Holy Frozen Hair, Batman!

Polecat this morning just before the sun rose. The moon is still high in the sky!

I had been fearing, I mean really looking forward to busting out some really fast miles this morning with Ryan. (He had sworn he’d push me so I could break both my 1 mile and 2 mile PRs and then see if I could muster up a few BQ MP miles as well for about 10.) But, those plans changed when it snowed overnight, so I quickly changed out of my speedy shoes and into my awesome Inov8 Mudrocs (which have awesome lugs and a few short spikes for icy conditions!) I would be thankful for those shoes later in the day, but didn’t know it yet.

We decided to run trails at the local Polecat loop. It was pitch black (as usual) when we started, but the blanket of freshly-fallen snow made the surrounding hills and trail seem soft and luminous as we took off onto the path – our footprints the first of the day. The crescent moon and stars were lovely and iridescent and seemed a sharp contrast against the vast, ebony sky. Fog hovered over the mountains, setting an eerie, quiet, mysterious mood. The governor’s mansion is located a few miles up the road from the Polecat trail head and when I’d let my gaze travel high up the enormous hill, where it sits, on my drive up the road just prior to the run,  it had occurred to me that it looked very much like a haunted house in the spooky morning haze and fog!

Our feet crunch, crunched through the fresh powder and though the effort was greater due to the snow and mud, it was a really comfortable, steady pace and I was enjoying myself. My headlamp caught sight of the sagebrush and grasses alongside the path and they were all decorated in the twinkling, fresh snow. The path glistened like diamonds before me and I commented that I’d been really hoping for at least one more snow run before spring set in!! Guess I got my wish!

We added on a part of the trail we hadn’t done before, which was fun and during the last couple of miles, the sun started to rise. It was very cloudy, so we didn’t actually see the sun, but suddenly everything around us was glowing like a winter wonderland! I kept saying, “Oh my goodness! This is SO beautiful!!!” and couldn’t stop grinning!

My running buddy, Ryan.

We finished up and headed to our separate cars and I took off first. I headed back up the nearest hill back towards home and within just a few feet my tires were spinning like crazy and my car was sliding all over the place. There were at least 10 cars behind me, so I kept trying my best to get some momentum to get up and over the hill, but it wasn’t working. Finally, I was able to get just off the road, to let the others pass, but quickly I could see they were struggling too. Once the long line of cars was gone, I tried again to get my Suburban back on the road and up the hill, but I only ended up burning rubber, sending a ton of black smoke all around and digging my right back tire into the soft shoulder of the road. I tried to call my husband, but this particular area is famous for being sort of a “black hole” for cell service and I had none. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that Ryan had pulled out his pickup, heading the opposite direction and was waiting on the side of the road, probably to make sure I made it out ok. I got out of the car and dodged a few vehicles on the icy road (thankful I was wearing those awesome shoes with spikes!) and headed towards him. I was incredibly thankful when he said to hop in the pickup and he’d give me a ride to his work, so that I could get back in cell range to call my husband, Wayne. He was very polite and kept the car and heater running for quite a while when we got there, while we waited for Wayne. I’m sure I ended up making them both late for work this morning and I feel bad about that — but I really was grateful to both of them for helping me today!

Wayne and I headed back up to the trailhead to see if we could get the Suburban unstuck. By that point, another car had also slid off the road. Wayne ended up helping get 3 different cars off of that bad section, as one-by-one, they also slid off and could not get moving again. I think those three ladies were really grateful that I’d already gotten stuck and had brought back my strong husband to help push their vehicles back onto the road safely! I was also able to pitch in and push the cars since my shoes were the best for grip. Another man had also stopped to help Wayne and I push cars and he was wearing cowboy boots so he was slipping and sliding!

It turned out my own vehicle wasn’t that hard for Wayne to correct, either. I have 4 wheel drive, but no one had ever shown me how to turn it on. Wayne put it into 4 wheel drive, reversed it just a bit, then was out of that stuck situation in a jiffy! Yay, Wayne, my HERO!!! After such a crazy start to our day, Wayne bought me breakfast at IHOP. That hot cocoa and those pancakes never tasted so good!!!

Glad to be home safe and sound and feeling pretty lucky to have a running partner who didn’t leave me when I needed help and a husband who was willing to come to my rescue! Thank you both very much!!!

P.S. One of the funniest parts of today was when the sun finally rose, I looked down at my dark braids and saw that they were streaked with snow and ice!!!! It looked like someone had painted thin, white stripes on them!! It was awesome! I tried to get Ryan to take a picture with my cell phone, but it ran out of juice just at that moment! Darn. You guys would have appreciated that one, too! 😀

Average HR: 162. Max HR: 201. Elevation Gain: 1,069 feet. Felt: Happy

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