Before the winter darkness arrived, I would try to have at least one day where I'd run 13+ miles during the week (this did not replace my long run). It's become almost impossible to squeeze in a two hour run before OR after work. I just don't enjoy running in the dark for that long. I've had to be creative about building mileage. This means more commuting to work via running + double days + longer lunch runs. These are all great but still...nothing beats a continuous, long effort. So, today was a rare treat. Even though I was kept up half the night by howling winds and woke up to freezing temperatures, I was determined to get out there.
The cold zapped my motivation to spring out of bed so the run started hours after planned.
Headed into the bitter cold
I was surprised at how quickly I warmed up. I had to remove the face mask before I was two miles in. I didn't want to rush through this run. I wanted to enjoy being alone on what are otherwise populated trails. I can't lie...this run was a bit of a struggle. The cold caused every muscle to ache. The winds were gusting up to 30 mph. There were times that I would have to bury my face deep into my coat, breathing heavily just to warm up. My hydration pack's nozzle even froze shut. At about mile nine, I had the option of either running 1 mile home OR taking the extended 4 mile hilly route home...I am proud that I chose the latter. I didn't make my 15 mile goal but the fact that I managed a half marathon distance on a day where many would have holed up near a fireplace....well, that makes me feel good.