32.33km/20.09 miles in snow squalls and 40kph/25mph winds that gusted much, much higher. My hands were frozen within the first 15mins by the bitter blast of Arctic air and my cheeks felt the sting of its assault. I was nearing the 13km mark and cresting a hill - having run the last 8k directly into the teeth of the gale - when a gust swooped down and brought me to a standstill as I leaned my entire bodyweight forward into it.
I howled in frustration, my voice lost in the rush of wind and flurry of snow.
|Maybe it only felt that steep.|
I very nearly called for a bailout.
I almost decided to cut the route short by running straight home from there.
I pressed onward.
Three more times, as I dragged my battered body around Woolwich Township, I had to overpower urges to pull out my phone and call my knight in shining armour to deliver me from this hell of a run. I trudged up hills and winced as my frozen quads protested the inevitable descent, leading to yet another climb.
I persevered, drinking from my leaky hydration pack and slurping sustenance from a flask of expired gel.
I turned into the wind again in the last 7km and hurled verbal abuse at its relentless force.
Finally, at long last, the end - my own street!
And having survived that, there was no longer any reason to put off the inevitable. Such a run was completely unnecessary to an Around the Bay campaign. It would help, but there's really no call for doing an over-distance training run for a 30k. No; there was but one reason to endure such abuse.
So it's official. I'll be running the Waterloo Marathon for the second time, and hopefully this attempt will have a happier outcome than the last.
Reasons it should work out better:
- I've actually been doing long runs instead of tossing off and going cross-country skiing instead.
- By race day, I'll have been running for 5.5 years instead of 2.5 years.
- I've been consistently running 6 days per week for the last 3 years, instead of the 3 x per week I was back in 2011. Actually, what with skipping long runs, it was more like twice per week leading up to the marathon.
- The 20 miler above took me over 26mins less time than the 20 miler I ran prior to Waterloo in 2011.
- I've done 3 more 6-hour races and my first 50k since my last marathon.
- I should be able to get one more 20 miler in between Around the Bay and race day.
Now we just have to keep fingers crossed that I can stay healthy through all of this.
Um, was that a twinge from my ankle?