44? Who me and how the hell did that happen?
Yup. I'll be 44 years old on December 30th. Because the 30th falls on a work day for me this year I was thinking I'd snowshoe 44 miles this next weekend. I snowshoed 43 last year and survived. I then did a 50 mile snowshoe the following month...
Carl sent out an email earlier this week that he would be running his birthday miles (54) today as he will be working on his birthday, the 29th. I changed my mind and decided I'd run 44; much easier :)
I also decided to begin earlier than Carl. He was starting at 6 AM, running around Harriet for 54 miles. I wanted to be back home, shower and get in grocery shopping before the boys arrived home from the Vikings game - which they won in the last seconds by 1 point! Woohoo..
If I wasn't to be home when they arrived they wouldn't want to tell me all about it with excitement and stories. I'd miss out. Yes, I was in Minneapolis running the lakes early early so that I could hear about the Vikings game as soon as they return and not after all the excitement and emotion leaves them. They will be home shortly.
I started out by running Harriet before the sun rose. There weren't too many people out running in the dark. I wore my headlamp since I had on my heavy fleece hat and wouldn't be prone to headaches. The paths were real icy but they did have a nice coating of sand upon them.
After running Harriet a few times and not seeing Carl, I decided to run the chain of 3. Harriet to Calhoun to Lake of the Isles. Lake of the Isles if my favorite to run. I like the dog park; I stopped by for a visit, I like the hockey rink and the fact that not too many run at Isles. I don't know why there are so many at Harriet, less at Calhoun and even less at Isles.
The path from Calhoun to Isles was treacherous-all ice and no sand, but well worth the Isles run. I ran the chain of 3 lakes 3 times, walking the path from Calhoun to Isles each time. I then hung out on Lake of the Isles for a few laps around before heading back and running one final lap around Harriet to see if I could find Carl, then calling it 44 miles.
I did see E Fisher and Carol Z 2 times -both times on Calhoun at different points during the day. It was fun to recognize them in all of the winter gear.
I never did see Carl!
It was cold this morning. I decided to leave my water in the car at Harriet. I didn't want to freeze my hand off with my handheld and I didn't need frozen bottles hanging off of my waist. Every 2 hours I'd stop by for a swig of water and head back out. I decided against opening any gels en route as I froze my hand off the first time. I couldn't warm up! Finally at about 30 miles I could pull my hands (double mitted hands) out of my jacket sleeves. I couldn't believe how cold I was. I never did pull my neck gaiter off of my nose!
44 miles never felt so easy though. I was done earlier than I thought (I guess I'm a bit faster than I give myself credit for) and was starving! I ate my can of tuna and apple before I even left Hennepin Avenue! I even had time to stop by REI to spend the gift certificate my sister gave me for Christmas! I wasn't sore or stiff or tired as I walked around REI. I had forgotten that I just ran 44 miles, until my sweat began to give me a chill and I looked in the mirror and it was like oh yeah, I look like I just ran 44 miles. Flushed and sweaty and bad hair. I ended up purchasing a new winter running jacket, of course. I've been wearing the same windbreaker for winter running since I first began. I wear it all seasons, just add layers during the winter. Now I have a new one :) It should last me another 10 years..