Short. Sweet. To the point.
Boy, this sure summed up my run today. I saw it while I was crossing a bridge on my 15 mile long run today and had to get a picture of it.
I should have known to stay home when I woke up with sinuses about to explode but I thought that running would clear them out. It was about 26F out, clear and sunny. It was beautiful...until the wind started to cut through you.
Last week, the trail was covered in ice covered snow. Most of that had melted off today but I would guess that about 20% of the trail was still covered in a layer of ankle breaking ice, making you walk. More than once I did the cartoonish windmilling of my arms to prevent from falling smack on my rear. We had to divert off to the muddy horse trail at a few points because it was so dangerous going through the ice. After being forced to walk gingerly so many times, about mile 6 I started to question if I should even continue or throw in the towel right there. It would still give me 12 but not the 15 I had planned. I decided to tough it out.
We made it to my turn around point, 7.5 miles from our start. I had some Clif Shots (Chocolate, yummy), some water and some Clif Blocks (CranRazz...again, yummy). I made the call home to let husband know we were alive still (I had my 10 year old with me)
Things went along fairly well until we were approaching the 10 mile mark. At this point, we came to one of the large ice covered areas we had to cross. I heard a sniffle and saw my loyal support crew was in tears. She was cold, she was tired and the ninny had a jacket that didn't zip. I know, bad mom for not checking but I thought she would have the sense to bring one that zipped. Had I known, I would have sent her back for the zippable one or if I had known after we got to our start point, I would have forced my jacket on her. As it was, my jacket sat in the van since I knew I would not need it. Anyway, she didn't want me to call back up to come and get her and wanted to finish the run with me. I took over pushing her bike through the ice, pushing her bike and pep talking her. This went on for a few miles before she felt okay to ride again.
At this point, my legs threw up their arms (if they had them) and said "What? Are you serious? You want us to start running again after that nice, long walk? We thought we were done here. (insert snort of disbelief) Sure, try to run...see if we cooperate." I pushed myself into a shuffle, not really a walk but a far cry from the run I had been at.
I was still several miles from my finish and everything just came crashing over me. What was I doing? Why was I doing this to myself? I looked at all the other runners who went breezily by me and wondered why I ever thought I could run, let alone run a marathon. I miss my running buddies, I miss my running coach, I miss the running store and people who were so supportive of me. Despite the fact I had hundreds of people on the trail with me, I felt like I was doing this all by myself and really, what was the point.
My pity party lasted about half a mile. At this point, a couple ran by me again. I had passed them going out and took note of them. We passed this time near a patch of ice. The man was talking to the woman as they crossed it. "A little to the left, good, now go straight. We are passing a lady and her daughter, same ones as before." Then he smiled at me and said "Great day for a run!" They continued on their way and I shuffled on my way.
What was so awesome and humbling about this is that the woman was blind. Her partner had their wrists held together by something and he was her eyes for this run. I can't imagine trying to walk that path, let alone run it in the dark yet she was doing it, smiling and going strong. It made me feel like a big ole weenie.
So, I made it back to our start, we got warm, we got hot chocolate, hot showers and my 15 is in the book. It is over, it is done with and I can just put it behind me.
Next week's long run is an "easy" 11 miles. Woo hoo! Who would have thought I would look forward to a "short" run of "just" 11 miles?