Sunday, February 9, 2014

Maude VS Snowmageddon

The past couple of weeks I have been plagued with unusual stomach issues.  I am left to assume my innerds are simply pissed off that I had to endure two colonoscopies within two months, and my tummy doesn’t appreciate the “Golytely” but the doctor said that couldn’t be the case.  I call bullshit, but whatever, I’m not the MD.

To give you a sense of how BAD my stomach was bothering me, I cut my Thursday interval workout short by ten minutes.  Yes, you are reading that right, I cut my run short.  If you know me, you know I would run with a limb partially severed if I could.  Needless to say I was one hurtin’ unit.
Channeling my inner #BAMR before I left.
Yesterday I was looking so very longingly at the beautiful white snowflakes, gently cascading through the light breeze.  Yes, it looked like my world was a snow globe, and after being cooped up for nearly two days straight I couldn’t resist the urge to attempt a short, easy run in the snow.

My plan was four miles around the Nike campus, on the wood chip berm.  I figured it wouldn’t be icy and it would be safer than a road run.  I tossed on my warm weather gear, set the Garmin, put on my headphones and headed out the door.

Clearly, I wasn't the only one crazy enough to run!

My first few steps made me laugh out loud.  And I mean I laughed like a little kid on Christmas morning who has opened the one gift that would make their Christmas complete.  I could hear myself hysterically giggling over 38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely” blasting in my ears, an appropriate tune for trying to keep my balance.

And holy cow Batman, let me tell you what a workout running in the snow can be.  I think it was around 4-6 inches of fluffy stuff, and I’m fairly certain I looked like Phoebe from Friends.  My Garmin told me I was running a 9:30 pace, far slower than my usual, but quite frankly it was the best that I could do!

Still laughing, I kept going, “running” like I did as a small girl in Spokane Valley, WA.  I felt like I was 11 again, rewinding my life 30 years.  I felt freedom, fun, joy and excitement.  I remembered trying to outrun my brother’s well-formed and accurately thrown snowballs.  

I remembered running home dodging piles of snow in the road, before the plows could get to the side streets.  I remember laughter and fun with friends on many cold, winter mornings.  I remembered making a sled hill with ice on our sloped driveway and the cussing my father did when he came home from work!  

Snowflake catching!
I remember trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue and I ran for at least 2 miles with the goofiest of grins on my face, tongue hanging out, laughing all at once.  Have you ever run while trying to catch snowflakes on your tongue?  I have, and Portlanders will not like this, but I hope to do it again someday.

As I ran I was somewhat panicked that my stomach issues would re-surface but they never did.  My legs, and my lungs, were on FIRE at about mile 1.5, but no other issues.  Finally.  Then, my Garmin crapped out on me at mile 2.0 (I charged it to 11% because I am that crazy and I wanted to know my distance).

When my Garmin shut down, I realized my mistake: I was wearing headphones, too.  Who cares how far or fast I go?  Who cares about music?  I took them off and ran the rest of my route with no music and no idea on distance or time.  
The guardians, as I call them, this time keeping a silent, watchful eye on me through the Nike Hollister trail
I simply ran in the quiet and calm that one feels after a run well done.  The only thing I heard was blissful nothingness, save for the sound of my breathing and my laughter.  Yes, even at mile 3 I was still laughing out loud.

As I rounded the corner to my house I wanted to keep running, keep going, to never stop.  This run, in the snow, was the best run I’ve been on in a long, long time.  But, it was time to go inside, I promised my family a short run, and they might have been worried had I not returned.  

And I’m glad I ran the run I promised myself because, for the first time in a long time I felt healthy, happy and completely at peace.

My eyebrows, clearly in need of maintenance, were snow-capped, too.