Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cold Crew

Today's (Sunday) run was cold. Zero degrees with a 10 - 20 mph wind brought the wind chill factor between -16 and -22 degrees Farenheit. Just the sort of nastiness to bring out the group for a cold 20 mile run around Boyden's Lake.

I arrived early to put in 4.6 miles before Mike and Jon arrived since I knew 16 was on Mike's docket. I find 16 - 18 miles is the limit for a 7am start to get back to Eastport before church. So when I want to do additional miles, I try to do them ahead of the group run. I forgot to tell Jon of this plan so he had to run his final miles by himself after we completed the 16 together. I was going to run the 4 miles around the house before I drove out to Perry in order to have another chance to tend the woodstove. But once I had on my seven layers of clothing, I just wanted to get to Perry and start the abuse.

And abuse it was. The wind was so biting it felt like needles being stuck into my forehead and the cold fought its way through my double mittens and attacked my thumbs. Out 2.3 miles to the turnaround, I turned out of the wind and felt much better as the wind attacked my back. I got back to the car just as Mike arrived and we sat and chatted in his van while we waited for Jon. So I had a nice 16 minute break between the initial 4.6 miles and the final 16 but it wasn't intentional and my log joins the two runs together for one complete mileage total.

Jon arrived and we were pleased he was actually wearing winter clothes. Notorious for underdressing, he had a hat and mittens to go with his light running clothes. We pleaded with him to add wind pants to his layers and he reluctantly agreed. Mike snuck an additional face mask into his running jacket and we strode off into the cold but tree protected first leg of the Boyden loop.

From the get-go I was happy I had a warmup of 4 miles. The boys were off at a good pace given the temperature. My natural pace would have been "crawl". Not so for these guys - no fooling around. After 4 miles we turned into the wind and the comfort level of the run dropped precipitously. Into the brutal wind Mike offers his extra face mask and Jon accepts. I pull my two scarves up over my face and start blowing warm air into the fabric to thaw my cheeks. My glasses fog up to the point where all I can see is the vague image of Mike's form running in front of me. I don't care, I am intent on warming up my frozen face. Not surprisingly, but thankfully just the same, we finally got used to the freezing wind and was able to pick up conversation again, albeit in a slightly modified form of the English language - words not fully formed, grunts of agreement, and long pauses between questions and answers.

After 6 miles of this leg, we turned sideways to the wind and shortly after we turned our back on it. Comfort came back, the face masks removed, and life was good yet again.

The value of the group run was evident to me today as I realized that I probably wouldn't have stayed out in the extreme cold weather that long by myself. Another busted long run would have entered my log. So a thank you to Mike & Jon for putting the 20 in there today.


Blogger Christine said...

Wow that's an amazing run. I remember now why I don't live in New England anymore. Even growing up in MA, I had a hard time with those sub-zero temperatures... Now, I'm completely spoiled by my winters in TX.

Great job on beating the cold!

2/20/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger robtherunner said...

Too dang cold for me Andrew. I would be running laps around the wood stove.

2/20/2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Well said Andrew. Nothing like a group to share the misery with. I was just trying to keep warm at the begining and it took hours after to feel toasty again. Shall we do it again next week ;->

2/20/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

glad to hear that some men do chat on their long group runs too. The guys in our club are always promoting less talking more running :)

2/21/2006 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so sorry to miss this run... I love adversity!! Go team go. I'm recovering, I think. I ran 2 slow miles today! Hope I can walk when the Motrin wears off... 8 weeks to get my act back together.

2/21/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Wow, what a brave bunch you guys are. I only managed a few Kms on our cold and blustery night. Bragging rights are back to you guys!

2/21/2006 10:12 PM  

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