NANCY!!!!!! It is really cold out here!!!!
I started out on my Virtual 8 mile race at about 6:45 a.m. this morning. And somewhere about 7:03 a.m., there was a moment where I screamed Nancy's name at the top of my frozen lungs. For only a moment, I may have used her name in vain.
It was 10 degrees with windchill that made it feel like 3 degrees. I was determined not to run this thing on the treadmill so I found a part of the trail - a 1 mile section - that had been plowed and went back and forth until I hit 8 miles. It was a north/south trail, so the the first, third, fifth, and seventh miles where actually ok. When I was running south, it was doable, but when I turned around to run back into that north Christmas wind - holy crap - that was so cold. Twice I stopped to sit in my car to thaw a bit. I must be becoming a complete whimp in my old age. I can remember a day like this 10 years ago that I ventured out to do my last 20 miler before the Disney marathon. 20 miles in this same weather. But today - 8 was more than enough.
On the positive side - it was so nice and chilly that I had the benefit of icing my knees and hips while running. That keeps the inflammation down for sure!
One really strange thing happened during the run. Bob, if you are out there - you will love this! Bob left a note on Nancy's blog that he would be the virtual water boy for the race. Somewhere around mile 6 when I was running into a serious north headwind and wondered if body parts can really fall off, this guy on his bike pulled up beside me. Ok, first this is weird because it isn't bike weather, and second because this guy was really happy to be out riding on this 1 mile part of the trail - big smiles. So we were chatting as I was shuffling into the wind and he gave me a little pep talk. Reminded me how lucky we were to be out there today. Asked me if I needed anything. And then he told me that his name was Bob and he was visiting friends here in Iowa. And, yes, you guessed it - he lived in Florida. And then he picked up the pace and was gone. So, how weird is that? Virtual support in the form an imaginery, yet very real Bob.
I finished the last four miles 3 minutes faster than the first 4 miles. Overall, 83 minutes for the 8 miles. Now, with my handicap and increasing it due to the 400 layers of clothes, the headwill, the nearly 0 degree temps and having to repeat the same part of the trail 4 times - I think it brings me down to an amazing 48 minutes.
When I was done, I was proud of myself. And I sent a happy thought to Nancy for thinking up this idea. Without the nudge, I wouldn't have gone out there today and that would have been a shame. If I can run today, I have no reason to NOT run the rest of the winter.
I always have a "theme song" for my long runs. For today, it was "We Got It Going On" by Bon Jovi (with Big & Rich). The millions of people who didn't have a chance to do this today have no idea what they missed!
Virtual 8 runners - We Got It Going On!