Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Coldest Run EVER!

Last week I agreed to meet a friend early on Saturday to begin our run before the rest of the group showed up. This way I could get in a good 5 miles and finish my 12 mile run when everyone else would be finishing too. I knew it would be cold on Saturday, but I had no idea.

The weather read 11 degrees when I woke up Saturday morning with a wind chill of zero. Good grief. Why do I not have anyone's phone numbers?! So, I bundled up and headed out. This is what I was wearing:
  • Long sleeve base layer
  • Arm warmers over the base layer
  • Cotton t-shirt
  • Jacket
  • Tiny, tight running shorts
  • Tights
  • Leg warmers (cut off tube socks, laugh if you must, but they work)
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Yak Traks
  • Glittens (half gloves, half mittens)
  • Winter hat
I arrived at Antrim Park around 7:10am and no one was there. I've never seen that before. And my friend showed just a few minutes after me. Game on. My friend is A LOT faster than me, but said he would run with me. After adjusting my Yak Traks, we were off. We chatted the whole time. It seemed to be a little rushed, but I was still talking comfortably so it couldn't have been that bad right? The snow was slowing us down, right?

Nope. That first five miles was in 41 minutes. That's pretty darn fast for all that clothing, the Yak Traks, and the snow on the ground. I still had seven miles to go!

I mentioned it was cold. It was cold!!! As we approached the end of the five miles I pulled out my water bottle from my belt and couldn't open it. It was frozen shut. That has NEVER happened to me before. And the bottle was underneath my coat, next to my warm body. Luckily, the other water bottle was still working.

We met the rest of our group at 8:00am and continued on our way. Now I was running with my "regulars" including my dad. The pace had slowed way down (thank goodness). Another 3 miles into our run I had had enough. I had started my run too quickly and I just didn't want to run anymore. My dad, Mr. Take No Prisoners, of course would not walk with me so neither did I. I kept shuffling along. I reached to get some more water and my other water bottle was frozen. No more water for me. :( That last seven miles took me over 65 minutes. Obviously, considerably slower than the first five miles.

When I finished I had icicles on my eyelashes. Cool! I looked like Lady GaGa. I wish I had brought my camera. My water bottles were still frozen and so was I. My jacket has a velcro pocket where I had stashed my car key. My fingers were so frozen I didn't think I was going to be able to open it. I had to take my glove off, which made things worse. I got my key out but then had to use two hands to put the key in the car. My hands were blocks of ice.

Here's the kicker about how cold it was. I drove from the park to Starbucks, picked up a hot chocolate, and drove home with the heat on high. In total, this was probably a half hour trip. I got home and hopped immediately into the a super long, super hot shower. As we headed to lunch an hour later, I took my water bottles out of my backpack. It had now been an hour and a half since I had left the park. My water bottles still had big ice chunks in them! Daggone it was cold!

Our weather man, with a grin on his face, keeps telling us about the -50 degree weather in Alaska that is coming our way. I chose the wrong winter to train for a marathon.


curly su said...

wow. totally awesome that you went out and did the run anyhow.

two winters ago i did the bulk of my marathon training in upstate new york, and i had some similar experiences - miserable, but... kind of exhilarating, yes?

a runners' life said...

good work for getting such a long run done in the cold :)
winter running is tough, especially when the temperature drops below zero.

Betsy said...

That's exactly like my run from last Saturday! It was 10 degree's with wind chills hovering right below zero and snow packed trails. Ugh. My running partner and I were both fantasizing about running on clear dry pavement!

When I was done I cranked the heat up to 90, turned my heat seaters on and made a MAD dash for home where I took the HOTTEST shower ever.

p.s. I love cuddle duds silky long underwear for my base layer under running tights!

Velma said...

I just love that your dad is the no take prisoners type.

I trained for a marathon in winter two years ago. Similar experiences. It did end with a great PR - I think the cold air is a great conditioning tool :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I dont get it, its been freaking freezing, 20 degrees below the average, I really hope this isnt a sign of things to come

Colleen said...

I don't know how you do it Mer... I just can't run when it's like that! You are awesome!

Mark said...

Great run—especially in 11 degree weather. I like to watch people run in 11 degree weather....from inside my warm car.... while drinking hot cocoa.

Go you!

zellineczka said...

you're courageous! I wonder if mixing in an isotonic powder would have prevented the bottles from freezing? also, I wouldn't fill them up, leave some space for air etc.
how are these yak trax on ice?

good luck with your preps! it's the spirit that does the trick :)

Ryan Oilar said...

This frozen midwest crap has to end!! You are one tough chica! I've been watching tv and eating bon bons