Sunday, January 14, 2024

Slip Sliding Away

I had every intention of seeing a movie yesterday and reporting it out today - but you know: nap!  It kind of killed a part of the day. 

That said, it was the Old Man's Running Group yesterday morning. It was Polar Vortex-ish, but technically it hadn't arrived by the time I left the house at 06:45. I travel the farthest to run with this crew. As it would turn out there were only nine of us (as opposed to two dozen or so) who usually are there - and only five us were running, the others walked. 

The 27 degrees wasn't horrible. The 30-40 mile gusts and the continual 25 mile hour headwind wasn't all that pleasant, but not a show stopper. 

This is a paved trail that winds though a west side metro park. It follows the path of a river where folks fish and kayak. It's not really a swimming river, though Shep has been in often. The path - depending on how far you go - is varied in its elevation and how much is through the woods or near open fields. 

It would turn out that the woods part and the open areas would prove problematic in different ways. 

In the woods, two of us would end up clearing branches - like 15' ones - off the trail. It slowed the run for sure, but as much as I'd like to say we were doing it for others (and we were) we knew we had to run back this way and they were dangerous. In the woods, the pavement was pretty dry and runable. That was the first 1.5 miles. 

The open areas, where arctic like winds were present, made any wet-ish surface smooth as glass. I first hit a bridge that made me teeter. I had no desire to go over the edge, so I slowed down where I could. You think that would be easy, but the change of pace and the ice made it more difficult than you'd think. 

My big issue though I knew was coming. Right after the bridge was a decline. Two folks were ahead of me and I saw them put on the brakes too. That had to be walked.  The next 1.5 miles were just treacherous. But not consistently, which almost made it worse. 

Part of this path is somewhat sloped too. The path is set up like a roadway, with a dividing line for people going each way, or to pass. But when sloped, I always run to the outside left, because it is the flattest (and easiest) to run.  Not yesterday. 

It didn't matter where you were on that slope, you just kept sliding downward as you ran. It was just a recipe for injury. So, I went up and ran in the street when there wasn't any grass on which to run. 

At the three mile mark, I turned around. Three others went another half mile, and we all lost Mark at the 1.5 mile marker. 

The wind was so brutal though. Running back, any space that had not been slippery was now nothing but ice. Those winds, and the dropping temps, made anything that had been dry 20 minutes ago were not. 

I was totally on board why the other folks had not shown up to run. 

That said my time didn't suck. Had it been dry and debris free, I might have had a great run - even with the winds. 

More importantly, I met up with the other old fogies at the bakery afterwards. Movie discussion seemed to be on the agenda - mostly Tim Burton, which led into some Pee Wee discussion. I had to hold back on my knowledge of all this for not seeming "weird".  I'm still finding my footing with these folks. 

As it is expected to be single-digit temps today, no one is seemingly doing a Sunday run. I'm glad of this. Had anyone expressed interest, I probably would have caved and gone. Maybe I'll go to the gym. 

....and ugh, that pic. I've been at Fat Camp the gym for almost two years. Normally (I think) my face looks thinner. But not here. Maybe it's the bakery. 

Song by: Paul Simon


Old Lurker said...

Running in the frigid wind on icy trails strewn with branches? No, you don't have a problem. You could stop whenever you want.

Travel said...

Stay safe,

James Dwight Williamson said...

Glad you survived,sounds like no fun , cold everywhere it seems