Today was a crazy run. Apparently I was a bit too busy in the week leading up to our trip to Colorado, because I never checked the weather. It was getting to be quite beautiful at home, and I just assumed it would be the same here in the mountains of Colorado.
It is not the same.
Last night we had a massive snow storm move in and we woke up to half a foot of snow and 16 degree weather.
I did not bring cold weather running gear. I have shorts and a long sleeve shirt.
I did bring a light rain jacket, so that was helpful. I also was able to borrow a pair of my bride’s gloves and ear warmer / headband thing. They are women’s, size medium.
I’ll take it!!
Dressed for success (kind of), I went out on my morning run. I thought about waiting until the afternoon because the temperature was supposed to rise to a whopping 20 degrees, but we were also supposed to have another 5-8 inches of snow by then. I figured the extra snow was a bigger factor than the few extra degrees, so I just went for it.
It was a HARD run. My first challenge was simply breathing. Being 9,000+ feet above sea level provides breathing challenges of its own, but add the cold air and snow blowing into my mouth and throat as I was running, and it becomes an incredibly arduous task.
The snow kept getting into the back of my throat, causing me to cough and hack my way through the first mile, which was mostly all uphill (138 feet of climb).
I was slipping and sliding, but moving forward… dodging in and out of CDOT tractor plows who were attempting to clear the snowy, hardened dirt mountain pass that is apparently classified as a “road”.
The majestic mountain range (including Pike’s Peak) that was so vividly visible on my run yesterday was gone. I could hardly see anything but the snow -covered road and pine trees.
Oh well. Not every run is magical. I pressed on, slowly starting to breathe more easily.
Thankfully, though I was slipping and sliding through most of the run, I only totally wiped out once… and I was back on my feet in no time. My right knee was a little sore from falling on it, but mostly just numb from the 16 degree weather. I’ll probably feel that one later.
Overall, it was a successful run. Miserable, but successful. I ran 3.2 miles in 26 minutes and 40 seconds. That is an average pace of 8:18 per mile. At 9,240 feet above sea level, and with a total elevation gain of 298 feet on a snowy, freezing cold morning, I’m going to call that a huge success.
Only 1 day left for my goal of running at least a 5k every day for an entire year. I believe I am going to make it!
On Monday I will start over and do a 5k Every Day in the Month of May. Feel free to join me! I will NOT be continuing on for another full year. I have other plans in mind…