Monday, February 13, 2012

The long, cold run.

When you wake up early on a Sunday morning, 17 miles on your running schedule, and the thermometer reads 12 degrees . . . what do you do?

Go back to bed? Well, that might be the sane thing to do. But it is not, apparently, the Happy Runner thing to do.

The Happy Runner crazy marathon training thing to do is get up. Get dressed. Chug some coffee, down a PureFit bar, and take off to run. And feel pretty flippin' hardcore afterward.

Yup, that's what happened.

I was meeting my friend, Melissa, for a long run at 8:00. She planned to run 15 miles, I planned to run 17. Before I left, the thermometer read 12 degrees. As I drove to meet her, the temperature crept up to 14, which is about what it was when we set off to run.

It was tough. The first 3+ miles were directly into the wind. Our noses were running faster than we were. My hands were freezing. My cheeks were burning from the cold. But we kept going. I took a Clif Shot gel at mile 4 and it was pretty cold and thick. Fortunately, not frozen.

We kept going. We were chatting and chatting and before I knew it, we were almost at mile 9, which was when I had planned to take another gel. I couldn't believe how quickly those first 9 miles went by! The bad thing was that, by this point, the water in my water bottle was starting to freeze. I had to run with the spout in my mouth for a while to thaw it before I could take a sip. It was less than ideal.

We reached a turn-around point at mile 11 and the wind was back at it. Trying to beat us down. We didn't give in. I will admit that at about 13.5 miles into the run, I started to sag a little. But, soon enough we were almost back to the parking lot and I knew I could quickly grab a replacement bottle of water and another gel before leaving Melissa and turning back out for two more miles.

So, we finished the 15 miles and that's what I did. My hands were super cold so I had a little bit of a hard time with my gel but I got it eventually.

Once I set out for those last two miles, I started to question my sanity. Why are you running these miles? Why didn't you just stop at 15? The answer, of course, is that if you always stop short of your goal on your training runs, what's to stop that from happening on race day?

I want no part of stopping short on race day. So, two more miles it was!

And, boy-howdy, were they tough. I was incredibly cold. My hands hurt. My cheeks and chin hurt. I wanted the run over so I pushed the pace and finished mile 16 in 9:19 and mile 17 in 8:44.

Rock ON, Happy Runner!

Yes, I did indeed feel pretty hardcore. I can't deny it.

Overall, I ran 17 miles in 2:42, a 9:35 pace. It was a great run in tough conditions. Cold, cold, cold.

What's the coldest temp you've ever run in? Do you bag your runs under a certain temperature? Or do you always tough it out?

Have a great week, everyone!

~ Felice


Indi said...

Awesome Cold run! I know what you mean about feeling pretty hard core after! Both my long run and recovery run was in 9F and 10F temps..BrrrrTastic!

Felice Devine said...

BrrrTastic! I love that!

Melissa H said...

Wow-way to tough it out! I had 18 miles on the schedule yesterday and ran them on the treadmill because it was so cold and windy! I hate doing that but didn't want to get sick. It was really mentally challenging though!

Nicole said...

Wow, you ARE hardcore!! We don't have "cold" temps here, so the coldest I've run in is about 40 degrees and I thought I was brave! You rock!!

Brigid said...

Good for you! I ran 11 miles in 25 degree, windy weather this weekend. I'l run in colder temps (down to single digits). Precipitation is what will cause me to adjust my plans. I can dress for cold; wet is something else. Nice job this weekend!

Felice Devine said...

Melissa -- 18 on the 'mill is definitely hard core! I don't know if I could do that -- way to go!

Felice Devine said...

Brigid -- I agree. Cold is manageable but cold and wet can be too much.

Marlene said...

Way to get out here and DO IT!

It was cold here too, but the snow/slush/ice all over the ground is what made the run so challenging to me. I ran the slowest long run pace I have clocked in MONTHS with the hardest effort level. At least it's done!

Melissa said...

Great job! I actually love running in the cold...cold being subjective, of course, since I live in the SE part of the country.

I ran a half marathon this weekend and it was around 24 degrees when we started and still below 30 by the time I finished. My running buddy and I have run in sub-freezing while it was snowing before and felt pretty hard core too :)

Quix said...

Way to get it done! I know I run faster in the cold too. :) I ran 8 in feels like 30 this weekend with my husband and we actually had to take walk breaks because I took us out too fast because I was cold, hehe. Big accomplishment for me as I normally don't venture out under feels like 40. It wasn't actually that bad after a few miles. I still prefer warm temps though!

Jill said...

Yeah, I can attest it was freaking freezing!!! I am very impressed with your time ... I just have a very difficult time running when it's that cold Nicely done, girl!

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