March 16, 2014

Ten torturous miles

A lot of people say that running on a treadmill is about as mentally tough as you can get. Today's outdoor run, however, pushed my mental strength to the max.

I had 10 miles on the schedule for my long run. Since the kids stayed the night at my parents' house and went to church with them this morning, and the ice was nearly gone outside, of course I wanted to do my run outside! While I was getting dressed, I asked Jerry to check the temperature for me, so I would know how warm to dress. He said it was 18 degrees.

The 18-degree temp is a bit tricky--not cold enough to wear my warmest winter gear, but not warm enough to skimp, either. I ended up wearing my Cold Gear tights, Cold Gear long-sleeved top, a light jacket, my thinnest gloves, and a Bondiband over my ears (I briefly thought about skipping the Bondiband and just wearing a headband for my hair, but the Bondiband was thin enough that it wasn't too warm).

Before heading out, I had the idea to finally try out the live tracking feature on my Garmin. It was one of the biggest selling points to me, but I hadn't had much opportunity to try it, since I've been on the treadmill all winter! The live tracking feature uses Bluetooth on your phone to allow people to "track" you online. I sent the link to Jerry's email, so when he clicked on it, it would show him in live time exactly where I was running. My phone's battery was only at 25%, but I hoped it would last through the run.

Once I set that up, I told Jerry to check it frequently, because I was curious how it worked. Then I headed out for a 10-mile out-and-back on my favorite route. As soon as I got outside, I thought it felt a heck of a lot colder than 18 degrees, but I figured I just needed a couple of miles to warm up. I actually had a tailwind on the way out, which almost never happens--usually, I have a headwind on the way out, and a tailwind on the way back, which is nice for negative splits.

About two miles in, I was still really cold, but hopeful that I'd warm up. I'd gone too far to turn around for warmer gloves and ear warmer headband. So I kept going, with the wind at my back. I had a nagging feeling about how I was going to feel when I turned around, but I had my phone with me, so I figured if it was awful, I'd just call Jerry to come get me.

At around mile 3.5, my Garmin informed me that my phone battery was low. I assumed that meant 20% battery life, so I figured it would make it through the rest of the run (or at least until after I turned around at mile 5). At mile 4.85, my Garmin alerted me that my phone was disconnected. I tried turning on my phone, but it was completely dead. I just hoped that Jerry wouldn't see that I'd stopped moving on the live tracker and come searching for me! (The phone has to be turned on for the tracker to work).

I turned around at mile 5, and I instantly knew I was in trouble. The wind was AWFUL, blowing right in my face. My eyes started watering right away, and snot was dripping down my nose. I wished, more than anything, that my phone was working so I could call Jerry! I honestly started to worry about frostbite, because my face felt like it was burning from the freezing cold wind.

I started to feel a little panicked, but then I thought, "Okay, Jerry will come check on me any minute, because he'll notice that the tracker stopped moving." Every time I saw a white car coming toward me (and there were a LOT of white cars out this morning), my hopes would swell; and then deflate as the car passed by and it wasn't Jerry.

I started to think about going inside of a building--a gas station, Monica's Bakery, Kroger... all places I passed by. But I had a feeling that as soon as I'd step inside, Jerry would drive by, and then get really panicked because he wouldn't see me anywhere on my route. So I figured it was safest to stay on my route, and just hope he got worried enough to come look for me.

I just kept praying, almost like a mantra, "Please let Jerry come, please let Jerry come, please let Jerry come..." At around mile 8, I really started to give up any hope. I'd kept running, but only because I'd be colder if I stopped. I was absolutely freezing. If I could have cried while running, I definitely would have been crying. It was THAT tough!

When I was less than a half-mile from home, I heard a honk behind me, and it was my parents (and kids) driving past. They waved, but before I realized it was them, they had already gone past, and it was too late to flag them down. At that point, I still would have gladly accepted a ride, even though I was only 3-4 minutes from home!

When I finally saw my house, I was SO relieved. I opened the door and that's when the tears came. I couldn't believe I actually made it home. I was trying to explain to Jerry what was wrong, and I asked him where he was (why didn't he come check on me?). He said that once I got to mile 4.85, the live feed stopped and just kept trying to reload. He just assumed that since it was the first time I used it, that maybe it was faulty or something. Of course I can't blame him for not checking on me, but I wish that he'd been overprotective for just this once ;)

When I checked the weather myself after getting home, I saw why I was so cold!

Yes, it was 18 degrees, but there were 15 mph winds blowing right in my face and the temp was a "feels like" 3 degrees. I should have checked the weather myself. I should have dressed in my warmest winter gear. I should have made sure my phone was charged.

On the bright side, the live tracker is awesome! Jerry said he could see me moving (not actually ME, of course, but a dot on a map). He could see exactly where I was (up until mile 4.85), how fast I was going, my distance, elevation gain, etc. It only works when the phone is in proximity (and not dead, of course). It will be a nice feature to use during my long runs... assuming Jerry and I make a plan for what to do if it stops tracking ;)

I thought my pace was all over the place, but it actually ended up being kind of consistent. Definitely slower than last week, but I really wasn't concerned about pace today!

This afternoon, Jerry, the kids, and I went to visit Mark. We stopped to get him a coffee from Starbucks, and I got an extra hot latte to warm up my bones. When we got there, Mark was really out of it. I think they changed his pain meds, or they're giving him a higher dosage, because the last couple of times I've gone to see him, he seems like he's pretty loopy.

We brought him to the cafeteria to sit and chat for a little bit, but he had a hard time even keeping his eyes open. We only ended up staying for about 45 minutes, because he said he was tired. I'm really curious about what his test results are! He has a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, and my dad and I are going to go with him. We can ask about his meds then, too.

On the way home, we stopped at Bed, Bath, & Beyond to look for a new comforter. The quilt on my bed was old and getting pretty ratty looking. We ended up finding one on clearance that I absolutely loved. My bedroom is fall-colors, and it matched really well.

It's really comfortable, too! After the run I had this morning, I'm looking forward to a nice, comfy bed tonight.

Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! If you have a photo of a health/fitness accomplishment you'd like to submit, you can email it to me along with a short description (subject: Motivational Monday) at SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com, and I may include it in tomorrow's post! Remember, it doesn't have to be anything huge--maybe you went to the gym three times this week, or you had a healthy breakfast every day. Whatever makes YOU feel proud of YOU is something to celebrate! :)


  1. Sounds like you had a really tough run today. I'm thankful that it never gets that cold where I live in Australia. Good on you for pushing through and making it home. Great pace too!

  2. I'm so glad you made it back in one piece! The exact same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. Temp was 27 but felt like 13. I forgot to check the "feels like" number. Brrr! I'll try to remember to do that for the rest of the winter! I'm thinking I need to upgrade my garmin to the one you have now. What a great tracking feature!

  3. Oh I hate when I don't check the weather for myself. So glad that you made it home in one piece. Least now you know from here on out you will always check that temp yourself. (Least I know I will :)

  4. wow what a crazy run! Glad you made it home safe and sound! I hope this week goes well for you.

  5. I saw your story in the march 31st edition of woman's world.

  6. You are truly a Michigander!! 18 degrees is not cold enough for the cold is cold in NY but that would have kept me inside for sure!!! I am sorry you had such a tough run but way to get it done!!

  7. I feel for you! I ran outside in Wisconsin all this winter, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it yesterday, so I went to the indoor track. I think the cold feels especially bad now because it's supposed to be warming up!

  8. Katie, Sorry to go off topic but have you had any trouble logging into the app with your garmin connect username and password? I recently got the forerunner 220 and wanted to set up the live track and whatnot but I can't log in on the app with my garmin connect username and password and it won't let me signup again with my same email address. Garmin support is pretty well useless from what I've experienced in trying to figure out the problem so I thought I might ask you and see if you had the same problem.

    1. Hey there, Bethany! Sorry, I haven't had any issues with logging into the app--and unfortunately, you're right about Garmin support! I guess worst case scenario, you could sign up with a different email address, but there has to be a way to do it! Maybe follow the steps to change your password, and see if that works? Good luck!

    2. Thanks for the reply. I've changed the password a couple times but nothing seems to work. I'm just a little disappointed with it but I'm sure I'll survive. :) Thanks!

  9. Way to go and get out there even in the cold. Even in northeast Ohio I dread "feels like 18" - which sounds like it did not. You are always such an inspiration! At least you got out there and got in some solid mileage - and didn't completely freeze over :)

  10. I can't even imagine what the five miles was like on the way back home. Ugh! Good thing Jerry is so awesome or I can see where I would have wanted to loose it when walking through the door. You ROCK!


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