Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unfrozen friendships

ORN (Sat):  8.3 miles total with 5 x 1 mile intervals at 8:25 average
Last week I wrote about my simple love of running in shorts during the winter.  While my midweek runs this past week were nippy (one needing 2 pairs of gloves), Saturday warmed to 36 and we had a light but steady snow. 
Which thrilled me.  It's a rare meteorological occurrence to have it both snowing AND warm enough for shorts.  I don't recall it happening for several years now.  Out the door I went to do the intervals the schedule called for.  It was a most enjoyable run.
As I turned into the wind around mile 5 of the run, it hit me that I had done this once before, a long time ago.  Oh yes, I said, I once ran a Half Marathon in Africa in such weather.  I could see it in my head...just couldn't remember when.  Pulling up the race history I pieced together from various calendars of running in the early 80s, I did the HM in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Saturday, April 26, 1980.  Did a 1:43:43 In the snow but I was only 27...may never see that speed again. 
Yes, snow in Africa.  With the seasons reversed there, this was an early winter storm that hit.  I had persuaded my colleague Hugh to run with me.  No tech shirts in 1980...just a cotton shirt.  And we nearly froze.  But we did get it done. 
Hugh was single at the time.  We had only one toddler.  A few days ago, we got a Christmas card from Hugh, with a terrific photo of him and his wife from their son's wedding last summer.  Hugh is just as good looking as he was in 1980, with only a touch of grey. 
Speed will inexorably leave us.  Friendships won't.  Hugh is still a pal.  Despite me freezing him out nearly 30 years ago. 


Backofpack said...

Sheesh! We hit 57 degrees here today - kind of shocking after last's weeks temps in the low teens. Running in the snow in shorts sounds wonderful - hope it lasts for you!

Merry Christmas Joe!

Wes said...

At least he didn't suffer any permanent damage from the freezer burn! LOL... Gonna be 58 here tomorrow. I'm thinking about doing my bike workout outside! Brrrrrr!

Sarah said...

Great story! I'm happy to put on the long pants/tights, but hoping for at least one snow run this winter.

Anonymous said...

I remember the race well since it is the only offical race I have ever run. I was 24 and had only trained for one week as I had been sick for a few weeks leading up to the race. It was fun to run it in the cold with you in sweats, a beanie and heavy gloves. Great blog Pal. :)

Darrell said...

And to think, I agonized over what shirt to wear this morning for a 7 miler at 53 degrees with wind. I went from sleeveless to long sleeves and even consulted your chart.