Monday, February 6, 2012

Freezing Fog Long Run

I had so much going on this weekend, as usual, so here I am Monday morning getting my thoughts down.

Last Wednesday I ran 4.5 miles, on what were very sore, very tired legs, capping 9 consecutive days of running type activity (basketball/running).  That run was nothing more than a get through it and be done, ho-hum run.  I had intended to do 5 miles, but after two miles I realized that I should probably have only done 3, so I settled for 4.5.  That run convinced me that Thursday needed to be a rest day.

Friday and Saturday were my final two basketball games of the season.  Both were JV games that came down to the wire.  It is always more fun to officiate a game that is close and exciting, I think it brings out the best in an official.  The most important thing, though, is that basketball season is over.  I had a great season, but it was tiring and I need a break.  I can now return to my regularly scheduled running plan, at least for 6 weeks when baseball season starts.

Now on to the Freezing Fog.  Honestly, I figured my chances at winter were done, past, gone, what have you, but this weekend, as the Lower-Columbia Basin is wont to do, an inversion settled in over our lovely area.  You know where you get a weather system that moves in and gets stuck so you constantly turn over the same tepid air, well, that's us this weekend.  Our inversion, was confused by the sunlight during the day, and dense fog at night.  I was prepared for the fog, seeing as it had been foggy all weekend, I wasn't prepared for freezing fog (though the 27* temp should have clued me in).

Sunday morning I awoke an hour before my run in order to do that eating thing that is supposed to be important before a long run, and to take care of business.  I dressed in a long sleeve tech shirt and fleece vest, and long pants, but left the compression tights at home it was just slightly below freezing after all.  I also strapped on the safety vest and my new fuel belt.  Got out to the car, chipped off the ice, and went to meet up with my running partner G.

We took off with his pup for the first three miles of the eight mile run.  Once out on the streets we found a good groove and were moving along nicely.  G had planned the route, but wasn't quite sure which roads he had selected for the 8, but knew it went through my neighborhood then back through his and to our normal loop.  So I directed us until we go back to his place to drop off the pooch.  I was a nice 3 miles, and I went through several adjustments on the fuel belt.  I had the hardest time getting the bottles to stay in one place, and it wasn't until I pushed them to the middle of my back that I got them to stay in place.  I actually found that I didn't mind having them back there, I also noticed that once the bottles were about half full, that I didn't really hear that annoying sloshing sound which was nice.

The last 5 miles of the run were uneventful and pleasant.  We were running at a leisurely pace (9ish m/m) and just enjoying the fog and the run.  We both had a gel around mile 4, helped with energy, but not so much with the sore, heavy legs.  Tested the water bottles out at several places along the run.  As we were nearing the last couple of miles we noticed several things:  1) The water in my nearly empty bottle had turned to slush (I figured with all that movement it would be easy to stay liquid); 2) The fog was sticking to anything it possibly could, my eyelashes were the most notable, every blink water would drop onto my face; 3) We were able to actually see the fog freezing and falling in front of us; and 4) I had an awesome ice do where my hair stuck out of my ear warmer.  (Sorry no awesome hair pics as the phone was not cooperating with the camera function.

It was a good run and a nice way to cap off an exhausting week.  This week should be easier now that basketball is over.  Back to my regular scheduled speed and hill work as I build up for marathon training.
Until next time, have fun out there.

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