Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hallucinations on the Run

I took my newly-endowed bad-ass penguin self out on a long run this morning (sorry for the language, Mom, but it's warranted in this case). I waited until 11:00 just to give the temperature a chance to climb above zero, because you know, running in single-digit temperatures is soooo much more comfortable than sub-zero ones. It was a bit breezy (something near 20 mph) and there was no semblance whatsoever of sunshine... but whatever! I had 14 miles to run and that's all that mattered. No more bellyaching about the weather from this girl, no sir-ee.

Well. Okay. Until mile three, anyway.

That's the point I made a turn of direction and found myself running directly into the arctic-blast headwind. So, maybe I have a little more work to do until I can truly claim to be Penguinesque.

For the first time in my running career, I actually considered bailing on a run because it was dangerously cold. That consideration came somewhere around mile 6 at the tail end of my first out-and-back stretch when I was approaching my house and could have easily diverted my route straight into the gloriously steamy confines of a hot shower. Instead, I decided to suck it up. Penguins don't have the luxury of gloriously steamy hot showers when they're cold in the middle of their treks, why should I? So, I kept trudging along, but soon found myself cursing both the wind and myself for continuing to run in it.

Before long, I was cursing penguins too. Thinking they're all that. Don't they know how ridiculous they look waddling around in their little pretty-boy tuxedo get-ups? As if they're fooling anybody.

This was obviously the point I was going a tad delirious.

Despite wearing two pairs of gloves, my fingers were aching in pain from the cold. My nose was running and my hands were too cold to keep wiping the snot away, so I just let it freeze there on my face. My lips were numb and felt like goose-down pillows. I had a monster blister forming on my toe, causing me to wince in pain with every step. On the other foot, a clump of snow formed in the holes of my cleats, making it feel like I was running with a golf ball wedged under my foot, but I was too cold to stop and shake it out. When I drank from my bottle, my hands were too cold to squeeze it to get the water out, so it just sort of trickled over my tongue. When it finally did give a good squeeze of water, I choked on it and had to spit half of it back out on the road, hacking on the half that made it down my throat. The cinnamon lips candy I'd packed for a sugar hit were frozen so solid I thought I'd chipped my teeth chewing on them. My ponytail was encased within a layer of ice and my eyes watered from the sting of the wind as it bit mercilessly at my face from every direction.

Drivers that whizzed past gave me strange looks. Yeah, so what?! Just because I look a little rough out here doesn't mean you can give me strange looks. I'm a MARATHONER! This is what we do! So what if I'm running sideways with my eyes bulging and my tongue hanging out of my mouth, that's so not the point. You just keep on driving there in your cozy little vehicle with your heated-leather seats, the warm air blasting in your face and the soothing strains of Yanni streaming out of your radio speakers and keep your strange looks to yourself. I'm busy here, thankyouverymuch.

I'm not quite sure how I made it home. I have this recurring mental image of a flock of flying penguins carrying me under their wings the last four miles, but that's just silly because we all know penguins can't fly. All I know is when I woke up, I was taking a gloriously steamy hot shower. And 14 more miles were recorded on my training log.

Some things are probably best not remembered.


Non-Runner Nancy said...

hee hee hee hee - yep, I think you're crazy. But at least you are making it so we can spectate while you are out there being crazy.

You are way more penguin than me. Rock on.

DREW said...

Wow. Way to guy it out. Doesn't it feel soooo good now that it's over. And marking down that 14 in your log book, sweet!

Anonymous said...

Good news, Angie- Onlu a couple more months of frozen-fingered, snotsicle-wearing, pillow-lipped, icy-cleated, frosty-ponytail, bulging-eyed, sideways running left this year. :) Good job, and be thankful a blister is the only injury you sustained.

Ovens2Betsy said...

Oh Angie, you crack me up! I'm not sure I would have made it in those conditions (we're pretty spoiled in Seattle; rarely does it get down into the single digits). What a trooper (and bad-ass) you are!

Jim said...

Wow, what an accomplishment. I hear you Idahoans are getting slammed lately with lots of snow and dastardly cold temperatures. Just be greateful you don;t have a beard! Those guys have a 100 percent guaranteed snotcicle and crud catcher. Fun to look at but I wouldn't want to partake myself. Way to go on a great victory over Mother Nature!

See Zanne Run said...

omg. you are on hard core girl. funny. AND hard-core. that's a very cool combination. one that will get you through the rigors of marathon training! the willingness to gut it out in the worst of circumstances & the sense of humor to laugh about the isanity of it all. gotta love adding that 14 mile to the log.

Anonymous said...

The mother in me says "Angie stop it, wait til spring." The wimp in me says "Oh hell, that is way too painful." The, wish I were a young girl and could do this too, part in me says, "You go, girl. You make me proud."