The program had my first 20 miler of the year. My legs were a little sore from this weeks training but nothing concerning. I went to the yoga room on floor 8 to warm up like I normally do. After warming up, I got my bag put together and realize I forgot my Rab wind breaker but knew it was going to be 47 degrees and said “I’ll be fine.” I wore a base layer top with compression shorts and figured I’d be more than warm enough.
I’ve run in colder temperatures before and was hot most of the time so thought it’d be ok. I drove to north table mountain and started the run right away. The sun was covered by clouds but I knew it would warm up as the day went on. For the first 4 miles I was fine as my muscles felt strong and only a little wind. At mile 5, I reached the top of north table where I was fully exposed to the elements. The wind was now hitting me full on and my one base layer simply wasn’t keeping me warm. I was only a quarter of the way through my run but something felt off. I was getting cold and the wind had picked up dramatically.
I turned around and started my 5 miles back to the car where I knew I had an extra shirt and sweater. What I didn’t know was that the wind gust were reaching 25 miles per hour and I was running against it. The snow from earlier that week pierced my face as I ran (if you could call it running) back to the trail head. I started to panic as I felt my body temp drop more. The crazy part was that it wasn’t that cold from a temperature standpoint. It was roughly 45 degrees but with the wind and snow burning my skin it made it unbearable. At mile 9, I got close to a neighborhood and even though I just had 1.5 miles left, I didn’t have anything left. I spent the last 45 minutes fighting the wind/snow while trying to keep my composure. “All I needed to do was go back upstairs and grab my jacket” kept floating through my head. I was drained and felt numb so decided to swallow my pride and leave the trail and knock on the first door I could get to. No one was home. I quickly ran to the next house where a father watching his two sons quickly opened the door and let me in. I felt so dumb and embarrassed. He drove me back to my car at the trailhead and we could see the gust of wind through the snow. I don’t know how many times I said “thank you” but I felt like an idiot not coming prepared.
The worst part of it all was that when I got back to my car… the sun came out.
I learned a lot today. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I always bring a wind breaker with me whenever I run so I don’t know why I didn’t just go back upstairs today. There was a part of me that was upset that I didn’t get to hit my first 20 miler of the year but I realized nature doesn’t care about that. It was a sign that today was not the day that I would run 20 miles.
Running is pain.
Running is freedom.
Sometimes you must suffer in order to be free.
Always be prepared for battle.