Northeast Ohio experienced a brief warming trend, but now we're back to a protracted deep freeze where the days are cold and sunny, yet during cover of darkness, a new 3 inch blanket of snow warms up the landscape. Still, I have managed to get in 2 six mile runs before work with a small gaggle of men despite the cruel cold finger of Mother Nature. I'm really proud of this. My normal mid week run is usually just 4 miles, but to get in two 6 mile runs mid week, in crappy weather like this, is a step in the right direction for my Mohican 50 mile training.
To pull off the feat, I've had to get up at 4 in the morning, take a shower, and then head out to meet Bill, Bob and Jeff some twenty minutes away at small park with a 3 mile out and back course along a undulating bike path. Now, I know it doesn't make much sense to take a shower BEFORE you go running 6 miles with a gaggle of men, but it's the only way. There's not enough time to shower and dry the red tresses, otherwise, after my run and make it to work on time. I figure I don't sweat that much when it's 6 degrees, anyway, and a good post run spot cleaning should suffice before heading into the work cave to earn money to pay race fees. (Just laid down a pretty penny for Mohican for which I'm still suffering post sign up blues--happens every time I spend big money masochistically). Chef Bill, nice man that he is, offered to give me some special military wipes made by Gojo (wife works there) to aid in my spot cleaning efforts before I head off to work. The rectangular package, standard issue military gray, said they are suitable for the harshest tactical environments, so I guess they'd be just about perfect for my post run runner crotch.
Bill, Bob, and I plus a newbie named Jeff, that Chef Bill brought along to corrupt, was so far, a casual runner, who ran years ago in high school, but was now returning to running for health and fitness. Jeff ran alone mostly, and this was his first venture running with a group. I love this situation. I could smell a new runner that could use corrupting to the dark side of long distance "crazy" running, even though we couldn't even see him because we were shuffling through the snow down a dark bike path at 5:30 in the morning. Bob was the only one to wear a headlamp so he led the way as we told Jeff stories about training, the running club, and the mysterious wonderful world of the long distance runner. Sometimes I feel evangelistic with new runners, like the Jesus freak of the running world, but today I felt more like a pusher, trying to get Jeff to dabble in some exciting new drugs, and he was taking the bait. He was as excited as a little kid that saw his first set of boobs in National Geographic. He couldn't believe how fast the miles were flying by. Chef Bill talks incessantly during a run. Bob can be chatty in the early miles or on short runs, but he goes mute after 15.
The next time we ran--same route, on Thursday, Jeff couldn't run with us since he worked late into the night. It was me, Bill and Bob this time. Gosh, we talked about everything. Chef Bill claims the whole Vibram toe shoe thing is just a crazy fad. He may be right. I just don't know how those things will take off with the masses because they're so stupid looking. So far, only the bravest of souls can wear them in public. I hear Mike K. is wearing them. I actually believe in the concept, but, like I said, I don't know how they can catch on looking as stupid as they do. I admit it, as much as I'd like to try them, my vanity prevents me.
We finished our run; I went home and spot cleaned as best I could to get to work on time and look presentable for a day of interviews. I felt wonderful. I heard it all during my interviews. I should have been a psychiatrist because my students tell me everything--some of it very surprising, but I could take it with a smile and a raised eyebrow infused as I was with after effects of a 6 mile run with friends.