How did I celebrate my first running birthday?
I ran, of course.
In fact, my plan was to do my longest run of the year to date, with the goal being 30 km.
When I woke up this morning, the "light" snow they had warned us of turned out to be a rather sizeable dump of snow. And the temperature of -8 C / 17 F they predicted was more like -14 C / 7 F. I waited until it warmed up to -10 C / 14 F (though Accuweather said the Realfeel temperature was more like -22C / that's -7.6 F, with the wind chill and humidity). Then, I headed out. It didn't warm up much through the day either.
I am not conditioned to run in the cold weather and my longest run to date is 15 miles / 24 km. The thought of doing 30 km or 18 miles, just didn't seem possible.
But I took lots of breaks, fuelled well and in the end here are the Garmin stats:
Distance: 18.87 mi or 30.37 km
Avg. pace: 12:39 min/mi or 7:51 min/km
Avg. speed: 4.7 mph or 7.6 kph
Max. speed: 6.4 mph or10.2 kph
Avg. HR: 141 bpm
Max. HR: 157 bpm
It was slow, even for me. But given the cold and the fact that my longest run was 3 miles or about 6 km less than today's effort, I am OK with the pokeyness. I can work on speed when the conditions are more reasonable.
Believe it or not, I did overheat a bit and ended up taking off my long underwear in a public washroom along the way. I had no choice but to tie them around my waist. There they were... white, Wilson brand, long underwear, with a big orange stripe around the waist band, rolled up, with each leg wrapped around one side of my waist and tied in the middle. Very attractive.
I was testing out new winter Pearl Izumi running pants, which are lovely and warmer than I expected, so the long underwear was overkill. I arranged the route so there would be a stop at the car just after the halfway point. Then I dumped the long underwear and one of the top layers. Having said that, after 4 hours, the front of my legs were a bit cold and I noticed my knees were getting a bit creaky.
Some random thoughts that occured to me along the way (a.k.a. thoughts only other runners would get):
- I really hope my Vaseline isn't frozen when I get back to the car.
- (After finishing the run, and upon returning to the car) Hey, cool, my pb&j sandwich isn't completely frozen. I can still eat it!
- Running in the cold isn't so bad.
- Running in the cold sucks!
- My knees don't feel too bad.
- My knees are sore.
- Thank God for the men who clear the river pathways. I mean really, thank God for them!
And with that, I happily celebrate my birthday as a one year old runner, and a 37-year old human. Yup, it's my real birthday today, too. Cool, eh?