Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ice. Berg. Ice Berg

On a beautiful, sunny, hot and humid day last June I was running hill repeats at Buck Hill. It was fabulous. It was 92F, it was noon, the sun was high, the humidity was stifling. I was in my glory.

John Storkamp called me Ice Berg. "Ice Berg, your new name, you stay cool as ice".

I thought of that today as I felt like an iceberg, chugging down the trails in the sub 0 temperatures.

The air temperature as I headed out the door was -14F. Yeah, that's a minus in front of the 14. The wind was whipping the oaks and blue spruce as I backed out of the driveway.

Brrrr. As I was pumping gas this morning I heard "Julie. You are not running today. Really. Are you?" I looked up. "Oh, hi Rich, yeah, I have my snowshoes in the car along with Topaz, I'm headed out to the Blue Hill Trail". Rich is the father of one of Tyler's very good friends. I received the glazed over eye look of shock. "Won't your lungs freeze?" How insane is that? "No, my lungs are nice and cozy deep in my chest, surrounded by skin, bone, tissue and fat; I would worry more about my fingers, my butt, my feet, Topaz's' paws." "Oh. Yeah".

My butt did get cold, even though I had on three layers of pants. My feet were warm and toasty in a pair of neoprene socks, covered by a heavy pair of socks made from wool. I wore my gortex Inov-8's.

The snow squeaks when it is this cold. I could barely hear the deer; my Turtle Fur neck gaiter was pulled up over my ears, my hat was pulled down over my ears. All I could hear was the loud squeak of the snow.

Topaz stopped a few times to chew at the ice in his paws. He gets a triangle of ice wedged up into each paw pad. I just ordered him some booties from a sledding outfit in Ontario. I don't know if he'll wear them our not, but I'll give them a whirl.

We ran for 2 hours. The first hour was retracing trail that I had already broken through. The second hour was breaking new trail. Man, that's hard work. I kept warm for the most part; except for my butt. I suppose the fattiest areas are the coldest. No warm muscle working hard there. Just fat taking up space, doing nothing but making me cold!

I don't really become too cold until I stop, take off my snowshoes and begin to drive home. On the way home, the chill sets in. I came in the house, stripped out of my wet cold clothes into shorts and a sports bra and ran on the treadmill for an hour. I warmed up quickly!

Later we're having dinner out for Tyler's birthday. I think he had decided on Bucca Di Beppo. I am going to order whatever I want from the menu. I haven't had a high calorie meal in 8 weeks.

Enjoy the weekend!


Kel said...

Wow. I'm impressed that you were able to run for 2 hours in "nose hair freezing" weather ;)

I've never snoeshowed in my life, but ordered a pair that should be in this week. Can't wait to try it! Are there any trails in the Twin Cities area that you recommend for a beginner?

Julie B said...

Hey Kel, I don't know that I would go snowshoeing if I didn't have a love of trail running! When I ran road I never used snowshoes. Now that I found I love trail and have a Border Collie that must get his run on too, it's off to the trail and the only way to run trail in MN in the winter is upon snowshoes! Elm Creek Park Reserve has nice trails, Afton State Park does, Murphy H. does, there are nice trails near The Marsh in Minnetonka, too. Enjoy!!