Winter Running continues…

26 Days until the Little Rock Marathon and the winter running sucks.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  So sick of being cold or at least parts of my body being cold.

Last weekend was an ice-covered mess, both runs for Saturday and Sunday were CANCELED, I can’t remember any of our weekend runs being canceled before.  Oh well, I enjoyed not being out in the ice and cold.  Monday Kim and I were back at it, neither one of us had run in 3 days, that’s unusual, it’s usually 1 day, 2 max, but 3?  Never. Unless it’s after a grueling marathon.

We were bundled up and ready to run, we only ran about 5 miles, I had to be at work by 8am.  It was not a bad run considering, but we still bitched and complained about the weather and it was treacherous in spots, even after the thaw on Sunday afternoon.  There were spots that were still frozen solid, sidewalks, puddles, anywhere that stays shaded.

Tuesday and Wednesday I ran solo, Kim had to be at work early.  Still cold, but not AS cold as Monday, in the 30’s.  Kim and I planned on running together on Thursday, but low and behold, rain, no run.  Then Friday, rain again, no run.  At least it wasn’t ice or snow.  We were gearing up for our 18 mile run on Saturday.

Our run for Saturday morning was to be 18 miles, both of us dreading it since our runs have been a little lackluster and we didn’t get in a long run last weekend.  Oh well, can’t change what we didn’t run, so might as well suck it up.  We were meeting the Little Rock Marathon Training Group at the ADEQ building in NLR close to the River Trail.  Lots of runners for sure, I guess everyone was a little stir crazy and ready to get back on the pavement.

The temperature was mid 30’s, kind of hard to dress for, and the wind was about 15 mph, so that screws with you too.  I had long sleeve tech top, not a thin one and a fleece vest, should have left the vest.  My Garmin was dead, that really set the tone for the day, I had charged it the day before, but when I turned it on it went right back off, dead.  Great.  Thank goodness Kim had hers, it was so weird not having my Garmin, I would look down at my wrist or when we stopped to get water reach down to stop my Garmin, NO GARMIN!

Our route was mostly River Trail except when we went through Burns Park, which I don’t even remember at all, it’s like a blur for some reason, I know we went through there, but geez I must have been sleeping.

We made our way back to the River Trail and we realized we had to run all the way to the 1.75 mile marker, HOLY COW, are you kidding?  That just sounded WRONG and way too far, but we did it, don’t know how, but we did.

On our way back we knew there was a race on the river trail, the River Trail 15K, we kept expecting to see runners, but where were they?  I was really looking forward to it for a little distraction, anything to keep my mind off my aching feet, back and the wind blowing right in our faces no matter which way you turn!

We were about 2.5 miles from finishing when we ran up on some of the Hot Legs running club who were set up at a water station waiting on the first wave of runners.  We saw our friend Dianne L. and talked to her a second before heading to our finish.  It wasn’t long before we saw the leader, Josh Holt, he is actually one of the guys in my Tuesday Night running club, it was great to see him out in front.  Then we saw Leah T., female winner of the 2009 Little Rock Marathon.  Kim and I had to keep moving over in the grass to get out of the way, those runners were serious!!

It was just a minute or two when I heard my name called, it was Cindy C followed by Brenda, then not far behind, Amy, Jane, Joan, Melissa, it was so cool to see so many people we knew!  Thank goodness they saw us and called out our names, because they were all in a sea of people!

A great distraction for about half a mile, then UGH, we had 2 miles to go.  The wind picked up some more, what the hell?  We were colder than we had been the entire run!  We turned onto Northshore Trail and could finally see the ADEQ building, it’s always a welcome sight, we knew we had it made at that point.

We ended up with a little under 18 miles, but Kim said her old Garmin 301 didn’t always calculate correctly, so 18 in my mind.  We stretched on a bench for a bit until we were frozen and headed home, Kim had a death in her family and we couldn’t do our normal Starbuck’s stop so I just went home and made my own.

Sunday I knew Kim would not be back to run the 10 mile run with me so instead of starting at 6am I decided to wait until about 7am, the main reason was darkness, I didn’t want to run by myself on the River Trail, especially the Blair Witch Project Section (Isabella Jo).  Well, it only appears that way in the summer when it’s like a tunnel and dark as dark can be, but still, not by myself.

It was colder than Saturday, about 32, there wasn’t supposed to be any wind, so I did not wear my Little Hotties Hand Warmers or Toe Warmers, stupid me.  Because of the wind I was cold for the first 8 miles.  I almost turned around oh about 10 times, but I didn’t I kept pushing on and I have no idea how I did it, there was no one out, no one.  All the smart people stayed in bed.  Hobbit had emailed me the route the night before and I was to run to the 3 mile marker, once again, ARE YOU KIDDING?  That’s too far!! But of course it wasn’t, it just felt that way.

I was so happy to turn around, my legs were very fatigued and I was just done, done with running, done with the wind, done with winter.  UGH, this shit sucks.   I just kept trying to visualize myself at different sections on the Trail, the wooden bridge, the concrete bridge, dog park, soccer fields, where we saw the skunks, seeing the ADEQ building and some how I finished.  I hate running anything longer than 5 miles by myself, it’s just boring as hell.  Maybe I should put some tunes on my Shuffle and try that, something, cause that really sucked and being cold for the biggest part of it didn’t help.

Here’s something weird, I thought anyway.  When I got back to the parking log, there was this big Suburban type vehicle, pretty new, clean, had a 8×10 piece of paper taped to the inside driver side window “NO VALUABLES INSIDE”.  I would have never even noticed the vehicle if it hadn’t been for the piece of paper taped to the window.  Is that some new deterrent?

So I know this post is long, but today, thank goodness it is a well deserved rest day after running 28 miles this weekend because when I woke up at 5am this morning what do I see when I look outside?  SNOW!  LOTS of SNOW!  So, I’m not going to work for a while or maybe not at all, who knows.   I hope this crap clears up, because we don’t need this winter stuff anymore, we need to get ready for our looming marathon and Kim needs to get ready for her Ultra!

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