I was so proud to have got my butt out of the door by 9:20am!!! I knew that the weather was going to be cold and windy with some light snow. I was dressed for success! I started out and thought that things were pretty good. The sidewalks were pretty tough terrain as they had not been cleared..... not to worry as I would be on pavement in 4 miles:)
At mile 3 I began having cramps and really couldn't get "my groove on". Both issues soon passed. I ran an uneventful 3 more miles...... That is when the wind and cold and ice pellets started. It was almost unbearable but I carried on.
I took my first gel at mile 6.... Let's talk about Hammer gel. It goes in like used car oil, think and heavy, then you swallow, then you get the cardboard after taste..... Burp..... oh yes, it kinda tastes like bananas, just like it says on the bottle:) I reach for my "hose" from the back pak and attempt to drink....... Nothing...... I realize that the hose is frozen...... hold the hose in my mouth and blow hot air hoping to defrost the bloody thing. I suck on the hose and am only rewarded with a small sip. I am running and sucking and blowing, (pretty much forgetting to breathe) for a good mile (Traci Lords would have been so proud!!!!) I couldn't believe that this was happening to me!!!!!
I am really starting to freeze my butt off and really need some water. I try my fuel belt.... only slush..... will work for now.... so cold... maybe I should turn back and finish my run on the treadmill?????????..... I knew that it wouldn't happen so I carried on. I decided to put the back pak bladder inside my jacket hoping that my body heat would defrost the hose and allow me to drink. I check for traffic..... nothing..... I take off my back pak and manage to get caught up in my scarf, in my headphones and everywhere else possible. My finger tips hurt sooooo much, I can barely touch anything without pain, let alone grasp anything for long periods. I am half undressed in a tangled mess when I hear the truck.... the snow plow truck. Now, if you have never seen a highway snow truck let me tell you a bit about it. For starters, it is huge! It has a huge shovel on the front and even one on the side. When it plows snow it creates a 7 -12 foot moving wall of ice and snow and dirt and what ever else is on the road.
I manage to run to safety and hide behind a tree! I get my self redressed and keep on trucking. The wind is crazy and my fingers feel like they are going to fall off. My glasses are fogged and starting to collect ice along with my clothes. I could only see out of one eye and that eye had to keep blinking to protect itself from the ice cold wind. Did I mention that the "bladder" was very cold against my chest? I really wanted to pass out and wake up in a nice warm bed:) Really and truthfully!!!! I kept telling myself that I must press on, turning back would not be an option. I try to drink some water and find that the hose is still frozen. I take the hose off and drink directly from the "bladder". It is quite a production to do this and I lose a lot of body heat opening up my jacket. I figure that this is what I am going to have to do so I push on. I figure if I can still feel pain in my fingers... they're not frost bitten?!
I make it to the turn around point (half way)!!! I know that the wind will no longer be in my face..... Hooray!!!!!!!!!! I feel at this point that I have run the full 50 miles that I have been training for. I decide to eat the cliff bar that I had in my pocket.... frozen:( No luck on this run yet!!! It was tough but my tenacity payed off and I managed to eat the damn thing.
I believe I forgot to mention that when I went through the "snow plough deal" I somehow managed to stop my watch and loose my data!
Finally, after an hour my hose is melted and working once again.... I decide to get some nutrition and try a "Carb- Boom" gel. This was a lovely treat! It tasted like an apple turnover!!! I wanted more!!!!!
However, it did nothing for my energy level.
I really had to pee and with no place to go I had to focus on getting into town and getting to the Tim Horton's. It seemed to take forever. I made it though. I got to see my face in the mirror. I was so pink that I looked like I had been burned:) I did my business and decided that because I only had 4 miles to go that I would put the bladder back in the pak.
Off I go with 4 miles left...... the wind has shifted....... it's back in my face and it's now snowing....... my run that had become a shuffle was now an indescribable death march .... I trudge on wanting to cry and scream and swear at people.... Just when things could get no worse I hear the sound of a snow plough coming from behind.... I turn to look.... there is no time to escape..... BAM!!!!!.... I am hit by the sheet of ice and snow and debris. It doesn't hurt as I had expected it would. Maybe because I was just numb???!!! I try to drink from my hose and ..... nothing. Frozen again:(
Pushed forward through snow that was over my shoes and got to my finish line! Did my cool down ( can you call it a cool down if you're not going any slower walking than you were running??? tee hee) and picked up the mail and into the nice warm house:)
I believe that this journey had taken me between 4.5 and 4.75 hours. Not much to say about it. Something like "That which doesn't kill you..... blah,blah,blah" would seem appropriate. I am just going to try and put that one behind me!