Sunday, February 18, 2024


You know, while we live in a suburb of downtown Cleveland, it's not suburbia. 

I'd say the majority of homes in our 'hood are century homes. Farther out there is the plethora of single story houses, ranch houses, Brady Bunch looking houses from the 50s to early 70s. 

Months ago, while looking for a place to walk Shep, I told 710 about a place I had run that had trails etc. While I knew - or thought I knew - the route, each residential street I ran to get to said trails looked familiar, because there were no distinguishing features. We never found the place.  I never found it. 

Fast forward like 8 months (from running, not the aborted hike), and yesterday here we were back at this place to put in 6 or 8 miles. I was going 8. I thought we were supposed to go 10, but I was wrong. 

I should mention, overnight we got 2-3" of snow and it was bitter cold. 21° without the wind, which was easily 15-20 mph. As the run started at 08:00, None of the streets, or highways were touched.  Yayyyy. I still got there with 15 minutes to spare. 

"Are those going to keep you warm?" said a women pointing to my knit gloves?  "No, but neither do the pair I have that I paid $70, and I don't care if I lose these or not".  And it's true, the expensive REI, Dicks, NorthFace stuff still leaves my hands not just cold, but PAINFUL. So a pack of 8 sets of knit gloves for $12 is fine with me.  .....and I can peel them off and throw them away during a race when it warms up, if needed. I have found no glove that works effectively under 40°F. 

So off we went. 

I was doing really well......considering the sloppiness and slipperiness of the roads and trail. My shoes and socks were soaked before the first mile completed. No bother.  The good runners were out ahead of me, but not by much. The 6 milers and a few 8 milers trailed me. 

But to get to those trails, the labyrinth of streets is confounding. But I was running with folks who seemed to know the way. Great for the way out. 

However, at the turn, I was a mile ahead of the people behind me, and a half mile behind the folks ahead. Once off the trail and back in the neighborhood every street looked the same. I honestly couldn't tell which ones we had come in on. Or exactly how to get back. This is when a Garmin probably comes in handy, or having cell service on your Apple Watch. I had neither. 

How bad could it be? I pondered, as I selected a route / road.  Pretty bad, it turns out.

I ran two miles OUT of my way to somewhat get back. At the 10 mile mark, I ran into another from our group. He's not just handsome, but a great great runner, but he slowed down to run with me. He seemed to know the way. 

Seemed to. 

He didn't. Quentin took us another half-mile out of our way, which meant another mile total. The last mile was pure sleet right in our faces with a very steady headwind. He was asking me questions I could not answer, not because I didn't have answers, because my faces was frozen. It was like I had a stroke and barely able to form words. My beard was all ice.  Yayy. 

So my 8 mile run became an 11 mile run. Fudge. 

Oddly - or not - the most treacherous part of the outing was walking from the stopping place to my car. 200 yards, in which I slipped and almost fell four times!

I stopped to get a warm beverage and pulled out my phone to see that 710 had texted he had tested positive for Covid. He felt crappy Friday (and before I left yesterday). I had had nasal drainage down the right side of my throat earlier in the week but had a random cough, which was not inconsistent with allergies, or even asthma (for the cough part). But I had a Covid test laid out for me once I got home. 

Four years into Covid and this is the first time either of us had tested positive. Even though I took three negative tests last summer, I still think I had it then. But now it's "official".  I tested positive along with 710.

I don't feel bad. Not Covid horror story bad. Not 710 bad. 

I ran 11 miles in the freezing cold on snow, slush and ice with Covid. I think I can "officially" call myself a "runner" now. 

But I still loathe suburbia. 

Song by: Pet Shop Boys


James Dwight Williamson said...

Well it must be mild Covid, or you are an Ironman . Hope you both feel better soon . Never trust handsome men. They are fun but prone to bad choices.

Travel said...

Call in sick, take two weeks of sick leave, stay home, rest, forget the office. Let Simon and Shep keep you warm.
Three things will happen,
1: the office will suddenly know what only you know how to do.
2: the office will somehow survive.
3: You will get some much needed rest.

Old Lurker said...

Listen to Travel Penguin. Be careful about this. Don't push yourself to get back to normal too quickly.