NERC weekly group run:
I woke up in a panic Saturday, as it was 15F/-8C and I could not find my inhaler. It's not a good thing for someone with asthma to go out without using/taking an inhaler in these kind of temps. I couldn't find it, shrugged it off and made sure to take my balaclava with me (the one item I cannot stand). There was a good turnout for the run despite the cold. All the regulars were there. I heard Geoff Weber say he was only running 8 today (Melbourne marathon next week) so I opted for 8 as well, as I was doing 16 the next day.
We started off and I wasn't sure what was worse - wearing that stupid Balaclava or not wearing it. I could still feel the cold coming through that stupid thing. I still started out at a pretty good pace, running with Charlie Bolek (aka Speedy Gonzalez) for awhile. He then sped ahead of me, looking happy and fast - leaving me to think he really likes this stuff! After awhile Geoff W. and a couple of others caught up with me, and Geoff and I turned around at mile 4. I was still having a hard time trying to right my lungs - but we carried a conversation for at least a mile. Then it hit. I told Geoff I was stopping for a minute and he trotted on. I started wheezing and was SO ticked at myself! I was ONLY at MILE 5 or 6! ACKK! "This is insane!" I thought. Words cannot express how P.O.'ed and disappointed I was at myself. Never mind the fact that I was wheezing and couldn't breathe - but stopping after so few miles? That's gacho! I started up again after my lungs righted themselves just enough. With about 2 1/2 miles left I saw retired school teacher Ernie Richman, who has been having some leg muscle issues. (Geoff and I noticed we had not seen him for awhile as we were running back.) I asked him if he was OK - and he said yes, his muscle was just hurting a bit. Geoff wound up picking him up when he got back to the plaza.
After the run we had coffee at the plaza (as usual) and it helped my sour mood. Runners stumbled in one by one, frozen, wet, snowy, tired, and with ice hanging off of every piece and part. One runner took his hat off only to send ice flying everywhere! That brought a good laugh, and luckily he had one of the seats next to the fireplace. :)
16 mile long run:
Today's run started out with an unusual and beautiful sight - the sun! The sun was rising and treating Northeast Ohio to some beautiful colors. I don't think there's anything more beautiful than snow on the ground and a big blue sky. (Well, maybe palm trees and a beach!) The beauty was deceiving as tears streamed down my face for the first two miles. I had no control over this - and it got a little annoying. I really didn't feel too cold however, and was enjoying my first solo run outdoors in a pretty long time.
I took a different route today and had two goals. #1 - 16 miles, and #2 at some point in the run make it to Lake Erie. I really didn't have a route planned out (which is pretty rare for me) and it was exhilarating! I always have some sort of plan, but not today. I just ran where I felt - and it was great! Along the way I came across one unsightly scene - Lake County's eyesore called the Perry Nuclear Power plant. I stopped short of taking a picture though. I didn't feel like being chased down by security. I had visions of a happy me trekking down the road, minding my own biz and a helicopter swooping down in front of me. (While this is a dramatic vision, it got me laughing!) I ran on - and finally made it to the lake! I was the only one there, and it was beautiful. The only sound I heard was the amazing sound of the ice on the lake cracking. It's a sound I will never forget. I've been to the lake before during winter, but I've never heard that. I stood amazed - taking a couple pics and munching on my Gu Chomps (yum). All this took only 3, maybe 5 minutes but it was just enough time to bring enough pain and misery that would eventually bring REAL tears streaming down my face. My hands hurt. They hurt BAD. I quickly put everything away and started running again. I got about 1/2 mile down the road and they were even WORSE. There was only one time before today when my hands hurt this bad, and that was during a ski outing at Seven Springs in sub zero temps. That day all my fingers turned the funkiest shade of yellow I'd ever seen. I was imagining what my fingers looked like now, but I didn't dare take off my gloves. Instead I took my phone out to call home. This would have been my first time punking out on a run. I didn't care much though. I hurt! Attempting to call home, my cell kept locking up - due to the cold. Cue the tears. Finally after numerous attempts, and a few trys at shutting my phone off and turning it back on, I was able to call home. No one was home! I left a classic "I'm going to die, and call me when you get home" message. Disappointed I sucked it up and started to run again. This time I was running with my hands tucked under my armpits trying to get them warm. (Imagine seeing that as you're driving down the street!) Things started to get better though. Like a miracle, my music player (which is set to random) started playing all warm-weather genre songs. Salsa, Reggae - songs from Bob Marley, Marc Anthony, and Pit Bull to name a few. They just kept coming, and I felt warmer. It was the greatest! My hands felt toasty warm now, and I was glad I wasn't able to reach my husband. I was happy and had a spring in my step. Finally! I got home feeling relieved and glad I didn't have the opportunity to punk out. And so looking forward to a hot bath. :)
Beautiful Lake Erie:
Ray, Jordan, and Stan are on the other side!
Monday 15 miles, weights, sit ups
Tuesday 14 miles, weights, sit ups
Wednesday 14 miles, weights, sit ups
Friday 8 miles
Saturday 8 miles with the NERC
Sunday 16 miles