When I got up on Saturday morning, I was feeling daunted by the 20 mile run that I had in front of me. Little did I know. It was just M & I, as T is dealing with a possible hernia/mystery hip pain. We headed out bright and early on Saturday morning to Log Boom Park at the top of Lake Washington, to run in the opposite direction as our 18 miler. It was freezing cold, but that didn’t seem to be stopping the huge group of cyclists that were congregating in the parking log. (It’s so hard to be active here.)
M headed out first, so that she could run an easier pace for the first part of the run. I stretched and headed out after her, a little later than I’d meant to. Once I started moving, the cold stopped being an issue and I settled in for a long day of running. It started to drizzle about half an hour in, which wasn’t so great but I figured it would stop eventually. There were tons of mountain bikers out on the path for some reason, so there was a “Well, we’re all in this together” sort of vibe. I saw M up ahead in the distance and figured I’d catch up to her somewhere between the 8 and 10 mile mark. I actually caught up to her just after she hit the turnaround point and made a “WTF” gesture with my arms at the rain and said “Dude!” which made her laugh. (Again, little did I know that I’d miss that soggy drizzle… )
Half a mile later, the hail started and it actually just made me laugh out loud. With nine and half miles to get back to the car, it was just ridiculous. The hail got harder and there was nothing to do but keep running. I kept picturing a “Bad-ass meter” and the needle was moving into the red. Then the snow started to fall. Hard. It was starting to stick to the path and my already wet shoes became soaked. My poor wet gloves were getting covered in snow as were the fronts of my legs. M must have hit the afterburners after I’d seen her because she was no where to be seen. (At this point the needle on the bad-ass meter broke off and we had to use the “Crazy person meter”.)
There was nothing to be done but keep running. I reached a sort of equilibrium where the effort of running kept me from being too cold. Although I did start to wonder just how long one could run with soaking wet hands and feet in heavy snow before frostbite was a concern. Finally, somewhere around the 13 mile mark, M was waiting under an overpass for me, wanting to know what I thought we should do and with the brilliant idea of calling a cab. Luckily, we were pretty close to a brewery/restaurant, so we headed for that. (Which also turned out to be where the mountain bike event was as well.)
It took us quite a while to stop violently shivering. We ordered coffee and soup which I wanted to pour over my hands. While we waited for our cab, we camped out next to their roaring fireplace.
The fire helped warm us up a lot, but we were still soaking wet. In the cab on the way back to the car, there was still tons of snow falling, but it stopped by the time we got there. Thankfully, the roads up by the car were totally fine and by the time we got back to Ballard the sun was actually shining. (This didn’t help my mood too much.) I was feeling very upset about our unsuccessful 20 miler and spent the rest of the day sulking in the tub and then taking a nap, instead of being industrious like M and running the last 7 miles of it. (Good job, M!)
The next morning, I headed out to finish up my run. It had been snowing a little bit when I left the house and of course it started snowing harder when I actually started running. Luckily, I was wearing warmer clothes that were dry, which made a huge difference. Here’s what the path looked like as I started the run:
And here’s what it looked like three miles later:
I’d originally planned to run 10 miles, but that would have necessitated another two miles from this point, so I decided that 8 miles was plenty. Before heading back, I snapped a quick self-portrait:
So, apparently I was destined to run the rest of that 20 miler in the snow, no matter what. 🙂 I know that in the great scheme of training, missing one 20 miler isn’t the end of the world. But it does make me feel a bit more unsettled in my preparation than I had before, so hopefully we’ll be able to get through the next month without any more major setbacks.