Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ever Changing Winter Conditions

Yesterday I was due for a 24 mile run but I had absolutely no energy. I felt just like I had felt on Sunday... comatose. As I jogged along the snowmobile trail I had to admit it to myself, I was sick with a cold. I decided to go the whole distance anyway. I would just go as slow as I needed to and take walk breaks when necessary. I ran toward Brownfield with my Garmen in hand (the strap is broken.) The plan was to turn around at 12 miles. That twelve miles was mostly uphill, for a total gain of 5045 feet. It took 2 hours and 10 minutes, just under 11 minute pace. I decided to try to make up time on the downhill run back and make my average 10 minute miles when all was said and done. Well, that didn't happen. On the way back the snow was getting mushy because of the warm temperatures and my muscles were feeling pretty mushy, too. I finished in 4:28. It was a good lesson in perseverance and I'm glad I got it done.

This morning I drove over to North Conway for a back country ski in the National Forest off Town Hall Road with Mary. It felt cold, but tolerable until we got our skis on. Suddenly, the wind was ferocious. My nose was frozen within the first mile. Conditions were very icy and I couldn't hear anything except the skis scraping across the icy surface. We climbed and climbed, fighting that cold miserable head wind. Just as I was getting ready to admit I was miserable and beg Mary to turn back, she suggested we go back and change into running shoes. Skiing down was very cold, but quick. We ran into The Doctor when we were almost back to the vehicle. He was walking uphill at a brisk pace. We told him we were "changing gears" and we'd be back in a few minutes.

It only took a few seconds to change shoes and throw the skis in the Jeep. Then we took off at a jog against the wind and uphill. It took us almost two miles to catch up to The Doctor. Man, can he walk! We saw him ahead in the distance and both commented that we weren't closing the gap very fast. When we caught up he was ready to turn around, admitting defeat by the cold wind. There were little branches falling all around us and big ones cracking and creaking beside the trail. He told us, "be careful" and headed back to the cars.

About ten minutes later, the wind suddenly stopped, the sky turned a brilliant blue, and our faces were instantly warm in the bright sun. Mary and I both looked at each other and said at the same time, "Wow!" It was very strange and very beautiful. We ended up running about 8 miles. The wind never started up again and the sun was fantastic! We were both glad that we hadn't just thrown the skis in the car and gone home. We had a great morning!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Laurel. I just started a running blog for the first time and I'm happy to have stumbled upon yours. I never expected this but I've already learned a lot about endurance runners and I'm sure there's much more to learn. In this post, you endured, one way or another. All the best.