Sunday, February 27, 2011

My run yesterday reminded me a bit too much of Jack London's short story

To Build a Fire.

It was 1°F and snowing lightly when I headed out at 11:15 AM. Not windy at all. It was supposed to warm up into the teens sometime, so I expected to benefit from that before I was done, so I didn't bother with the balaclava or the strip of polar fleece I tie around my face to protect my nose and cheeks. And I didn't wear the safety vest, because it was daylight.

Everything went along just dandy for four miles, then the wind picked up. I managed another two miles into that before I gave it up as a bad job and headed back home. The plan was to run another three into that wind, but my beard and mustache were iced up - I mean solid - like a half inch thick - and my energy drinks were already turning to slush, so they'd be worthless, excess weight if I didn't head straight back right then.

When I got back to Thirty Sixth Avenue, about three miles from my house, I decided to walk for a bit and finish off my first slushee. The wind quickly bit through the layers wet clothing - the outer layer was wet with snow melt (even though I looked like a walking snowman) and the inner three layers were wet with sweat). At the verge of shivering I had to start running again.

Like Jack Frost's sled dog, I had to keep up a good pace all the way home, or feel the bite of the lash. Running over the railroad bridge at two miles was a bitch, because I was completely exposed to the wind. I tried walking again at a mile, but I got chilled even quicker that time.

Oh, I should mention that the first time I started walking, besides to drink, it was because the restriction of my vision caused by my hood pulling my hat brim down, a slight fogging of my glasses and the fact that the whole world was white caused me to miss the fact that the sidewalk dipped down suddenly to the street and I had a rather jarring landing that caused my hip to hurt.

Another post-mortem thought - a lesson I need to take - is that I really didn't power-up enough for the run. I only had one medium-large bowl of cereal to eat for breakfast. Even though I run slow, with the low temperature, I was probably burning more that 100 Kcal/mile.

I wish someone had snapped a picture of me when I got in the door. I got that wet crap off me as quick as I could and jumped in the shower. I still had ice chunks to pick out of my beard as the water was heating up.

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