This morning I had a long run of eleven miles planned. The temperature when I left for the park was shown to be a feels like of three degrees with an air temp of 9F. I dressed appropriately, grabbed my Orange Mud VP2 hydration pack, my mp3 player, then headed to the park. This would be my first double digit mileage run since I tweaked my quad about two months ago. My plan was to take a walk break every mile in order to drink, then get back to running. Including the walk breaks, I wanted to average about 9:30/mile for the run.
When I got out of the car and put on my pack, I could feel the cold air on my legs. I had a pair of CW-X endurance generator tights with a thin pair of pants over the top. This would be only my 2nd run in the tights, which admittedly are a bit too small for me, but the next size up would have been too large. I put on a pair of mittens over my gloves to help protect from the wind, but after two miles, my hand were too warm so I took the mittens off. The wind was never too bad and pretty much calmed down to a light breeze by the end of my second mile. It was a very comfortable temperature for running, but it did make it problematic to drink out of the bottles. The spots on both of my bottles had frozen closed so I had to unscrew the top every time I wanted to drink. It did make me slow down more than I had hoped as I had to stop moving in order to drink, but I still held myself to the stopping once a mile routine.
At about the four mile point, I noticed some sweat dripping from my hat. As the run progressed, I was able to see an icicle form on the bottom of my shades. At first it was just a small dot, but after a few miles, it started to get larger. At about the nine mile point, I could feel my legs getting tired. I suspect it was more due to the tights causing my legs to work harder than the mileage, but can't prove that at the moment. By this time, I could see the icicle had ended up connecting to my mustache as well as spread along the bottom of the shades. Thankfully, I had covered the exposed skin of my face with a thin layer of Vaseline and couldn't really feel the cold of the ice. The Vaseline also worked to prevent the ice from sticking to my skin.
My legs never did get too tired, but never felt like they had any spring in their step either. I ended up finishing 11.35 miles with an average pace of 9:26/mile. All in all, I call the run a success. When I finished, I took the following photo to document what I like to call the oakleycicle.
I warmed up with coffee and good conversation with friends and am looking forward to doing it all again next weekend, with above freezing temperatures.