I did my first run after another week of being sick. It was in the low 40s, so I bundled up – long pants, three layers on top, a hat and gloves – and I ran four miles in my neighborhood. My only goal was to keep running, and I managed to do that and feel pretty good. When I was sick for nearly two weeks a month or so ago, I could only manage a run/walk when I got back on my feet, so I’m thrilled with a steady run on my first time out. An entire week without physical activity of any kind is just too much.
Running all bundled up reminded me of how it felt to run on Whidbey Island last December when it was in the 20s. It was cold. I was wearing multiple layers on the top and bottom and just gutting out my runs to get them done each day. If I thought too much about the cold, I wouldn’t start, so I just went and then celebrated each run with a warm shower and a hot cup of tea.
I wonder if the Deception Pass 50K is usually that cold. It’s on Whidbey, and it’s in December, so it’s possible. I was thinking about how that kind of cold might affect my performance on a long run. It would be intimidating, but ultimately, I think it would help.
Back in January of 2010, my friend Jeanie and I did the Goofy Challenge at Disney World. The Goofy Challenge is a half marathon followed by a full marathon the next day. (You get a Donald Duck medal for one race, a Mickey Mouse medal for the other, and a Goofy medal for doing both. Hence the name.) The year we went, Florida was hit with a crazy cold front, so we froze. I had to buy cold weather gear at the expo because I hadn’t planned for cold weather in Florida. And while that was unexpected, I think the cold helped me. I was woefully ill prepared for that event, as I hadn’t run more than seven miles in the two months leading up to that weekend, but my body was okay. At the time, I credited the cold for much of that – for not letting my body break down. I don’t know if that’s accurate or if that’s just the explanation I came up with that felt right at the time, but I do think my body suffers less in the cold than it does in the heat.
So I guess I should acknowledge that my mind is clearly still on the Deception Pass 50K. I may even have a friend or two interested in making that journey with me, which would be nice. I’m excited about that possibility.