I wanted to run sixteen miles on Wildwood this morning, but when I got up and looked out the window it was immediately clear that wasn’t going to happen: a thick blanket of snow had come down during the night and I wasn’t going to be able to drive anywhere. I decided to run from the house and got dressed in my warmest running gear: liner socks under waterproof socks, liner gloves under big-ass gloves, long-sleeve shirt under running jacket, Sporthill pants, and both a hat and an earwarmer. As long as I kept moving, I didn’t get cold out there.
Except for my exposed face. The wind was pretty strong at time, it never stopped snowing, and the temperature was in the low 20s. My cheeks got pretty rosy. Oh, and I couldn’t get any water for the last few miles of the run, since the end of the hose on my hydration pack froze solid. Other than that, it was great.
I ran up Taylor’s Ferry, then headed north on one of those SW Trail routes, crossing Beaverton-Hillsdale at 30th/Dosch and making the decision to try to get up to Council Crest. Because running through several inches of snow wasn’t enough of a challenge, I guess. Progress was slow. I averaged 12 minutes a mile over the whole run, a speed I would be embarrassed by on any other day. Today, just being out there and moving was accomplishment enough, by far.
I dodged and weaved up to the top of Council Crest, all on roads except for one short cut. There, I huddled in the lee of a water tower while I called Sweetie to let her know I was doing OK. She seemed a little alarmed that I had headed for the coldest, most exposed spot in the city. No matter: it was downhill from there.
I took the trails toward Terwilliger down, coming out three miles later not too far from the Charthouse restaurant. Following Capitol Highway through Hillsdale and Multnomah Village (both actually pretty alive with people) , I was getting ready to just be done. My legs were hurting and it was a little scary thinking about how nobody was going to come and pick me up in this weather if I couldn’t go on any further. This was mostly just negative thinking, though: I wasn’t actually doing badly at all.
A half hour later and I was home. I checked the mirror: Yes! At long last, I was finally one of those guys with ice built up on his eyelashes. It’s every macho man’s arctic dream.