So it turns out I'm not the only crazy person in Fargo. About two dozen people showed up at the downtown YMCA for our Saturday group run. The temperature when we started was -17 and what little wind there was drove the wind chills to nearly -25. Everyone looked the same all bundled up in layers of clothes, stocking caps, and face masks (some chose not to wear face masks--now that's crazy). After just a few miles everyone still looked the same but for a different reason. A thick layer of frost covered every person's face and head. It looked like we all were wearing snowman costumes. It made me chuckle.
The full marathon route was a twelve mile out and back course through mostly residential neighborhoods. I ran with Rick (who just finished the Arrowhead ultra), Jon (who is training for an ultra-marathon in April), and Erin (Jon's wife who is training for her first marathon). We ran at a very comfortable pace and brought up the back of the pack.
After a few miles my thighs started to get quite cold. I knew that we all had to be very careful to avoid frostbite in this weather. Another mile went by and they were warmed up again. Maybe we had been running into the wind for that short stretch. I'm just happy they got warm. My water bottle didn't fair so well in this cold. It froze up on me after about five miles, and I ended up pulling the spout completely off in order to get anything out of it. I also discovered that GU becomes quite chewy-- but still tasty-- at these temperatures.
Erin had difficulty keeping her hands warm. Rick carried her water bottle and gave her another pair of gloves to wear, but she and Jon cut their run a little short so she could get inside and warm up. I saw her at the Y after my run, and her fingers showed no signs of frostbite. We are all hoping the weather is a little warmer next week.
We received the schedule for the next six weeks. The mileages are going up for the weekday runs as well as the long runs. The weekly runs will be Monday = 7 miles, Wednesday = 7 miles, Thursday = 4 miles. The Saturday long runs will go from 13 miles to 18 miles. I'm really looking forward to these new challenges.
That's all for this week.