Sunday, December 2, 2012

Grimmed and Bared It

Huzzah for freezing puddles! (Not really...)

At least, that's what my t-shirt says. After just over 8 miles of icy water, hills, and knee-high mud stiffer than most mashed potatoes I've seen, I made it across the finish line with the Husband. For what I'm assuming was somewhere comfortably between 90 minutes and two hours, we left E bundled up in blankets, sweatshirts, and his snowsuit to sleep in his pushchair while his grandparents watched him. We, on the other hand, ran up and down hills, through thick, shoe-stealing mud, and through waist-high puddles littered with chunks of the ice that had been forming on their surfaces not 40 minutes earlier.

First, let me say that this Grim was waaaaay easier than my first. Having pushed my daily distance in the past few weeks, I was better equipped for the endurance required by an 8.5-mile cross country run. Plus, with all the additional walking - not to mention the resistance training afforded by E's jogger - I'm generally in a better state of fitness than I was two years ago. I took far fewer walking breaks, and those that I did take were for the sake of my joints rather than my cardiovascular system.

Still fresh and clean at the beginning.

All of that said...Sweet Baby Jesus, the cold!!! I now have great empathy for Jack and Rose. There's about a 5-second delay between when you first plunge your feet into the icy water and when the crippling pain and numbness begin to set in. It takes a good few minutes of being out of the water before those effects start to wear off.

I feel your pain, guys.
Not only does it take a while before your feet stop feeling like painful tingly blocks of frozen meat, but while you're recovering, you're a lot slower than when you first went into the water. The cold is not kind to your pacing.

The mud, though...that was fun. Sure, people were losing shoes...and glasses, but it was one of the more fun obstacles on the course. The squelching of so many pairs of trainers through the 2-foot-deep sludge made peaks stiffer than even the best whipped cream could boast. Your feet looked nearly twice as big when you finally clawed your way free just because of the sheer volume of mud they were still carrying.

So now, having thawed out and had a rest (and lots of oatmeal cookies!) it's time to start turning my sights on a half marathon in the new year. If my endurance training continues on this trajectory, 13.1 miles on the road will feel like a cake walk compared to 8.5 miles on terrain that's meant to put tanks through their paces.

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