Saturday, February 1, 2014

A surprisingly cold run

Today when I left the house it was around 26 degrees.  I had on a thick (for running) pair of socks, running tights and a pair of shorts, and a top designed to stay warm in this weather plus a tank.  I had a head band and one pair of gloves.  I thought I would do between 13 and 15 miles this morning between 6:15 when I left and 8:15 when I planned to return.  I was surprised at how dark it was when I left but thought little of it.  I was carrying a water bottle rather than wearing a water belt.

The run was fine.  Unlike the 13 at under eight minutes per mile with a buddy a couple weeks ago this was much more of a plodding run through the city.  Slowing down here and there for as yet unshoveled and still icy sidewalks. One place on the way down to 33rd street I stepped in a puddle and made a surprisingly large splash although did not end up getting wet myself.   

On the way down, I could see the horizon off to my right starting to brighten.  And as I ran east across 33rd street toward Lake Montebello, the sky was a deep pink.  By the time I arrived at the lake and had a better view of the horizon it was a light pink to orange.  Too bad to have missed a good view of the most brilliant part.  So it goes.

The first lap around the lake was no big deal and I really didn't feel like running anywhere else so I went for a second lap.  As I approached the end of the second lap and was coming up on (but not quite at) 7 miles, I noticed something.  My hands were still cold.  It often takes 4, 5, or even 6 miles for my hands to warm up.  But at the time, I had run nearly 7 and they were still cold.  I decided not to try a third and fourth lap and head home.  This was different enough to be concerned.

As I headed home, Greenmount and York were entirely different than when I headed down.  Yes, there were people out on those streets in the 6:15-6:45ish time period that I had been running south.  But it was mostly one person here or there.  Many surprised when I came up quietly behind them.  People on cell phones yelling at whoever was on the other end causing quite a lot of noise.  People waiting for buses.  When I came back there were more people.  People in groups.  More peopel waiting for buses.  Business owners making their storefronts ready for the day.  People going into businesses.  Fewer people surprised to see me.  No one at the car wash on York Rd as I ran either direction this morning.

As I got to the car wash/gas station and within a mile of my house, I noticed that my fingers were starting to feel better.  I thought about taking on an extra mile or two.  But as I thought harder, I could tell that my left hand was fine but my right hand was still cold.

So, I just ran home.  I had completed 11.1 miles in 1:34 or about an 8:28 pace.  Leisurely for me.  I could move my fingers when I got there.  But they did hurt to touch a little.  I think I made a good decision to come in early.  At 181.8 miles it was actually a "short" week of only 33.8 miles.  That is okay.  Good for the body as I didn't tax the legs too much.  Good for the body as well as I got some extra sleep and am most of the way better except for the dry hack at night.  And for too much of the night.

Lesson of the day--listen to my body.  When it needs a lower run--take it.  

Where does that put me on my quest?  At 181.8 miles.  Just west of Donegal PA.  If I were doing this in reality there is a cheap hotel and several campgrounds right there.  I would have passed the Kooser State Park and Roaring Run Natural Area.  Several well known sandwich shops and a business called Sugar Shak Graphics.  Fun time.  

And I could have gone just a bit out of the way to visit St Raymond of the Mountains church.  A church whose history reflects the coal mining history of this part of Pennsylvania.  And a church that now serves those at the camp grounds and ski areas around Donegal.  

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