December 7, 2008, the first blog after the Route 66 Marathon............sorry. Next challenge is Dallas White Rock Marathon on December 14, 2008
Let me just start off by saying, though not scientific, it was obvious to me that there are two different temperatures for 50 degrees...because 50 degrees in Denver is colder than 50 degrees in Tulsa. When I run in 50 degree weather in Tulsa, I wear running shorts, and a short-sleeved running shirt...and I get hot. When I ran in 50 degree weather in Denver I wore two long-sleeved shirts, gloves and shorts; I froze. It must be that Mile High air.
For Thanksgiving, I was in Colorado which meant I would be running in the high altitude for four days. Most people will tell you the thin air can leave runners gasping and I would have to agree...to some extent. On "Black-Friday" I decided to do my long run which would be somewhere around 15 miles. I headed out on a trail that winds some 60 miles around Denver and into the foothills. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was out, it was 50-degrees (again, this was a cold 50 degrees) the scenery was gorgeous; it was truly a breathtaking experience, literally. At first I was gasping for air, then I slowed down and after about 5 or 10 minutes I felt better and was breathing normally. I really wasn't sure if I could run 15 miles in the higher elevations but I was going to do what I could. The first 4 miles I ran with my mother, (which was really cool since we haven't run together since I was a little girl) then after that it was me, a trail, and some inspirational views. While I was running, I lost track of time and lost track of the mile markers.
An hour into the run, it was great, no problems, the second hour was just as amazing as the first. I ran along side horses, I saw a fox, and at one point a Bullmastiff decided to run with me...and that's when it hit me, "Where the heck am I?" I really had no idea but I managed to turn myself around on the trail and head back towards my starting point. Three and a half hours later, I was back home, and I felt great for a few reasons. One, I didn't stop during my entire run, I wasn't tired or sore, and I didn't die in the Mile High altitude. As I was talking to my parents about my run, my father decided to "google-map" the start and end points of where I ran, (judging by my visual land marks that I told him) turns out I didn't run 15 miles...I ran 17--possibly more. I was psyched--especially since I did it in high altitude and because my mind and body felt great.
On Saturday, it was snowing, (this is about the time I knew I was a die-hard runner) but I wanted to run anyway, so I headed out again on the trail. I ran for an hour and 10 minutes...in a full on blizzard! Crazy? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely. It was awesome and I loved every snow-flake moment of it. Within that hour, the snow on the trail was about 2 inches thick and everything was white. The wind was really going; the snow was coming down horizontally and the wind was making my eyes water. Surprisingly, I wasn't the only nut out on the trail; there were a couple of horses, a few dog owners who looked like Eskimos and and handful of runners. All of us had snow covering our hats and the front of our bodies; we looked like moving snowmen. It was great. My parents thought I had lost more than a few marbles. Nonetheless, it was amazing and seven miles was in the bag!
It is now one week after Thanksgiving and I have managed to run twice. I couldn't do any more because I got sick...with the flu and some other type of other cold related illness. I don't care that I am sick, I only care that I will be able to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon next weekend...and judging by the way I feel, I should be good to go. (Thank you to my friend who made me go to the doctor at 6:30am; you were right, again...darn it!!) So, while the Fleet Feet Sports group (M3B "Hawt AsSphalts) ran 8 or 9 miles this morning, I was in bed snoozing trying to get better. They called me afterwards...so I still felt as if I were there with them in spirit! Thanks guys you all made my day! :-)
I will try and write again this week, to tell you how my short runs before the Dallas White Rock Marathon are going. For those of you who are checking out my blog, thanks for your continued support and as always feel free to comment. See you on the trails!