|Yes, you are reading that right, 18 Below!|
And those negative numbers at the bottom,
that isn't counting the windchill. And,
yes, I ran on this day.
Nothing like getting right back into it, right?
And speaking of, Bob and W.J. (whack job) have returned from an apparent hiatus. My lovely neighbors took some holiday time off from messing with my stuff (a nice Christmas vacation it was), but returned this past week as my name tag on my apartment mailbox was ripped off a few times.
I took their signature move as a personal sign to me that they have come out of hibernation and their Christmas spirit has officially worn off, but for how long? I assume they would be like Punxsutawney Phil, or Buckeye Chuck here in Marion, and see their shadow - thus deciding to continue their break from screwing with me (and my things) through April or May. Ahhh...one can only hope.
Oh yeah, so sometime between Friday night & early Monday morning of last weekend, my car was rifled through. I would say broken into, but there was no damage or sign of forced entry. Now my car has automatic locks, so if I don't activate it with my keys - it will lock itself shortly thereafter.
How entry was gained, I don't know.
|The exact container taken from my car - minus |
the $1's worth of change.
So I was thieved of a 14 year-old U.S. Road Map (torn, ragged and faded by the sun) and enough pennies, nickles and dimes for two (possibly three!) day-old supermarket donuts (the plain or powered kind, not those scrumptiously filled with various jams, jellies or creams). Still, though, quite the haul, I must say. Apparently my extensive three CD library of Michael Buble (It's Time, the good CD from 2004 - don't judge!), The Killers (Hot Fuss, 2004 - a dubbed CD from my brother) and The Slang (a Columbus, Ohio band a former coworker played in from 2010 - self titled) just wasn't good enough. I can't imagine why?
Anyway, the 2018 tour would start with the Brokeman's 3rd Annual Winter Warm Up. I attended this event last January, but took part in the 8 mile event. It was quite cold then as well, but the ice on the all-paved bike trail is what made the going a bit rough. Also, at the time, this was the longest race I had ever taken part in and it was part of an effort to prepare for the inaugural Buck Fifty Race - the 24 hour, 150 mile, 10 person team relay in and around my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio. This year I would be much more prepared and battle with Brokeman's 13.1 mile offering.
This race route is set next to Smith Farms and the path is entirely on multi-use trails, paved 2 way bike paths. It starts on the Alum creek multi-usetrail and connects to the Blacklick trail, passing through Three Creeks Metro and Confluence trail head. The course is half shaded and has many rolling "hills".
And this, too, would go towards keeping in shape for year two of The Buck Fifty taking place April 13th & 14th. My squad, the Traffic Panthers, took 19th out of 38 teams in 2017. Officials are pushing for 100 teams this year. In the meantime, I was targeting a top ten finish for the Brokeman's Half Marathon - barring any catastrophes or collapses.
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As I said, 2018 began frigid then suddenly moved to spring, BOOM! I even ran wearing only one layer as we reached 50-plus degrees. Though on that Friday the skies were to begin vomiting this white, wet stuff and and remind us that it was only January. Thus, race day Sunday was to arrive in the same arctic state it was just a week before. The weather was playing the part of the cat and we were the mice it was toying with.
Local news folks ran their weather models several times in hopes of getting a better idea of what kind of stupidness was to arrive and they came up with a couple of different answers. We were going to get anywhere from 7 to 11 inches of snow - a little less than two days before the Brokeman's 3rd Annual Winter Warm Up. So I was tasked with tracking down some crampons to avoid a "running with ice skates" episode on the paved - possibly snow & ice covered - trail. Whether we were actually going to get an onslaught of snow or a just dry heave of sky dust, Sunday promised to not be vapid in any way.
|Spring broke through, was caught|
behind enemy lines and the
As a result, Saturday's event shakeout run and early packet pick up were cancelled due to the four to six inches of snow on top of a nice layer of ice. Though with sunshine all afternoon and the ability to plow the paved trail a couple of times, the race would still be a go for Sunday. So the bitter cold and ice sheets covering the vast majority of the trail would be the only added obstacles. Not wanting to spend my race as if on ice skates, I was able to find YakTrax to give myself the benefit of some traction.
On race day, Lauren B. and I nearly got stuck in the snow as it was not easy to determine the race staging area parking lot from the surrounding grass in the predawn hours. A few maneuvers later, we found our way and relaxed as we waited for the sun to rise, packet pick up to take place and the race to begin. The process of leaving the warm car and walking over to get my race packet was arduous. The negative temperature felt even colder without the benefit of the sun. It was a short sprint back to the car to ward off the chill. With everything ready to go, but some time to waste, we sat there taking in as much warmth as we could until being forced back out into the atmosphere.
|Yeah, it was cold before the|
sun woke up
When 8:30 a.m. approached, we gathered our courage and reentered the frozen abyss. I jogged a portion of the route to acclimate myself to the weather and loosen some stiff muscles and - wow - did the sun make a difference (as long as you were moving, that is). Lauren wandered off to get a good spot to take pictures and spectate. I can't imagine how cold it was for her.
Finally in the corral, we get some instruction and a countdown and we are off - and it has warmed up to -2! Hoping to do a better job of staying within myself, I ignore the two folks who are off to beat the world. I did utilize their pace to stretch my legs a bit, but my pace stayed comfortable for me. I could feel the YakTrax helping with traction, even on the ice covered bridges, but it is a struggle to keep my breath from turning to ice on my sunglasses. With only a snippet of visibility, I focused on the colorful outerwear donned by those in front of me. I only had to deal with this for the first mile as we would then circle around and face the sun and thaw my lenses.
|Navigating the frozen trail|
I'm annoyed, but take solace in the fact the vast majority of the lead pack was with me. Trying to ignore the mistake, I keep my pace comfortable and focus on form and breathing. The cold is no longer an issue (as long as I stay upright). I'm passing a variety of runners - who I should be ahead of by now - and casually wonder if my pacing is decent (I only look at my watch unless I feel it is absolutely needed). Nearing the eight mile run turn around and water stop I see the leaders in the far distance. Despite the route mistake, I'm feeling good and glad I don't need to get water because the water jug at this stop is frozen despite the full sun raining down.
|Me, the dark silhouette, running|
toward the sun.
Before we know it, we have some of the lead pack headed back toward us. They, too, seemed to be as annoyed with the lack of signage and made sure to tell us - as they passed - that our turn (and water stop) was just ahead, after the bridge over State Route 33. I, and my annoyed running partner for the last two miles, make audible relief groans once we reach the half marathon turn around and water stop (this jug of water is also frozen). Though, just as I slow down enough to make the about-face, my right foot slides on the ice and I come crashing down to my knee. I bounce right back up and feel my running tights rub against my now broken skin and the bruise starting to form. "You okay man?", is bellowed by my running friend. "Yeah, I'm good," I say with obvious annoyance and exhausted frustration.
|The finish in the distance - |
I can see it!
I don't hear any followers and pass Lauren B. giving me some encouragement. Cruising in, I pass an eight mile run straggler and remember to reach for my watch and stop it as I cross the finish. My makeshift medal is handed to me and I zombie walk through the chute and into a sea of runners. I wobble toward the BODYAMOR Super Drink truck and grab a free orange-mango flavored thing, pop off the lid and tip it to douse my dying thirst and....its frozen...solid. Well, crap.
|...but Strava says..|
Lauren finds me, offers a congratulatory hug and some liquid refreshment that isn't a block of ice. I'm excited, but now I'm also getting cold since I'm no longer running and its like 7 degrees. We get to the car and Lauren cranks up the heat, then heads over to Cazuela's Food Truck to get the one free taco I'm awarded for finishing - as well as several others for us to scarf down. Finally drinking some liquid and able to feel my face again, I'm laughing at the fact I ran an entire mile further than I should have and still finished sixth out of 146 competitors. Even still, nearly everyone in the lead pack went the same direction as I did.
|Before & after the icy half marathon|
In a worn out trance the rest of the afternoon, I realized my haphazardly cobbled together training regime was starting pay off. And the best part of this race as that I paid attention to what I wanted to do - I ran my race and didn't attempt to set the world on fire. This left plenty in the tank to crank through the second half of Sunday's icy, rolling bike path in southeast Columbus. Not like 2017 when I couldn't find that extra gear near the end of the eight mile race. Then, again, I also had the benefit of running for over a year and not for just a handful of months like last year.
The snow fell again late Sunday night and then again on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, but working for a library means we have this day off as a holiday. And it was a welcomed additional day to recover from another backwards running weekend - Lauren I went outside to goof off for a bit, but that was it.
You know, sometimes wonder if the madness would cease if I stopped running or if I simply quit putting effort into trying to improve, but who am I kidding. I'm enjoying the madness, no matter how backwards it gets....run on friends.
I, I can't get these memories out of my mind,
And some kind of madness has started to evolve.
And I, I tried so hard to let you go,
But some kind of madness is swallowing me whole, yeah
I have finally seen the light,
And I have finally realized
What you mean.
Ooh oh oh
And now I need to know is this real love,
Or is it just madness keeping us afloat?
And when I look back at all the crazy fights we had,
Like some kind of madness was taking control, yeah
And now I have finally seen the light,
And I have finally realized
What you need.
But now I have finally seen the end (finally seen the end)
And I'm not expecting you to care (expecting you to care)
But I have finally seen the light (finally seen the light)
I have finally realized (realized)
I need your love
I need your love
Come to me
Just in a dream.
Come on and rescue me.
Yes I know, I can't be wrong,
And baby, you're too headstrong.
Our love is