The nerdy boyfriend and I had one plan for today: get up around 8:30 or 9 a.m., run an easy 10, take a steamy shower, drink hot cocoa and make chocolate chip pancakes. Then curl up and have a West Wing-athon, hopefully finishing season 5 (finally) and maybe dabbling in season 6. We have accomplished all of these things.
It took us a bit to peel ourselves out of bed, but we finally did, and we bundled. It was in the high teens, with a little sunshine peeking out of the clouds, and not too much wind. We took some Clif shotbloks, packed the rest up in baggies and head out, with much moaning and groaning.
He did well. I, on the other hand, wasn’t feeling it from the get-go, for some reason. I just felt… meh. By the time we got to Schenley park, only about 2.5 to 3 miles in, I was already feeling like I was on my way to a bonk, but was planning on taking my first gel – three more shotbloks – at the top of the first massive climb, about 3.5 to 4 miles in. I made it up, but I was suffering. Amusingly, when I finally caught my breath enough to wrestle three bloks out of a baggy, they were pretty cold and thus partially frozen. It took a lot of work to get them down, but I washed them down with water from my handheld (I can’t even explain how hard it is to convince yourself to drink cold water when you’re running in 20 degree temps. I didn’t quite finish the 12 oz bottle by the end of the run, and to show for it, my fingers were slightly swollen. I couldn’t get my ring off).
It was pretty painful. We ran to Schenley from my place (about 2.5-3 miles as I said), and then loop in Schenley is about four miles. The first climb is about half to three-quarters of a mile. Then it’s nice for a good three quarters of a mile. Then it’s a very long climb that goes up, then slight plateaus, then back up, then plateaus, maybe a little downhill reprieve, then climb. Then one more awful climb . It goes downhill a bit, then you go up Serpentine Drive which ends with this really steep and hazardous (because of the occasional stupid driver) hill, and then you’re way way up there, by a golf course. And then there’s the wind. You’re high up, and there aren’t many trees to block the wind. But we made it down and then… there’s the Schenley Drive climb, long and slogging, before you finally get another break coming down Forbes. Of course somewhere at that point I landed on a bit of uneven sidewalk and rolled my ankle hard. It didn’t really hurt, but it did raise my heart rate and scare me a bit since I felt like I was going to fall.
The rest of the run is pretty easy, except for the feeling of exhaustion. I took my next gel on the Schenley Drive climb, and then it was only about 2.5 to 3 miles to go. We had to jog up and down my street a bit to finish up the 10. Then we slogged up the stairs and collapsed, relieved to be done.
Regarding the other part of the subject of this post, no, we didn’t almost get hit by a car, I promise. But someone else did. We were running up Negley, near the very beginning, and we hear a car SLAM on the breaks. It almost sounded like he pulled his E-brake, honestly, and we glance over and some idiot pedestrian is on her cell phone, strolling across the street, nowhere near any crosswalk, at all. I hate that. I hate that attitude of: oh, I’m a pedestrian, they’ll stop for me. Don’t be fucking stupid. I’m a runner and yes, I resent cars that don’t pay attention, but I don’t take my right of way for granted. I trust no one. Not drivers. Not other runners. Not pedestrians. Not people with their dogs – leashed or unleashed (we saw a couple of the latter who almost ran into us. Ugh. I LOVE dogs, but there are leash laws for a REASON). I don’t trust anyone, and that’s why I haven’t gotten hit yet.
This Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to try working from home and running midday or so, starting work very early in the morning so I can take a long lunch break and still finish my work day around 5 p.m. or so. Friday (Christmas Eve) I’m flying to Phoenix for a family reunion, my Grandpa’s 90th birthday. I hope to get at least one run in, even if it’s short, but I’m not holding my breath. It would be great though: during the day it’ll be 70, and 40s at night. Ideal temperatures, really.
Going to go get Nerdy Boyfriend from church in a few minutes, and we’re getting Chipotle for dinner. Then I get to roll five zillion balls of dough in some confectioner’s sugar and make some of these. The recipe makes six dozen, and I’ll be sending about 3 or 4 dozen with Boyfriend to his fam for Christmas. I’m keeping at least some for myself – they’re my favorite, and since I’m spending this Christmas with the Jewish side of the family, I need a little bit of Christmas spirit to tide me over. (non-running note: I, myself, am Jewish but my mother and her side are Catholic, and I love celebrating the holiday with family: good conversation, food, laughter, songs… I may not believe in Christ, but I love the season anyway)
Sporting my CW-X compression socks all day, and trading foot massages… good way to spend a Sunday, if you ask me.