Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First running birthday, first 30 km run

On this day last year, I ran for 30 minutes straight. It was after being injured for over a year. I had done some running before that but I couldn't really call myself a runner, since injury came not long after I started.

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:

Time: 3:58:47
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!
At the end, minimal discomfort in the way of blisters and GI issues, which made me very happy. I think it has something to do with slowing down. Mind you... maybe my body was just too shocked by the cold to rebel.

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?


Backofpack said...

Well, Happy Birthday! Sounds to me like you not only went for a tough, long run, but made an incredible fashion statment while doing so! You are one tough and hardcore runner for sure!

Turtle Guy said...

"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."

...very attractive, indeed!


not as attractive as your accomplishment!


You've come a long way, baby!!

Keep on truckin'!

...just wait until you hit the 'terrible twos' - yo' dangerous!

ipm said...

happy belated birthday!

you are a STAR!!! run well and stay warm..... :)))

Downhillnut said...

Woohoo! Just think, 12.2 more km and you could have claimed the M-word. Way to get out there in the weather!

craig said...

That's great that you found the motivation to get out there in those condtions. Congratulations on both birthdays.

robtherunner said...

Happy belated Birthday! What a great way to celebrate. You have come a long way, Sarah. Of course, it does not surprise me in the least.

Sarah said...

Happy Belated Birthday! That sounds like a memorable run. : )