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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Wow. It's just plain ridiculous outside. Cold, wet, windy. Perfect weather for a run to remind myself "it could be worse."

My plan was to get up early and go for a run in the early dawn hours because it looks so cool along the lakefront, but that didn't pan out so well. I instead decided to "sleep in" today and ease into my run. After half a pot of coffee, some lounging on the couch with a chick flick on the tv, and playing with Lola for a bit, I finally decided it was time for a run. It was about 10:30 when I turned on my laptop to check the temp outside: 39 degrees. Perfect. Getting dressed and deciding to nix my prior goal of 3 miles, I decided to go for 5 today. Why not. I was all set to go and checked the temp one more time at 11:00: 37 degrees...it's dropped and now there's snow in the forecast. Okay, put on a hat instead of my ear warmers.

Heading downstairs to my lobby, I set my Garmin in a window to link up (which took forever today for some reason) and stretched. It looked awful outside and the ground was already wet. Oh well, still want to shake the limbs out! For a split second I entertained the idea of going back upstairs to my warm condo and getting a head start on my laziness for the day, but the thought exited as quickly as I entered, almost as if it was never even there. The crappier the weather, the more enticing a run is...just to see how I fare.

It was drizzly when I stepped out, but nothing to call home about. As soon as I hopped onto the lakefront path, the drizzle was joined by a brisk wind coming off the lake. Okay, not my fave, but I can deal. I decided to go with my regular iPod today so I could listen to my latest additions to my music library and I had it tucked nicely in the chest pocket of my jacket. Ah, bliss :) The further south I got on the path, the less drizzle there was. However, it was replaced with an all out blizzard blowing in from the east (off the water) and pummeling the left side of my face. As I neared Diversey, crossed the bridge and turned around at my 2.5 mile mark, the snow was now hitting the right side of my face, which I still had feeling in. This was painful. At least, heading out, the left side of my face was numb from the wet chill so the snow didn't hurt, but now I could really feel it! It was like millions of pins hitting my face. I put my hand up to block it for a bit.

The snow was really pretty, even if it did feel like facial accupuncture most of the time. I didn't negotiate most of the puddles, so my feet were now pretty wet (good thing my feet were numb too, so I couldn't feel the chill!). I was completely soaked by the time I reached Belmont on my way back, but I felt great. A much, much older man heading out on the opposite side of the path smiled really big at me and waved with both hands, I responded in kind. I love that. I laughed to myself and felt a surge of energy afterwards. So I capitalized on the surge and kicked it up a notch to squeeze in some 7:30's for the rest of the way. I felt really good, and my lungs were pretty happy, so why not put the legs to work a little more. The power of a smile from someone else is astonishing at times. At this time, it made me feel not so alone in my insanity for heading out in this weather.

Once I passed Addison, the snow felt more like rain and looked like sleet. At least the wind was slowed some. I made it home with a half tank and I'm sure I could have gone and done the route a second time, but I'd had enough of the wind and snow for one day. I couldn't even feel my face, and as I waited for the elevator I was trying to peel off my gloves...I couldn't feel my hands and I had to really concentrate to get them to move! But hey, it could be worse.

Overall, a great run. A much needed recharge after the holiday weekend. I did get in a nice 4-miler on Thanksgiving morning while my casserole was cooking at my mom's house, but it was about 50 degrees and the sun was out with barely any breeze to speak of. Much too nice of weather, and no mud :)

Coming up, the North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco...it'll be Mike's first 50-miler(!) and I'll be crewing and pacing him. It's going to be a great weekend, and so far the weather looks promising.

Paige, out.

"All it takes is all you got."--Marc Davis

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