"It's a beautiful mornin', Ahhh,Yes, I live in Connecticut and was able to run today wearing shorts! It was 50 degrees when I was deciding on what to wear, and since all I've been talking about (ok, blogging about) is the possibility of wearing shorts today, I HAD to do it. So shorts, a short sleeved shirt to "wick away" sweat (ewww), and another grey short sleeved shirt, socks, summer hat, music, running shoes, and I was all set. I headed to the Linear Trail, with the assumption that all the snow had melted, and it would be clear running for my planned 10 mile run. Well, never assume anything. More about that later. Driving the 2 miles from my home to the trail, I passed by six (yes, I counted) runners, all of whom were wearing sweatpants. As I got out of my car at the Linear Trail, I felt a slight chill in the air, and I noticed it was foggy along the trail. I had brought my winter running gear along just in case I wimped out, so now was the moment of truth. I observed the other bikers, runners, and walkers who were either starting or finishing the trail. All except one had long pants on. That made my decision easier. I was going to be the extremist. I was going to run the way I was-no long pants or long sleeves or gloves for me. I was glad to see that the trail had been plowed, so I knew that at least the first 1.5 miles would be clear. Off I went, and about 100 yards down the trail I was questioning my sanity. There was still a chill in the air, and the fog coming off the creek along the trail certainly didn't help. I was seriously thinking about turning around and heading back to my car for a wardrobe change. Realistically that wasn't going to happen, because once I start a run I'm committed to keep on going until I've finished. I have never started, stopped and continued, and it wasn't happening today. I reminded myself that it generally takes me a mile or so to warm up, so onward I went. I settled into a comfortable pace, and decided to distract myself from the cold by concentrating on my music, and enjoying the scenery along the way. I reached mile 1 at 8:45, and this is the only split time I remember. My goal today was to average 9 minutes or less per mile for the 10 miles, or a 1:30.00 total time. I wasn't going to stress on my split times, and I certainly wasn't going to attempt to memorize them either. (See yesterday's blog for how I do split times). As I approached the 1.5 mile point of the trail, I saw partially melted snow and ice lay ahead. I was approaching the part of the trail that, due to it's location, can't be plowed. It's up to Mother Nature to take care of it, and she hadn't done too bad. I slowed down, navigated the slush, snow, and ice for about a tenth of a mile, and resumed my pace. I saw wet blacktop gleaming in the distance, and it looked great. Three-quarters of a mile later, trouble began. Lack of sunlight and plowing meant deeper snow and slush. I scolded myself for not wearing an old pair of running shoes. At this point, being anal as I am, I still plowed through the mess, knowing that 6/10 of a mile more and I would be at mile 3. A slush covered mile 3 would be a good place to turn around and head back. My 10 mile run was going to have to be 3 miles out, 3 miles back, then 2 miles out, and 2 miles back. At least the fog had disappeared, and even though my feet were wet, I still felt warm and comfortable. It was turning out to be a challenging, enjoyable, and refreshing run. I no longer cared about my split times, or even whether or not I was going to break an hour and a half time. I was running past families with children, other joggers, people on bikes, and the slow but steady walkers. I became the social butterfly, and was saying "Hello" to everyone. Most people responded. It was a gorgeous and "warm" gray day in December. One hour, thirty minutes, and 37 seconds later, I was finished. Considering I had to overcome the elements at times, my time was excellent. I averaged a 9:03 per mile pace, which surprised and pleased me. As I said before, my finishing time really didn't matter. Today was one of those running days that makes it all worthwhile. I'll keep reminding myself of that as I limp around the house and apply ice to my left heel. My diagnosis based on internet research is plantar faciitis.
I think I'll go outside a while,
An jus' smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
If the weather's fine an' you got the time." The Young Rascals: It's a Beautiful Morning