I realized that I failed to document my last two longer runs, a 16-miler on Valentine's Day in PA and then a 10-miler right before returning to this winter hellscape. Both were rather lonely affairs, as Daniel was unable to join. However, my 16 mile loop included running to Ridley Creek State Park from my house, so my parents drove directly there to walk the opposite way around the circular trail and caught me around mile 9 to provide water. It was one of those incredibly dull white-sky days, which always makes me gripey, and it didn't help that I just felt "off" for the first 3 miles. I did, however, run right by the most spectacular and densely populated Poopland that I have ever seen, right on the edge of someone's yard. Nathaniel's main issue with dog owners was the lack of poop-pickup diligence, and frowned at the phenomenon of turd accumulation on one's lawn, rendering barefoot play a real game of Russian roulette. He coined the term Poopland some years ago, and actually submitted a definition here for your convenience. Overall, the run was significantly less gory than the previous 16 miler, and I finished just before the snow began to pick up. I did my 10 miler on the following Friday (because on Saturday we went into NJ to visit Grandma Jean), and while I got my bright sun, I also got only about 10 degrees. Which is actually what's on the menu for tomorrow's run, our first 18 miler. There should be some rule about the number of miles not being allowed to exceed the number of degrees. While I can admit that the weather doesn't owe me a thing, my inner 5-year-old wants to whine about how unfair it is, especially when weather.com tells me that the average high for this time of year should be 41. I didn't hold back grouching about the cold last year, but the past two months have proven just as brutally frigid. Oh, plus the 102 inches of snow that we've gotten. Did I mention that 8 feet of snow makes running difficult?
The hill run on Tuesday was particularly brutal and cold, a good 8 miles of going up and down the Beacon Street hill, 14 repeats. One repeat for every degree, it turned out. Yes, I am looking forward to spring. I am, however, very stoked on the fact that I have topped $9,000 with my fundraising, a huge leap forward! I am so impressed by and grateful for all my dogged supporters. You all are amazing, so thank you! I'll leave you with this definitely not-photoshopped photo, which I feels all too accurate.