Almost a year ago today (Jan. 20, 2013) I ran the Hypothermic Half-marathon in St. John’s, Newfoundland (my recap of the race can be found here). I thought THAT was cold!
Cold enough that my awesome snowflake medal snapped off! 😦 thank goodness for dads and superglue
Today was INSANE. I ran 21.1 km into gale-force winds (slight exaggeration, but the wind was whipping along at 60-90km/hour and there was a wind warning in effect that I only found out about after I collapsed on my couch and turned my computer on, of course) that hit me straight in the face no matter what direction I turned.
At one point I even tried running backwards until I realized I was doing an 8’30/km pace, which meant it would take me even longer to get home, so I stopped doing that pretty quickly!
At another point I even screamed into the howling wind, “You have GOT to be kidding me!” I’m not sure who I was talking to (God? Mother Nature? Myself?) but when no response came back besides more wind and snow in my face, I sucked it up and saved my energy by just thinking really angry thoughts!
At 14.5 km, a guy pulled over in his truck and offered me a ride, but I had less than 7km to go, plus I was afraid he’d turn out to be a serial killer so I thanked him, gave him the most awkward thumbs-up ever because of my frozen fingers, and hunched back into the wind.
It was seriously one of the worst runs of my LIFE. At least that’s what I was telling myself when I finally made it back and staggered into my apartment. I couldn’t feel my face. When I looked in the mirror my skin was all red and splotchy and looked like one of those paintings made up of a billion tiny dots. There were also weird white patches on my face and my eyes wouldn’t stop watering. Running – such an attractive pastime.
“Worst run ever!” I kept thinking, and then I realized I should rephrase that in a more positive way. WORST implies it was really bad and that I didn’t get anything from it. Actually, it was one of my HARDEST runs ever, and that fills me with more of a sense of accomplishment than “worst”. Semantics, maybe, but I’m in the business of words so these things mean a lot to me…
It was one of my hardest runs. I really had to dig in there and not give up, and trust me, I wanted to pretty much every step of the way. My time didn’t matter. Pace didn’t matter. Negative splits? IDGAF. All I wanted was to get home from this Antarctica hell I was in, surrounded by white and completely alone except for the odd car. It was really scary and isolating at times, although there was the odd moment of exhilaration when I was like, “yeah! I am ONE with nature, y’all!” (I think that was at the beginning of my delusional phase, approximately kilometers 13 – 18, before I downward spiraled into despair).
Anyway, I’m hoping this was the hardest run of the year for me, but since it’s only January I’m not so sure. But hard runs make us better runners, right? Considering how tough this one was for me, Boston should be a breeze – a nice, light breeze, please. I’ve had enough wind to last me a long time!