A few times per year we get a rogue photographer/reporter or maybe even a news crew that shows up to “capture the spirit of our club” or some other such nonsense. I always love the looks on their faces when we start piling out of cars like clowns in a circus at about 5:25am, happy (mostly) and ready to run. You can tell… they just don’t get it. Even their questions seem more personal than news related. Mostly because of the emphasis on the word “do”. As in, “Why do you DO this!?” They are always met with the normal patience of the group and an effort is always made to explain that which really can’t be explained unless you already understand it. They are usually left shaking their heads as they wander back to their cars. We just giggle and shake ours as well. Most of us are really not sure why we do this completely ourselves, we just know we couldn’t NOT do it. It is a part of our day. We look forward to it and most of us feel genuinely bad/guilty when we miss (whether we admit that publicly or not).
My running buddy this morning was on of the usual suspects. I was just glad not to have to run alone on a snowy trail. I like running on snow more than running on ice… but that’s not saying much. We actually chose to run a longer route just to avoid finishing up on a snowy trail. It’s supposed to heat up just enough to melt the top layer (that 40 of us packed down this morning) and give it a nice icy glaze. Probably won’t be running the trail any time soon.
It’s amazing how much better I felt once we left the trail and got on clean, clear streets. I finished up 7 miles with an 8:30 pace but I can tell you that the first 2 miles were much slower because I just didn’t feel safe on the snow. You also just can’t get any push without slipping so it changes your stride. Anyway, I was much happier on the road… for once. I had my balaclava on but pulled down under my chin because I was a bit overdressed so I had a good coat of ice on my goatee by the time I was done. That plus one of the girls I was talking with right after the run had a very distracting coat of ice on her eyelashes that I couldn’t help but chuckle at all made it very clear that, although 18 degrees is warmer than we have been running (and no wind… yay!!), it’s still bluddy cold. I will admit that I love to see winter come but like everyone else, I also love to see it leave! Shouldn’t be more than another month though, and it will start to warm back up again.
For now though, I remain permanently frozen. Waiting for a time in the not too distant future when I will once again be longing for cold weather as I run through the 90 degree heat and humidity of mid MO summer. Always gotta have something to bitch about…!