It has been 6 weeks since I have ran outside or anything more than a few km on the treadmill so today was the day for a much needed therapy run. It was cold outside but the breeze didn't seem too bad and we weren't in an extreme cold warning (finally!) so time to don the winter running gear and get outside. I drove by the park I like to run my longer runs at and the paths looked like the snow was packed down so it was promising for a decent run with my YakTrax. They are really showing their wear but should get me through the rest of winter (pretty please 🙏). I realized when I got to the park I had forgot that I was going to wear my new neoprene face mask we bought while skiing the next time I had a really cold run. I didn't want to drive back home so I decided to skip it today. I know I really like it when I ski, it keeps my face surprisingly warm without having frozen cloth right up against my mouth but I wasn't sure what the reaction might be to see someone running down the street with a skull face (see bottom middle picture in the collage that I added from our ski trip. We're quite the sight on the slopes ☠️😈🐾). What do you think? A good idea or just asking to be pulled over by the police 😂? Anyways, the temperature is still supposed to be cold for my Sunday run so I might just give it a go then.
I've been feeling really melancholy lately (hence the need to get outside to run today despite the cold weather) and thought my Chillin' playlist on Spotify would fit the mood and the temperature today. I had recently added a couple new songs that I had hoped would pop up on this run so I hit shuffle and off I went. Despite the cold, I warmed up quickly and was feeling pretty darn good for the first little bit. One of my new songs came on - Northern Lights by the Jerry Cans, a band from Iqaluit, Nunavut that combines traditional Inuit throats singing with folk music and country. They are a really unique group and I have this new fascination with throat singing since I first saw a performance a while back. Combining it with a mainstream song is wild and the song did not disappoint on my run. Yay! Good addition to a running playlist.
By 4k, I was feeling my groove, enjoying watching the mingle of dog foot prints, with human boot prints and deer prints on the pathway. Then I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe came on. Now, I am not a religious person, but there is something about this song that pulls on my heart strings and brings this feeling over me that I can't explain. Today, those feelings were too powerful to contain and I started sobbing openly as I'm running down the pathway heading under the bridge. Fortunately, it is bloody cold and there are no other people nearby but because it is so bloody cold these tears are going to put me at a greater risk of frostbite and have my eyelashes stick together even more than they already are so I tell myself to pull up my Big girl Pants, suck it up and stop this sobbing. I get through the song with only a few more little tremors and realize with my mood of late, perhaps this wasn't my best playlist choice. Oops. Let's see what the rest of the run brings me and the Running Gods of Shuffle. Will they help keep me strong to finish this run or knock me down to a puddle of tears? It's an out and back run of 10.5k, so I really hope it is the former!
I reach the blue bridge which should be my turn around point, give it a little tap and turn around as Dixie chicks Long Time Gone comes on. I chuckle to myself because I initially thought it was called Long Way Home (until the lyrics came on and I remembered what the song was actually called). I was chuckling because I had just decided to take a little detour to avoid the area just ran that had fairly big snow drifts that were making it a challenge so I was going to take "the long way home" which seemed fitting. But Long Time Gone still seems fitting since it has been a long time since I've ran this path. So far, better choices Running Gods of Shuffle.
At 7k, House of the Rising Sun by the Animals comes on. A big smile comes over my face, my hand comes up to rest over my heart and I feel so content. My son has been learning this on his guitar and he's been doing such a great job of it. I wish he would practice a bit more and turn up his amp so I could hear him play but he seems to have gotten a bit self conscious of late. I don't get to go to many of his lessons any more, but the last time was 2 weeks ago. As I sat on a pew outside his instructors room and they started to play and his teacher started to sing, I was just in awe. I love music and the feeling it gives me. Some day, I hope to find the time to pick up one of my son's guitars and perhaps learn a bit as well. When he first started lessons, he would come home and teach me what he was learning but life got in the way and that fell by the wayside. I had him show me the chords and changes he uses when Playing House of the Rising Sun after we got home after the last lesson. He makes it look so easy, but Nope. These soft little finger tips will need a bit of time to toughen up and a lot of time to develop some dexterity. Someday, perhaps.
As I cross over my second to last bridge, I realize I am now running straight into the wind. So what has been feeling like a pretty pleasant run despite cold has just gotten a lot chillier (thanks a lot Wind Chill!). Being aware of frostbite and my exposed nose and cheeks, I pull my buff back over my face. Of course, by now, it is a frozen block of merino wool. I must've bumped my headphones somehow and my music was gone! Noooooo! So I stop, pull out my phone and it looks like the headphone jack might've just got bumped (I am not a fan of the lightning jack that goes with the headphones for the iPhone 7! I find it bumps easily and then the music is lost until you stop and reinsert it and fiddle around which is what I did but it wasn't working). Then it seemed like my phone was trying to die (they really hate these cold temps) so I said Screw it and quickly tucked it back in my flipbelt, moved my flipbelt to under my shirt in hopes that my phone wouldn't die and I'd lose my run. I peak at my Garmin, which I normally wear over my jacket sleeve so I can gauge distance and time to make sure the cold hadn't wreaked havoc with it. It was still working but the cold had really sucked back the power and I was down to 1 bar with 1.5k left to run. Yikes! I didn't want to lose all record of my run so I tucked my watch under my jacket sleeve and hightailed it a much as I could at the end of a long run on legs that haven't run much in a while. But as I was gauging where to stop my run (Runkeeper and Garmin don't always agree and if I was downloading from Garmin Connect, I didn't want to get gyped on distance) I heard Runkeeper ding Activity Complete. Whoohoo! Phone didn't die, nor did my watch so I have proof and my run exists 😂.
It was a mixed bag of emotions today, but 10.5k in the bag and only 2 little spots on my cheeks that were white post run that look a little puffy now, so there may be a titch of frost bite. Oops. I will try the face mask next run and see if I get pulled over by the police or hear of reports of a masked bandit running through the winter streets 😂