The temps went up today almost above freezing. I was so excited to be able to run outside. It was sunny! After work I went home, changed and toured some main roads in shorts, woo hoo. People were actually out walking around. A guy remarked in passing, ‘Dude, aren’t you cold?” Of course I was cold. It was 27F, with a windchill of 16F.
I was running without my knee brace. I didn’t want it to swell up like a balloon, so I kept my pace well below my aerobic threshold, just cruising. The gutters ran with brined snowmelt, and ice was coagulating in giant pools and sheets on sidewalks beneath the steady dripping of giant icicles on eaves and awnings. I had to be extremely careful of the ice.
I ran roads along the river, went home, threw on a jacket, got my kids from day care, made dinner, played with the kids, then tagged off with my wife, put on a sweater, threw on a pair of sweatpants over my shorts, grabbed my headlamp, and ventured back out into the streets for another run.
The river was awash with overlapping sheets of ice shoved aside by the coal tugs. A channel of slurry eddied in the wake of a passing shipment of coal to Pittsburgh. Most of the river looked like someone spilled a deck of translucent cards over the surface. Frost and snow still clung to the edges of the plates. At least two dozen times I had to jump off the road to avoid a close encounter with a car, and once with a bus going way to fast, way too close to the shoulder.
I went on a road I normally don’t travel because of the high amount of deer traffic. But it’s relatively flat, I was tired, my knee was stiff, so I just dealt with all of those pairs of green glowing eyes staring at me from the hillsides. I passed through a falling rock zone, held my nose passing a water treatment plant, and a long stretch of nothing dotted with a couple of houses, turned back to town, did a little detour alongside the river, then crossed over the bridge into my neighborhood. I wished I could’ve taken pictures of the iceflow. It looked pretty cool.
I had to basically walk the transition areas from street to span because clear, smooth ice coated everything like nail polish.
The knee feels better. During the last twelfth of a mile I picked up the pace considerably to test my left knee. It felt a bit wobbly, but not painful. I’m recovering. I’m so lucky. Talking with a friend who’s a nurse, I had to consider the possibility that I’d fainted after smashing my knee on that bolt and bounced my chest off the railroad cross-ties. Everyone I know is calling me crazy. I prefer the term ‘dedicated’. I love running. I love a challenge. I beat my record today for miles run in a month, so I accomplished one of my goals. My other goal involves chocolate ice cream. This month has been quite an experience.
I came home and thought how lucky I was that my family puts up with my running. I can’t believe Janathon is almost over. [sigh] Tomorrow i’ll try to get a pic of the river.
Daily miles: 15.3
Janathon monthly miles: 337, a PB