Saturday, January 17, 2009
Crunch Crunch Crunch Crunch...
"Crunch Crunch Crunch Crunch" was the sound that filled my ears throughout our 14 mile training run in below zero temps this morning. I have often found a sort of settling comfort in the sounds of all of our feet running. There's just something about everyone's shoes pounding the pavement together that makes everything okay. Never mind if it's an ungodly dark hour like 5:30 AM, or in the middle of a seemingly endless 20 miler, that sound reminds you that you're out there with your friends, and for some reason it's FUN. Today the sound was not shoes rhythmically hitting the asphalt, but rather shoes crunching across the packed snowy and icy streets of Rochester.
Yes, today we had several conversations questioning our sanity and level of craziness, deciding ultimately that we were okay since we were all in it together. Who cares if we saw a couple of people in their cars laughing at us? Or if the cashier at the coffee shop shook her head in disbelief when we walked in to use the restroom? There's a marathon in a few months and you can't just skip a long run. Nope, today's run was not for the faint at heart. And we survived.
I wore two pairs of pants, wool socks, trail shoes, four layers on top plus a jacket, a balaclava, a hat, two pairs of gloves... I should have opted for mittens since my hands were balled into tight fists gripping handwarmers for the entire run. My water bottle was frozen solid by the end of the distance. My vanilla GU was like thick ice cream, and no, it didn't taste good.
Despite the conditions, it was actually fun to be out there with a group of people. Somehow we filled the miles with a fair amount of laughing, telling stories, and talking about random bits of nothing. We reminded each other that conditions could have been worse had the wind been blowing. But even the locals who have lived here much of their lives said today was one of their coldest runs ever, so what an accomplishment for all of us! What would I do without that favorite sound of feet hitting the roads?