From the Back of the Pack
I might always be in the back of the running pack, but I'm addicted to it! When I miss more than a day it affects my energy, attitude, and the rest of life in general! I have had a lot of "character" building runs in the deep snow, extreme nose hair freezing cold, ankle high rain, and gale force winds over the past twenty five years and find some of those days to be the most peaceful rewarding outings of all! I'm one of those runners who is slow and steady, but goes forever and ever without ever getting tired.
March 12, 2008: Weather is NOT an obstacle!
Us dedicated, maybe a bit obsessed runners go out in anything right? Snow, sleet, ice, slush, wind, extreme temperatures, rain, snow, lightning, anything mother nature decides to throw our way might make us uncomfortable, but it doesn't stop us in any way...maybe shortens a run, but we still get out right?
As I was navigating the water, slush, ice, mud, snowy, dirty, sandy trails during gale force winds today at Park Point's nature trail, I thought it might be fun to share the two events that gave my running career more character than I felt necessary.
One year at the Gopher to Badger 1/2 marathon, immediately after we began our 13.1 mile journey to the adjoining state, it began raining cats and dogs. The rain literally got above our ankles and the roads were flooding. It was like a flash flood and that part was actually kinda cool to run in. But then, mother nature made it VERY scary and included some cloud to ground lightning which struck way too close for comfort! We literally had strikes across the street from us! I have never been in anything that scary before that or since then. There were a bunch of us running at the same pace thinking..."are they going to send a bus or something to see how we are or keep us safe?"...it never came...! We finally stopped around mile 6 on some man's porch and hung out until the lightning ceased. Up to that point, I think I was running a pr time because my adrenalin was flowing so incredibly well! We finished the run and according to others who exceeded our speed limit, apparently the lightning struck a tower of some sort across the street from where they were running and gave them quite a show and a scare!
Anyone who ran it that year will definitely have the experience locked in their minds forever!
I'm still scared of lightning, but I tend to think back to that experience and remember I lived through it once...I can do it again!
Definitely the most uncomfortably wicked windchill type event I was in was the Pole, Pedal, Pant winter tri at Giant's Ridge. I think the temps were close to zero, the winds were over 35mph and the windchill was -50! We had to ski, bike, then run...that was fun? I was proud to finish and felt I had quite a bit more "character" upon crossing the finish line! The challenge when skiing in those temps, is first getting a wax that will actually glide on the cold snow and then keeping control of your poles in the strong winds that hit in the open areas on the golf course! The bike was just a tremendous experience...wow...biking into that temperature and windlevel...a blast...literally! I remember getting into the transition area to put my helmet on and needing a hat underneath it, well I only biked in the winter for THAT event and the helmet was adjusted for summer, no room for a hat. My hands were completely frozen and I was unable to adjust the strap to make it work! After ticking away many minutes on the clock and becoming panicked and cooling down waaaay too much, I finally talked some nice women who were just spectating into helping me out and got on my way!
I finished and so did my very proper religious friend. She is one of these very polite, nice people who never swears or talks in a negative way about anything. During the ride home...let's just say I saw a whole different side of her...needless to say, she DID NOT enjoy the event one bit!
The hottest race I ever participated in was the Madison 1/2 marathon a few years back when it still began at like 10am or on Memorial Day weekend. It was already 95' at the start of the event. I found a friend from the cities and ran with her, stopping at every single hose and water spot to drench and stay upright. I remember she got very nautious after taking a goo or something but she kept going. I was ok during the run due to the water, just hot as heck ...I know without the nice people sharing their water along the course, it would not have been an event I could finish upright without a motorized vehicle.
The worst part of it all was actually after the race...I got horrendous chills and despite the pool with ice in it, it was probably the absolute ickiest feeling I have ever had after an event!
Ok...I shared mine...I'm curious as to what others have experienced that compares or are worse than mine!
On another note, I'm also wondering what kind of shape Hartley is in? Is it icy, muddy, slushy?