Picture this… I am up in Michigan in a small town that doesn’t even have stop lights in their downtown district and within a half mile from being downtown I am off in Farmland. Its dark (10:00pm) and somewhere in the 20s (way too cold for a Florida boy) and I decide to go out for a run…
I am sure the ones that know me outside the blog will shrug this off as another crazy run, where Mr. Lazy Runner will go run and not think about safety, but this time I decided to play the safe card and I bought a headlamp to wear! (I didn’t know the area, the moon wasn’t out, all the roads are dark, and to top it off all my cold weather gear is BLACK…. And come to think of it, I think I already lost the headlamp somewhere)
So the run begins with me trudging through the dark off in lala land thinking about the last year and the Christmas party I was at and all the other things that runners think about to keep their mind off the freezing cold wind. As cars drive by I made sure to shine my headlamp right into their eyes, even if they were heading the opposite direction. I have a head lamp and the roads are dark.. I don’t care where you’re at, I want you to see me! (It’s about safety and not narcissism).
About 1.5 miles away from my starting location I am running down a dark country road (speed limit 55mph) and 2 cars show up over the next hill flying toward my direction. The first car acted like every other car that has driven by me before this point. He slowly pulls into the other lane giving me 10 feet of space, the second car behind him does the opposite…
The next car drives right into the gravel where I am running. Most sane runners would probably dive into the ditch or over the ditch to spare their lives… I on the other hand yell some profanity and make a calculated sidestep out of the way before the car plows my legs over, while swinging my fist with everything I have. It’s a good thing I didn’t I didn’t connect with the car because I probably would have shattered everything in my fist (and I also realized why I can never hit the 60mph ball in the batting cages). A second later the car slams on their brakes and the first thing I can think of its some stupid teenagers that are turning around to dick with me and either try to fight me or run me over again. I lower to the ground while screaming a few more choice words and pick up a handful of rocks that I am about to use to pepper their windshield. And then a lady pulls up and rolls down the window.
“ I thought I hit you,” she said.
“Well you didn’t, but you got F’nn close,” I snipped back.
Then she tried to defend herself by saying she almost hit another runner at 2am that was running in the road the same way… (that’s her defense… really) I asked her if they also had a headlamp and she said yes. It took everything in my body not to throw the rocks and pepper her car and then take off into the corn fields where no one could ever catch me… but I told her that she needs to be more careful and watch out in the road before she kills someone (and I thought I wasn’t going to have an issue because I bought a super bright headlamp this time).
My next few miles of my run flew by as I was using up the excess adrenaline pumping through my veins and battling the cold wind in my face.
After turning around I started to realize that the cold weather… was starting to feel really cold. I thought I dressed for the temp but I didn’t dress for the cold wind that blew through the farm fields. Around 4 miles into my 7 mile run I started to feel that something just wasn’t right… you know those feelings that your body is off because of the weather or that something was different. I had to stop and figure it out. Let’s just say that one of the hit songs right now is LMAFO’s “Sexy and you know it” and he has a line in there about “Passion in his pants” well… whatever the opposite of Passion… that’s what I was experiencing as I shinned the light down checking to make sure everything was alright. I looked down in horror at the “Lost Boys” thinking that this shrinkage was worse than jumping in the ice tanks after every workout in college. The water there was in the 40s… but the temp here without the wind chill factored in was in the 20s. It showed as I freaked out.
I don’t know how you cold weather athletes do this all the time… its cold outside and it affects parts of your body that shouldn’t be affected when your training…. So how do you guys deal with the cold weather?
Anyway… the rest of the run was uneventful and all the rest of the cars gave me plenty of room…. The second I got back to Jenny’s parents house I hopped straight into the shower and warmed myself back up before enjoying a glass of wine!
Stay tuned for my second Michigan run…. (so glad to be back in FL now).