Wednesday, January 3, 2018

WWU - North Carolina Running!

Along with spending time with our kadults over the holidays, I was also looking forward to getting to run once again in North Carolina.  Two years ago when we were there for Christmas, we experienced unseasonably warm weather - it was like running in Texas in June.  But this year, we experienced unseasonably cold weather - it was like running in Antarctica.  Well, I'm guessing, I've never run in Antarctica...but one of our runs was in the coldest weather that I've ever run in!  Here's a rundown (haha) of our three NC runs:

Run #1 (Christmas Eve) - Temperature was a crisp 52 degrees, with a light breeze.  We had 8 miles on tap, so we decided to run on the American Tobacco Trail.  While we were familiar with it, having run on it before, we parked at a newer trailhead, where there are actual bathrooms and drinking fountains:
Thanks for the fancy bathrooms, ATT people! 
Well, at least the bathrooms were open.  Good thing we brought our own water.

We headed out one direction for an out-and-back of two miles, then we crossed the road and ran the opposite direction for an out-and-back of six miles.  There were quite a few runners along the trail, and it was fun to greet everyone with a "good morning" as we ran.  I love running among the pine trees - it's just so different from what we normally see in Texas.  Plus there were three smaller pine trees that were decorated with Christmas ornaments, which added to the festive feel of the day.  Toward the last couple of miles, I ran with my phone out so I could take a few pictures:
This one is the best, but the others were pretty, too. 
Tree #2 - I missed getting a shot of tree #3.
Abandoned log cabin in the woods.
Our view as we ran... 
Periodically the trail crosses a road before continuing into the woods.

We finished and I felt pretty good, considering we ran on a different surface than I'm used to.  Jeff was a little more sore, but this has not been the best season of running for him, unfortunately.

Run #2 - A few days later we went for our second run, and this one was crazy.  A cold front had blown in and it was frigid - 19 degrees, with a feels like temperature of 11.  ELEVEN DEGREES!  Plus there was a bit of a north wind.  But it hadn't rained at all and we felt pretty secure in getting out there and not slipping on ice, so we went for it.  I used the Runner's World What to Wear app to figure out how to dress, and except for not having a heavy jacket, I was pretty good with what they suggested.  It helped that I had finished knitting a hat the night before, which helped keep my head and ears comfortably warm.

This was just a short run, so we decided to run and out-and-back for a total of three miles.  Funny thing, we only saw two other runners out there, and two bicyclists.  Most people wisely stayed inside that morning.  The run went well, although my teeth hurt, and my lips were numb, and the fronts of my legs were burning cold.  Oh and despite wearing two pairs of gloves, my fingers were frozen for most of the run.  But you know what?  It was fun.  And it ended up being one of the fastest runs I've had in a long time...gee, I guess you really do run faster when you're trying to finish and get back to a warm car!

Afterward, I had to take a picture to commemorate the run - my hands were shaking from the cold so it's not the clearest picture, but it's one of my favorites:
I wasn't trying to get the walking man sculpture in the picture, but I was pleasantly surprised afterward to see that he's there. 
Walking man
Jeff took some pictures of the hat for me, so you can see it along with the bathrooms and grounds where the parking area is. 
We crossed this road to run our out-and-back.  Dang, I love this area.

Run #3 didn't happen because I simply could not force myself outside in the freezing cold, windy air.  Well, I say that - after I bagged on the run and sat around drinking coffee for an hour, I was a little more willing to consider getting dressed and going outside to attempt a run, but by that time Jeff and Sam had gone out for donuts to celebrate the last day of 2017, and the donuts won out:
I mean, run in a windy, feels like temperature of 16 degrees, or stay inside and have hot coffee and donuts?

Despite ending 2017 with donuts instead of a run, I'm pretty proud of myself for all the running, walking, and Planet Fitness workouts that I did get in throughout the year.  I rarely skip a workout, although to be honest, if I lived in a place where I had a true winter like what we experienced in North Carolina, I'd have to figure out some other way to get my runs in, because early morning freezing cold running does not appeal to this weather wimp.  But luckily I live in mostly balmy Texas, so that's rarely an issue.  Still, I'm glad I got to run in North Carolina - it's really lovely, even when it's freezing cold.

23 comments:

  1. It looks so pretty there! I feel you on the cold, but I'd love those conditions right now. It's been just brutal here. It's actually been warmer in Antarctica....

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    1. Getting a taste of that kind of cold makes me glad we don't have to deal with it very often...as hard as it is to run in heat and humidity for far too long each season, I think I'd take that over the cold.

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  2. Kudos for getting in the two runs!!! I loved running new places!!!

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  3. I am so glad you shared your pics from the ATT. I follow a few people on IG who are from NC and they always reference running on that trail and now I know what it looks like. Looks like a lovely place to run!

    I didn't realize that it got as cold as 19 degrees in NC! That's the kind of weather we've been having here too for the past week and even that is very unseasonable for use! A few times I saw that it was warmer in Alaska than it was here!

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    1. It really is so nice - I love the ATT. Wish I had the opportunity to run on it more often.

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  4. You were just down the road from me! :-) Glad you enjoyed your runs. When it's really cold, I prefer mittens to gloves, but right now I just can't manage to do anything outside!!

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    1. How fun! I love that area - you are lucky to live there!

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  5. Feels like 11°?! Oh no way...they can keep that! Hah! Way to get out and get your run in anyway, despite the freezing temps!

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    1. Haha, I know, right? As challenging as our southern humidity and heat is, 11 degrees is just brutal.

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  6. You know what? This has been just a freak winter in general - it's sleeting and snow flurrying in FLORIDA today for goodness sake! Honestly, that area of NC averages like 40-50 degrees in winter which is pretty darn good running weather. Hey you never know, that sort of cold might not happen again and you can say you heartily ran in stupid cold weather haha!

    I have no idea why, when you said donuts, I thought I'd see a Krispy Kreme box but I did. And now I see DD really is beginning to run (all of) America.

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    1. Have I ever had a Krispy Kreme? I think maybe?? Even Dunkin is rare - we don't have them locally.

      But this weather gave me a taste of what you deal with for months, and firl, I don't know how you haven't lost your mind, for real!!

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  7. So you wouldn't want to live in NY. Negative degrees with the windchill this weekend.

    I may have to resort to running inside. IGH!!

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    1. Haha, no I would not. I've always said that if I lived in a snowy, wintery climate I'd end up hibernating and never going outside...

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  8. That trail is gorgeous! How fun that people decorate the trees. I am glad you got one reasonable run in before that super cold one! It's so uncomfortable when you get the frozen upper legs!

    You do an awesome job with your workouts and should be super proud! If you didn't skip one every now and then, we'd be worried ;)

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  9. That trail is beautiful. It's been averaging -2 here in the early mornings. Warming up to a chilly 20 degrees at midday.

    Love the new hat.

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    1. Negative temps? No thanks! But thanks for the compliment on the hat. :)

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  10. I love how the trees were decorated out on the trail. That trail looks like a wonderful place to run. Those are fancy bathrooms!

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    1. I loved the decorated trees so much. The trail felt much appreciated by the locals. :)

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  11. The high was 15 here and I saw a guy in shorts.

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    1. Are you sure that wasn't my husband? He swears his legs never get cold...shorts no matter the weather! Crazy man.

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  12. I love your hat! I feel like often the ponytail hats, (or any hat) don't seem to cover enough of my ears. But this one.. How dandy to have a custom made hat! I can picture you trying it on as you go. With needles sticking out.

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    1. It's like you were in the room as I was knitting - that's exactly what I do! :)

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