Due to the weekend chaos, I decided to try to get a 10 miler in last night instead of this morning. This wasn’t exactly ideal since by Friday night, I’m usually very tired and just want to chill but I wanted to get it out of the way since the entire week has been less than ideal. The Wednesday 10 miler turned into a 4, then I have an indoor 5K race on Sunday, and 13.1 Miami Beach next weekend. Plus I needed to break in those fluorescent pink Saucony Guide’s!
The weather was good at 28 degrees and there was no snow or wind when I began. However, that quickly changed. I parked at Ridgeland, ran east to Matteson and back for my first 4 miles. It’s very scenic in the first mile east of Ridgeland with a large pond on both sides of the trail. Very tranquil.
Then I picked up Kate for another 6 miles and by that time it was getting fun. The snow had started and the wind was ridiculous coming out of the west blowing the snow right into my eyes. Plus the wind was at the point where I.COULD.HARDLY.STAND.UP. But, of course, Kate was up for some miles.
We started off running into the wind to get that out of the way and that first 3 out were tough! It was hard to talk and we were slightly over a 9 minute mile, which felt like we were moving in slow motion! Once we hit the turnaround though we were flying until I realized I need a bathroom STAT! That slowed us considerably while we hunted for one and I had to just totally stop a few times to “refocus”. Sorry Kate!
This whole process really had me thinking about running in the midwest in the winter. Personally, as a Midwesterner, almost everything seems better on the west coast. Port-O-Pots included. And what was on my mind during last night’s run? Well, Port-O-Pots cuz I had to “go”. Several west coast run-bloggers have mentioned their beloved Honey Bucket’s many times over the last several years. Doesn’t that sound pleasant?
As a winter runner in the midwest, you will find that all of those readily available bathrooms, port-o-pots and water sources that you hit during the spring/summer/fall have all been locked up, or taken away, during the winter. Well, that doesn’t mean that you still don’t need those resources but alas they are unavailable. Kate and I were on a quest to find one yesterday when “the urge” hit me late in our run. So nice to be out running with a friend and have such
an issue fun. Embarrassing but since she will not only be a Ragnar Relay partner but also a Chicago Marathon training partner, I guess she would have eventually realized that I have some “issues”. Still not ideal though on my part. 😦 And note to self: Cheese & Crackers pre-run is NOT a good snack.
Of course, all the nice, indoor facilities were locked. The port-o-pots at the parks had been removed. And one lonely Waste Management potty was left at Ridgeland Avenue. Thank goodness for whoever pays for that one to stay and be maintained. Not only was it open and available but it was also stocked with the necessities.
And the best part, although those 50-60 mph winds tried their darndest to tip this potty while I was inside, in the pitch black darkness, I got lucky and made it out unscathed. Some days are definitely better than others!
Anyone want to make a list of port-o-pots that are still available in the winter? I may need to readjust my running routes to include these places. So tell us if you know of any potties that are out along Old Plank Trail!
Happy Running, Amanda – TooTallFritz