Here's a diary entry I never thought I'd make:
Sunday: easy trail run in snow, 18.5 miles in 3:27:16.
This turned into a bit of an epic, but the cool thing is that I broke my long-run PR: I haven't run more than 18 miles for at least 20 years, maybe 25.
It was a tough run, much tougher than I thought it was going to be when I left the house well-rested and well-fed after sitting out two days of continuous snow. Beguiled by the sun and blue sky, and the diamond sparkle of the fresh powder, I just kept ticking off the miles at a very easy pace made even slower by the soft crunchy stuff underfoot. I didn't take any of the opportunities to cut the thing short. I should have done. By the time I was committed to the long loop, I realised I was starting to lose daylight.
The sun dipped behind the foothills on a long stretch leading me past the Bolder Reservoir. By mile 13 the temperature had dropped due to the lack of sun AND the proximity of the water and bits started to freeze. The water in the op of my bottle froze. My feet started to turn blocky. I couldn't feel my fin gers and my face -- well I was thinking Scott of the Antarctic by the point and wondering what frostbite on the nose really felt like.
By now the Snow Jog had become a sort of survival-on-the-pack-ice snowshoe shuffle. Without the snow shoes. I was sending telepathic (telepathetic?) calls for help to Abby, hoping she would "pick up" and meet me at the entrance to the Res, saving me an additional four miles home. No luck there.
The only thing that got me back was that once past the Res and the deeper back into "civilisation" I got, the warmer it got. So I didn't jump in the Yellow Cab waiting at the lights with 2 to go. No, I told myself, you call yourself an endurance athlete... so ENDURE damn it.
I noticed that when I paused to cross a couple of main roads I was swaying on my feet. Not good. But I made it. I shambled through the front door to Abby's relief. She'd picked up the trans mission but hadn't known where to find me. I have strict orders to carry a cell phone in future. Well, I did say I'd be 2 and half hours, not 3 and a half.
Since I got in I've done little except eat. My Garmin tells me I burned near enough 2500 calories; probably on the low side as the Garmin can't tell what the temperature was. I had a couple of Cliff bar jelly bite things en route, but of course this would be the day I decided to experiment by taking a bottle of oxygenated water rather than my normal sugar-protein Accelerade mix. Isn';t it odd that in one run we can burn off more calories than some people eat in their three meals a day?
Now, I smugly pleased with myself. A new record; never mind the time.
I guess this is winter then. It'll be Snow Jogging for me from now on.