Gretchen and I started our run uphill. Maybe this is where it all went wrong: at the beginning. When given a choice between uphill and downhill, when the end goal of completing 8 miles is not dependent upon this choice, what would a sane person choose? Yes, this must have been the decision that sealed our fate, because it was all uphill from there. Figuratively, I mean.
The wind was frigid. Strong. Miserable. And heading south, which was not optimal, as we were running north. Well, we were trying to run north. I think at more than one point, we resembled a large black bird we saw with wings outstretched, facing the wind and going absolutely nowhere. While Mother Nature may have been providing entertainment for this winged creature, she was not doing us humans any favors. There is an overpass that connects bikers, runners, and pedestrians from one side of Parley's Canyon to the other. Crossing above the freeway that runs up the canyon was like trying to run through a tornado. The canyon was the perfect chute for the icy air to gather momentum and explode in our now numb faces. It took us 34 minutes to complete the first 3.2 miles. Possibly my worst 5K time ever.
The rest of the run was spent in survival mode. Just keep running. Just keep running.
So why do I find myself smiling when I think about the 8.5 miles we accomplished this morning? Because I did it with a friend. Because we laughed (and yelled and complained) through the tough spots. Because Blue Plate Diner was our destination, and chocolate milk and a giant omelette was my reward. Because the last time I ran that far was five years and two children ago. Because I can do hard things.