Dirty Duo is coming up! I won't be doing the biking part of the event. I am not that crazy to even consider biking in the mountains. I'd much rather run them.
The training run on Saturday turned into quite the miserable event as the rain was pouring from the get go, and that just made it colder. I'm okay with a little rain, and once your on the trails, it's usually not so bad and there's a little shelter under that great canopy. However, we were running the bike route section of the race so it was a little more open than expected and we were all soaked after about 20 minutes into our 20 k run.
It didn't take long before we were wet, cold, and starting to wonder how to get back faster than planned. There's not much you can do when you're 10k away from your car or any warmth at all. The best we could as a group was to try and stick together and get through it together.
There weren't that many of us running the 20 k distance at this point (perhaps some had better sense to turn back early??), so the few that were left started to struggle with walking and running. We were way beyond wringing out our gloves and hats. I was soaked through to my skin; the layers can only wick away so much moisture, so I felt like my whole body needed to be wrung out. I ditched the gloves because they were beyond helping me and I started to tuck my hands under my shirt whenever I walked to try and warm them up. My running partner, dl, (we were pretty much down to two of us by now. There were two others ahead of us in the distance, and two who were behind us, but later passed us as dl and I struggled along) told me that she was done with about 7k to go. We re-grouped with a few others at the next point and changed up the route to head directly back to the lot and skip the rest of the trail route. dl wasn't feeling well being so wet and cold, so I walked with her, or would run a little to try and keep warm and then wait for her.
We did try to stay on trail as much as possible to be out of the rain more (actually it was now slushy snow). I was running with my hands tucked under my shirt because it was too painful to leave them exposed. dl was really struggling and she's a super strong runner. We kind of kept each other going for a bit and thought about all the warm things in the world (comforters, hottubs, goretex!), and how beyond ridiculous this run was. My legs were starting to really ache. I felt like I had run twice the distance, and every ache and pain seemed magnified. My feet shuffled along, each step seemed like it would never end, and my legs felt like they were seizing up and they probably were.
When we got back to the start where the clinic leader was waiting for us, I couldn't even hold a pencil to sign myself out. The clinic leader had to sign me out. dl and I said a quick good-bye. Screw the stretching. No one cared about that. We made haste to our cars. I had to sit in the car for a half hour before I could even drive. Fortunately, I had brought a change of clothes so I could change in the car and that took the better part of the half hour just to get changed. Then the shaking started and I realized that I was experiencing or had been experiencing hypothermia. We all had.
I shook all the way home. db said my lips were blue when I walked through the door and that was after an hour in a heated car. I immediately got into the tub and started to feel human again.
I couldn't have gotten through it without my running buddy. Crazy thing was, we were back out there the next day. I laughed when I saw that she was wearing extra layers as well. I stuffed my running pack with extra everything. From now on it's going to be emergency blankets in every pack. I think dl had one in her pack, but we never thought were were bad enough off to use it (just another sign of hypothermia -- not thinking clearly). I won't let that happen again.
Here's to a future of running with goretex socks! My next purchase.