We have gone to the dark side. There is something nice about starting a run in the darkness and seeing the sun rise, but we are too darn tired to do it anymore. Tonight we start off with a sliver of a moon and 1 star to guide us.
Running on the path beside the perimeter highway. Nicole is exhausted and isn't sure how she if feeling about a long run for tonight. Originally she wanted to run Harts Trail and I know she needs this run as much as I do. I tell her this is our survival run and we have to do it or else we will die. She doesn't question me. Maybe we are both insane. I don't flinch as 3 semi trucks fly by. All it would take is a little slip on the icy roads and......never mind.
We arrive at the end of Dale Street and see nothing but blackness speckled with a few stars. We fumble about for our lights which will be needed for the trail and quickly catch a chill doing so. This is a bit of an omen. We dressed for -20 but it felt colder when we stopped. Our bodies are cold but our feet are toasty. Nicole is wearing her mukluks and I am wearing beyond-throw-in-the-garbage running shoes with a few hot shots stuffed at the ends. Nothing like a chill to keep you from dilly dallying. I quickly put the camera away as we start the trail portion of the run. We quickly warm up again. Whew.
The pictures taken on the trail turned out completely black. Our headlamps lit up the trees immediately on either side of us and a bit of the path in front. Occasionally I would see a a car light in the distance and the way it threw the light made me think we were running to the light...the light at the end of the tunnel and all that.
Eventually we leave the trail and turn onto Grant Avenue to head back towards home. This is when the wind slaps us in the face and doesn't let up for the remainder of the run. We are quite chilled after 45 minutes of running head on into the wind. I begin to wonder how I could be so stupid to leave the house with only a thin pair of gloves. My hands are beyond cold. We start to plan on sharing a glass of red wine for the last bit of our run...just to warm up. To take our mind off Nicole's sore legs and my freezing hands we count our steps by the 100s. It takes 500 hundred steps to get to the wine.
Thats how we ended up at Smitty's Lounge on a saturday night. After thawing out we realized we were quite famished. Nicole got us a glass of wine as I prepared our post run snack of majool dates, homemade granola, and pepperoni sticks. What, does this sound disgusting? It went great with the wine. I think the bar staff took pity on us because they let us eat our own food without saying a word. I decided to get us one more glass of wine to share before finishing up our last 1 1/2 miles home but the bartender told me it was cheaper to buy a carafe. The result of this economical decision was running home a bit tipsy...in the cold...in wet clothing.
We survived and that deserved a bit of celebrating. Tonight's running time: 2 hrs 53 min. Next Saturday we run for 4 hours.