I was scheduled to run 16 miles yesterday. This was somewhat daunting because I haven't done any more than about 12 or 13 miles in quite awhile. But, since I needed to skip out on the Boston Prep 16 (held in Derry, NH) due to church obligations, I wanted to do the equivalent miles. The plan was to go VERY slow and just get it done. Because of all the "things" in my world, I had to be on the road by 6AM. It's my unofficial policy that I don't run before the sun is up on weekends, but I made the exception yesterday, getting up at 5:35, eating a banana, prepping my hydration belt with homemade sunbutter/dark chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies & gatorade, putting on layer after layer (WOW had I learned my lesson Friday morning!), donning my head lamp and heading out the door. I was feeling a little apprehensive about how I would handle the miles, the weather, and the rest of my busy day but I had carry over guilt for slacking Saturday. Ya see....
I was meant to do 6 miles on Saturday.... I was still a little gun shy after Friday's Freeze Your Pants Off Five Mile Extravaganza, so I told myself I'd do 60 minutes on the elliptical as a trade off. Saturday morning came. I had a chiropractor appointment at 9AM (soooo good! been a loooong time!). Getting out of bed and on the machine by 7 in order to get everything done in time seemed fine on Friday night, but I was a little behind.... So I did 40 minutes. We'll call it a 4-mile equivalent. Slacker, V-G. Slacker!
Anyway, I took the time to check the outside temp before I left and, depending on the source, it was about 12 or 17 degrees. No biggie. I was ready. What I hadn't realized was that we got about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of snow overnight. Fine and dandy. I could see the plows had been out. The only trouble was that the plows pushed the show off the road and ONTO the shoulder. Again, mostly this was just peachy because at 6AM on a Saturday we are not talking about a lot of traffic. However.... as the sun rose, the traffic increased. I had to keep running in and out of the slushy, slippery, downright scary shoulder. It certainly helped me keep my pace in check (I, ahem, was well over 10:00 miles on this run) but each tiny trek to the left of the white line was stressful. I felt previously undiscovered tendons, ligaments, and muscles in my legs.
It was tough. Especially on my last mile or so when a plow truck came down the road toward me, 5 or 6 cars behind him, as another group of cars came from behind. There was no way for the plow truck to get by me without veering over the yellow line a bit. (Props to me, if I may, for keeping my head lamp on - on the "red" setting - for the entire run). I knew that the plow driver could see me. He knew I could see him. I stopped running and went up onto the snow bank a foot or so. Still not a safe distance but I wasn't going to be able to go any further out of the way. Thankfully, everyone was very patient with each other and the traffic made it past me. I gave each of the drivers a hearty wave and the most grateful smile I could muster.... I only wish I could have heard what they were thinking about the crazy woman running on these terrible roads. I bet the thoughts and conversations range all the way from "Wow, she's hard core!" to "Jeeze, she deserves to be run over!"
I'm so glad I did it. I feel stronger, even if I'm not really, because I accomplished another run under very tough circumstances. I think I did about 14.5 miles (my Garmin lies... says I did 13.8 or something.... it's never generous enough.)
We have a winter storm warning for tomorrow and the next day.... Let's see what I can manage under THOSE conditions!