I’m running the F^3 Frozen half marathon this Saturday. The below is the description applied to my 11 mile training run on my DailyMile account. As I was writing it, I realized “This must be shared! I can’t be the only one to experience such hell!” May you get something out of it. What that something is, I couldn’t tell you.
This was the messiest, dumbest run I’ve ever run! It was a warmish day, coming off of the crazy Polar Vortex/ChiBeria situation and I thought I’d be proactive in getting an 11 miles in. What I didn’t account for were the bountiful icy puddles, slick spots, and snow drifts throughout the city and all over the Lakefront path. I cannot recall the last time I had to do so many high knees to get through a 2+ foot snow drifts. I thought at first that I was lucky to have the lakefront path, what seemed all to myself. However, I realized WHY I had a semiprivate first half of my run. It was because I was the only idiot stupid enough to wade through ice puddles up to my shins and slide through the vast patches of ice.
It wasn’t until almost my turn around point that I thought for sure I might have lost 90% of my brain cells. I somehow ended up in an almost knee deep puddle of frozen water and just stopped and screamed from sheer terror. I was bewildered by the cold and also trying to figure out how to get to the other side without wading through the waters surrounding my poor knees. I surveyed the area and suddenly realized, “hey stupid! Why are you still standing here in the ice puddle! Get your ass out of it and THEN look for your revised route!” Common sense, I know. So I jumped out, found my detour, and went on my way.
On my way back I found runners sporting shorts and long-sleeve tech tees. It was boggling my mind how someone could consider running in these conditions like that. I wanted to “Pretty Woman” slap each of them out of sheer anger for my calves. Not me personally; my calves just took over my brain. Not the other runners’ fault, but here I was bundled appropriately and enduring everything winter could have possibly thrown at me, short of being blown into Lake Michigan. I mean, I may as have been blown into Lake Michigan, since each of my shoes contained the equivalent to an icy pond.
I finally was at my home stretch. Only 2 miles left to go, but my legs were angry with me. They were basically telling me to go Eff myself, as they were fed up with all the ice, puddles and snow piles. They were DONE-ZO – they were ready to “Lock it up“. I had to stop a few times to rub them out to warm them back up; gotta keep them on my team! Those last two miles were the most painful miles I think I’ve ever run and I’ve run 3 marathons! I almost cried tears of joy and relief that I survived and made it to my front door! My face would NOT be plastered on a milk carton. NOT this day! I ended up running 11.5 miles.
I stretched, took a hot shower, defrosted my toes, and headed out to raid the nearby Chipotle. The next two days were the worst ever. My knees felt as if a gang of geriatric women knocked me out, stole my knees and replaced them with worn out, ancient patellae. It hurt to walk, I couldn’t run, it hurt to sit, walking up or down stairs were sheer torture. It was awful; as if my bones were made of glass. The things we do for the “love” of running and training for races.