, and befuddled I toppled into the shower and turned on 'hot'. About 30 minutes later I was thawed out and capable of wondering how poor Mike made out.

A last comment about our time differences on our watches. It turns out Mike is a purist. If he's not running, he's not timing it. I, on the other hand, believe in timing the whole experience - which includes chat time around the cars waiting for Stephanie to stretch. My philosophy stems from my winter running with Marc last year. We'd lap the house in 5 mile increments, then come in the house each time for warmth, refreshment, and basically a break from the elements. I couldn't justify not including the 'break time' in the total because I felt my pace when actually running was probably enhanced by the break. So if I only used the actual 'run time' my pace would not be truly representative of what could be done that day without the break. So in this light it's a conservative take on timing. But it came in handy Sunday when we were sort of running 'for time' which meant my 3:16 was plenty!!

Alas, no company this morning to get me out of bed. The wind was blowing hard, the chill factor 20 below zero and I had absolutely no desire to go out and run 90 minutes or even 30. Tomorrow is not looking promising either. More of the same nastiness is on tap until Thursday. I am not confident in my ability to get out by myself in this weather. We shall see.

Last week: 53 miles - all in the beginning of the week as I came down with something on Wednesday. At least I have 21 in so far this week...


Blogger Love2Run said...

Forecast, spring in only 21 days ;-)

Actually it might get above the freezing point by the weekend and the winds are 'supposed' to drop overnight. Better luck on getting out. I think that Jonathan owes us something for wimping out with a so-called lumberjack sore back, don't you?

The mad plan for the coming weekend is only 18...but the crazy man with the plan wants to do that last 2 at MP=7:30 or better pace!

Are you in?

2/28/2006 8:29 PM  

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