Saturday, March 13, 2010

Runner Pops

I experienced my most difficult 20 mile run today. This is a long post, so I won't feel bad if you just skim it and move on.

Saturday 8:00 am- I'm just filling up a couple bottles for the upcoming run, grabbing a couple gels from the cupboard and a granola bar.

Saturday 8:10 am-I glance at the forecast and outside. Overcast, but not too ominous. The forecast calls for rain turning to snow continuing into Sunday. I check the radar and it's clear. Maybe we'll be able to get the run in before it starts.

Saturday 8:30 am-8:45 am I'm pulling into our meeting place. We're at the point of the mountain and rather windy. I choose to keep wearing my Pearl Izumi Jacket and running pants. No rain, but the clouds are getting thicker. It's just two of us. My friend from Supercords and I.

Saturday 9:30 am-We make it to the 6 mile mark at the city park. The library is not open for another 1/2 hour so no drinks. I'm glad I brought a couple bottles.

Saturday 10:15 am-We're at the 10 mile mark. The wind has been to our back most of the time which has been nice. The temperature is starting to drop. I break open a gel–I like the citrus flavor.

Saturday 10:25 am-Mile 11 the rain starts. It's a light rain and we're praying that it continues just light.

Saturday 11:00 am-the rain is really coming down. We can now see our breath. My friend has no feeling left in his hands. We stop at the Library to warm up, get a drink, and eat a granola bar. The rain is coming down pretty good. This isn't looking pretty. We ask the librarian if by chance they have any plastic bags or sacks we could have. The librarian looked a little confused at these two dripping people in running clothes standing at her desk asking for plastic bags.

Saturday 11:20 am-The wind has really picked up. We are climbing back up the mountain and there are no houses to block the wind. The rain is starting to turn to sleet. A few minutes later the sleet is now snow. Earlier at a trail break we came upon a dispenser for small plastic bags to pick up dog poo. I took one set, my friend takes two (did I mention he's just in shorts and short sleeve t?). My jacket and pants are soaked. I cinch up the draw string as tight as possible so they won't fall off.

Saturday 12:15 pm-The snow has been with us for the last 4 miles. I pulled out my last gel 2 miles ago just to see if it would give me a little didn't. I can no longer feel my face. My left eye is so cold that snow flakes keep falling on my eye and temporarily blinding me. I look like a runner who has had too many beers on the course. We come over the rise and there are the cars. I can make it...I can make it...why am I slowing down? "KEEP GOING" my friend says. My face is probably frozen in a grimace that is akin to The Joker from Batman. I get to the car, throw open the door, fumble for the keys to start the engine. I've never been so grateful for my beat up van in all my life. I take off my shoes and wring out my socks. I remember not caring about the puddles the last 1/2 mile.

Saturday 12:45 pm-I pull into the driveway. I've stripped down as much as I can and have warmed up enough that I am shivering uncontrollably. I fill up the bath and just sit. The warm water is slowly moving into the parts of my body that are numb. The tingling hurts, but that is good. After about 20 minutes I am once again feeling like I will survive this ordeal.

Saturday 2:00 pm-Finishing this post while the experience is still fresh.

I finished the run and survived. Enough said. Definitely will go down in the books as the most grueling 20 miles I've done.


  1. wow, that is quite the experience. I'm glad you made it back safely.

  2. Blaine, sorry again for getting you into this. I'll be checking the weather the night before from now on, rather than earlier in the week. You did a nice job of downplaying the severity of our situation so as not to freak out your family. Good move. Unfortunately, I completely spilled the beans on my post. Just put all the blame on me. Glad you made it home ok.


  3. Wow, that sucks.... a LOT. I guess you can always think of it this way: You'll never go on a WORSE 20 miler, right??

  4. thanks for sharing that. It puts my 'bad' runs in perspective. Now that it's over, and you have all the feeling back, it makes a great story.