Sunday, December 30, 2007

Most Relentless Runs of 2007

Amy tagged me a few days ago to post my favorite runs of 2007, but I'm putting my own little twist on it. Really, though, the crazy runs are the ones I seem to enjoy the most; after the fact, anyways!

The White Out

Ah, yes. The blizzard that shut down the Midwest! It caused the first snow days at the University of Illinois or Eastern Illinois University in over fifty years. Both schools got two days in a row off due to this beast of a storm. So, what did this crazy S.O.B. do?

Yeah. You guessed it. I tried to run. I had the roads to myself because nobody else would even try to drive in this mess, which was kind of cool. Ten miles were on the schedule, but that didn't quite happen. I only made it five in this absolute white out, but thats a hell of a lot more than any sane person would ever try. The run got finished up at the indoor track, but it still makes it as one of my top three runs of the year!

Freeze & Thaw

The weather this winter was, well, relentless. But so was I. Mother nature isn't going to keep me down!

I was home this weekend where we had some extremely low temperatures and extremely high winds; the wind chill was around -20 degrees. So, once again, what does this crazy guy do with this insane weather and 13 miles on the schedule?

Right again! I bundled up with underarmour as a bottom layer, and almost every other bit of clothing I could justify putting on. Weighing myself before and after getting dressed, I had around 8-10 lbs of clothing on. I smeared some vaseline on any exposed skin to make sure I didn't get frost bite on the bit of my face I didn't cover, too!

I still would get cold on this run, so I started alternating blocks into and against the wind. That way I could get cold, then thaw out repeatedly throughout the run. It seemed like a desperate idea, but it worked! I managed to make it through the run without a scratch!

The Death March

One of the great things about Illinois is that we really, really getting to experience all four seasons. But, one of the bad things about Illinois is that we really, really get to experience all four seasons!

The Chicago Marathon was a pretty good example of summer in Illinois, except one thing: it was supposed to be Fall! Sure, people can train for the heat, but who ever expects Chicago to be 95 degrees in October? Or who expects them to run out of water?

Regardless of the mayhem that was the Chicago Marathon, it was a pretty good run for me. I didn't have to deal with the lack of water since I was fairly close to the front, but damn was it hot!

During the race, it was not one of my favorite runs. Far from it. The last several miles of the race are, undoubtedly, the hardest miles I've ever run in my life; even if they might be among the slowest!

But after the fact, I feel like I've accomplished something huge. Because I was relentless through the brutal Illinois winter and summer, I made it through the race with a PR. Even though it was 95 degrees. And it was humid. And I hadn't run for a month. And I had a hip injury. Whats not to like about that?!

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