Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My long(ish) Most-Miserable run.

This really was the most miserable run I have ever had. No muscle pain, legs were mostly fine. I didn't fall or anything. Didn't get lost. What was the cause of this?? Cold Rain and nothing else.
I had headed to Durham Friday evening with plans for a run in the morning before a concert in Raleigh Saturday night. Expected temps were 38° and rain ending that morning. (The drive Friday night took about an hour longer due to heavy rains and traffic). I had planned my run on the Al Buehler Trail at Duke University.   
I had run this before, but it had been awhile. I remembered it being a nice surface, with some hills. Wasn't interested in the hills as Myrtle Beach is completely flat, but I was about 2 miles from the course so it worked out well. The rain wasn't too fun to start out with at 6:15am, and plenty of hills heading over there. Started Loop 1 at the intersection of the Connector Trail after dropping off my large bottle of water (to be used to refill my handheld). Slow going, walked the major hills as I knew my plan for 16 miles was farther than I'd run in a month and I wanted to get the distance in. Loop 1 in  just under 29 minutes (looking back in my records, March 2008 had the 2 loops each in ~26). Refilled my water and at this point, ~50 minutes in, I was soaked all the way thru everything I had on. I need to re-think gloves as I took my cotton ones off soon after as they did nothing for my hands. Wrung them out and into a pocket they went. 2nd lap felt better, faster. Same ~29 minutes, but there was a stop involved. Actually saw 1 person on this loop walking. As wet as I was, the run so far was ok. I usually do not mind the rain. Cold rain is the worst (other than heat!). 3rd loop - the rain came down in buckets, rarely letting up. I was cold. Hands were up in my sleeves of my jacket, but the contact with the air left them hurting to any kind of touch. Was holding my water bottle by a finger as it got lighter. Parts of the trail were completely under water, not that my feet could get any wetter, but that cold Hurt! Was planning my shortened route as I neared the decision point. 3 more miles? Could I handle more pain (legs still ok, and times still right at 29 minutes)? Did I want to only do 13 miles instead of 16?
I kept going. Slowed more due to just being uncomfortable. Rain actually lightened up, but hands were not happy. Saw a few other runners earlier, but either they turned off or didn't run more than a lap. Last lap in ~30 minutes. Emptied out my large water bottle, and held each of them by a finger, hands still curled up in my jacket for the hills back to the house I was staying at. 2 hrs 45 minutes total - so slow, but no running pains.
Practically my whole body was red. Across my knuckles (where the air contacted my hands) was sore for a couple of hours, but by the afternoon, I was warm again and ready for my concert! 
Knowing a few people attempting the complete 77 mile Foothills Trail run (Byron, Psyche, Charles, others) this same weekend made my wallowing in the cold rain a little more in perspective. Would love to be out there to attempt that feat one day, but that is far in the distance. I am nowhere near ready to begin building mileage up to that. (but hmmm...Sept 4th?)  

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