What You Might Learn

...From running 17 miles in the cold.....

You might learn that, once you figure out how to spot and dodge the sheets of ice, it actually isn't that bad running in 20 degree weather after you've run that first four miles, and when the sun comes out briefly right as you find yourself behind a wall that blocks the wind.

You might learn as you pass by other runners out there braving the cold that they aren't that crazy after all. But you will be wrong. Because they are.

You might learn that cars do not believe they ever have to give up the right of way to a person running, even when that runner is in the middle of the crosswalk and the car has a red light....and you might learn that it is in your best interest to give them the right of way, every, single, time. Because you are small. And they are big. And they could squash you.

You might learn that the gym you go to regularly is up a hill.....a long, long way.....and that running back from it is far more fun than running to it. Except when you have to use the bathroom.

You might learn that the seemingly soft and perfect snowball in the middle of the sidewalk is NOT. YOUR. FRIEND. Do not kick it. It will hurt....because it is actually 40 pounds and made of lead! And kicking it is like riding a bike into a boulder at full speed. Only you are not wearing a helmet. And you will land on ice, because of course that is what it will be sitting on. So, be prepared to slide. And to give the drivers watching you something to chuckle about.

You might learn that it is so cold outside that your body is actually numb and you do not feel the entire effect of the "friendly" snow ice ball until much later.

You might learn, when you see your family drive by at mile 16, honking merrily at you, that it seems like a good idea to start waving frantically and leaping into the air over and over like a Graceful Chicken ballerina. But.... IT. IS. NOT. (Especially if your foot has already met Mr. SnowBall.) Beware. This one can trick you every time.

And finally, you might learn, that the daydream of your family happily working away to get the warm house clean and tidy again, so that you all might celebrate another successful long run, is just the effect of a brain-numbing chill. When you thaw back out and that delirium lifts, you will soon realize that YOU are in fact Snow White and the dwarfs you live with have not yet figured out how to clean up after themselves without you. And although you just ran 17 miles, uphill, in the snow and ice, with a full bladder, you will have to clean it up in preparation for them coming home again. And your knees will not appreciate holding your weight while you scrub the glue off the floor where your 4 year old tried to glue his picture to the hard wood. Perhaps those apples don't look so bad after-all.

You might just learn that.....if you ever run 17 miles in the cold.

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