I decided not to drive into Minneapolis for my birthday run as I'm driving into Minneapolis this morning for the Polar Dash 10K.
Lindsey-I'm not doing the series, although I did think about it. I believe the marathon falls on the day of graduation for Tyler this year. Or the day after. I'll be volunteering at his all night grad party. I believe there was a conflict with another series I'm running as well. I love the award idea though. How cool!
So, the run. I decided to run 45 with Topaz near home. I called the Sandunes Gas station and Liquor Store to make sure they were open (duh, New Years Eve Day!) for water supplies. My friend owns the liquor store so I knew we could stop there for a while and thaw out/rehydrate and that he wouldn't mind Topaz being in the store.
We left the house on snowshoes at 4 AM. There was a full blue moon so it didn't seem that dark. I wore my headlamp, Topaz wore his booties. The moon cast shadows upon the snow. It was super beautiful. My iPhone battery charge was lost immediately in the cold temperature of 1F. Luckily I didn't need to call anyone!
We ran out of the neighborhood, down the County Road ditches onto the snowmobile trails. Every once in a while I'd remove my hat so that I could hear for any engines roaring. There weren't many snowmobilers out until mid day and they were all very nice to Topaz and I. They didn't mind us sharing their trails at all. At times we left the snowmobile trail for horse trail, cross county ski trail. The cross country skiiers were NOT very friendly. What is up with that? I made sure to stay off of their tracks, we foraged through the deep ditches. They still complained. Oh well.
As we were running into the Sandunes State Forest I saw Topaz's tail curl over his back and his hair stand up on his rough. What do you see? What do you smell? I stopped and looked around. He crouched into position and gave two coyote his eye. They were on top of a snow bank and began to follow us along, barking and yelping as we went. Topaz eventaully ignored them and we ran along.
Soon we were at the gas station where I refilled my bottles with Heed and gave Topaz water and biscuits. He was too excited to eat. He wanted to continue our run. I checked his booties, all fine. I used the bathroom and we were on our way out.
As we approached the turn around at 22 miles I looked at my watch. Only 4 hours. We'd be finished early than I anticipated if we kept this pace.
We soon came across some horse riders. They had been winter camping at Ann Lake. Brrr. They were having a great time and were very friendly. They told us that there was a pack of grey wolves along the trail but that they scampered away from the horses. Great. I didn't want to run into wolves. We would soon be on the snowmobile trails, maybe we wouldn't see them.
No, we saw them. Pretty soon I noticed BIG paw prints in the snow and blood. Jeeze. Freak me out. It was only bunny fur and blood, but still..ick. I saw the wolves across the frozen pond, the way we came through on the way out. I wasn't taking that route back. I tracked over the ditch and back onto the cross country ski trail. I decided I'd rather but up with crabby people than hungry wolves!
The temperature was cool, but I was toasty warm in all of my layers. My face was becomming sore as I was smiling and laughing so much. I would hollar out to Topaz "Topaz, look at the bald eagle!" He'd look back, 'yeah, Mom, we've seem them before". "Topaz, look at the sparkly snow!" He'd get excited with the excitement in my voice and curl his tail higher and run a little faster.
Just as I was becoming tired of my snowshoes we hit County Road 10; almost home. We walked the last mile, cooling down. I trudged through the ditches back onto Co Rd 15. Over the bridge, don't get hit by the cars, and into our neighborhood.
Home. Safe, sound and smiley! I love that I am able to run 45 miles at a drop of the hat. Fully fit and strong.
We made it home safe and sound at 9:20 hours. Only 120 PM and still a whole afternoon/evening left of the the day. Topaz ate heartily from his bowl, I took a hot shower and drank a hot cup of tea.
45 miles. Fun! Happy birthday to me.
I called Steve out at the lake to see if he wanted to see Avatar. He was up for it so when Tyler and Troy arrived home we all went to the movie. It was as good as everyone is saying that it is. Fabulous!
Well, today is the Polar Dash 10K. I better lok up directions and get dressed to run :) Have a Happy New Year!