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The fog

A weather alert popped up in my computer’s system tray this morning, and if it had still been April Fool’s Day I would have thought it was a joke. It wasn’t warning me of floods or tornadoes or hail storms, it was warning me of this:

Freezing Fog

Freezing fog?! That sounds like something I’d have to face in a video game after crossing the river of lava and fighting off flying monkeys. If I went for my scheduled run, would I be flash frozen in a cube of ice, becoming a PastaQueen popsicle? I imagined myself only being discovered centuries later by archeologists who would say, “This early 21st century humanoid was part of a bizarre cult known as ‘runners.’ You can tell by her overpriced shoes and the abundance of cheesy techno music on her MP3 player.”

I looked up “freezing fog” on Wikipedia only to learn that there are eleventy-billion different types of fog: freezing fog, Garua fog, radiation fog, hail fog, upslope fog, advection fog and more. Freezing fog “occurs when liquid fog droplets freeze to surfaces, forming white rime ice.” I decided I could survive being coated in rime ice and drove down to the running store. The only part that felt like a video game was when I drove through the fog, which always reminds me of the Atari racing game Enduro. This in turn reminds me that I am old.

Today we ran for 60 minutes down the towpath next to the canal. It’s odd how fog makes everything mysterious, like a fantasy film, as if elves might pop out of the bushes at any moment. It also motivated me to run pretty quickly across intersections for fear of being hit by an unseen SUV only 30 yards away. The towpath is the home to lots of ducks and geese, who unlike me don’t mind to dunk their heads in 30-degree water. I passed a couple white ducks and lots of green duck poo. Lots of green duck poo.

For the most part, the waterfowl contributed to the picturesque atmosphere. Then I ran into the Gatekeeper Goose. This goose stood in the middle of the crushed limestone path, staring me down on my return trip. Its beady black eyes revealed nothing of its thoughts, if indeed its brain was large enough to have thoughts. As I dared to bolt past it, I thought of the old family tale of the time my Aunt L. was chased around my grandparent’s farm by a freshly butchered, headless chicken, squirting blood. If dead, headless poultry could terrorize a child like that, what could a bird with its beak still attached do? Thankfully, the goose didn’t make a move and my fantasy film did not suddenly morph into an old Hitchcock thriller.

Otherwise, it was a pretty good run, or at least as “good” as a 60-minute, 5-mile run can be. About 25-minutes in, I spied a park bench that looked like a great resting spot. Except it was on the other side of the canal. At that same moment two runners passed me in the other direction and I momentarily envisioned myself tossing one of them in the water and floating on his back to the other side. Instead, I abstained from committing assault and kept running. It was cold enough that there wasn’t much mud. I ran past the Butler University woman’s track team in both directions. I admire those girls for voluntarily running on a Saturday morning, especially considering I spent most of my Saturday mornings in college laying comatose in a bunk bed with Twinkies within an arm’s reach.

I also finally tried the free Raspberry Cream PowerBar Power Gel I got at the taste-testing session a month ago. I’d heard these could be rather nasty, but it was fairly good, or as “good” as a 100-calorie carbohydrate gel can be. It tasted like someone mixed the center of a Cadbury Crème egg with raspberry flavored cough medicine. You need to refuel your body with carbs during longer runs or else you can literally run out of energy to finish the race. I needed to test it to make sure I wouldn’t barf it up when I use a couple during my 15K next week.

Yes, the 15K is next week.

And the mini-marathon is in 4 weeks.

I realized it was getting pretty close when I flipped over the fourth and final page of the training schedule today. After today’s run, I have now run approximately 100 miles in preparation for these races. Wow. It makes me wonder if The Proclaimers had ever trained for a marathon when they wrote that song, “I Would Walk 500 Miles.” Because, damn, that’s really far to walk. I’ve only gone 1/5 of that in a little over two months. I can only think of a handful of people I would actually walk 500 miles for, and like the song says I would definitely “fall down at your door” if I did.

Hopefully the weather will be nicer next week for the race. However, given the recent history, I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up Saturday morning to see this in my system tray:

Raining toads, chance of locusts

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28 Comments

Sarah • April 5, 2008 at 3:38 pm

You’re too funny! Great entry.

I once was chased by a very slow moving cow during a family trip to Ireland, but I’m sure that was nothing compared to being chased by a headless blood squirting chicken.

Congrats on all your running progress!

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Kalyn • April 5, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Sorry to hear about the nasty fog. However, I just had to correct you on one thing. You are NOT OLD. If you were truly old (like me!) you would have never even tried anything Atari.

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Andrew is getting fit • April 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Running in the fog sounds so surreal. And nice!

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Roy and Hazel • April 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm

I have the same musings as I sit on my couch. I wish you luck for your race… as I reach for my tv remote control. Best of luck!

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Jeni • April 5, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Have you tried Clif Blox at all? I always used those when I was training for my half marathon. I really liked the black cherry kind, and they’re al lot easier to get down than the gels. Just an idea. :)

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LA • April 5, 2008 at 8:52 pm

I love that Proclaimers song! Thanks for getting that stuck in my head. :-D

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Natalie • April 5, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I loved the narrative about countryside running. If I were to describe the walks I do around here (DC metropolitan area/No. VA), it would be roadkill, litter & what kinds of cars drove by. I have (used to pre-knee & feet injuries) run in some cool places, though- up and down the National Mall touching all the monuments, down forest paths in Belgium, mountain trails in Utah, winding roads in Amish country… this is why I used to love running so much. Can’t wait to get back into it.

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PastaQueen • April 5, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I did try some of those at that taste-testing session. They were good, but I was afraid I’d get gummy stuff stuck in my teeth, which I find annoying.

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Rah • April 5, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Ah, yes, frozen fog, also known as frog–my butt had a nice little encounter with a hard sidewalk one foggy morning this past December. Nasty stuff because it doesn’t show on the surfaces it freezes to…thus the butt encounter.

And on an entirely different note–I smiled as I read about your journey on the towpath. One of my students wrote “toepath” when referring to a different canal. In your case, with the running, I guess that spelling could be excused.

Interesting, as always.

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starbird • April 6, 2008 at 12:15 am

Rah – out here in Oregon, I think we call that ‘black ice.’ I’m not sure how the invisible ice gets on the pavement, but it could be an early freezing fog, I guess.

Re: toepath – that is kind of like the people who write about having a ‘staff’ infection, which I have seen more than once, including a newspaper, for crying out loud. You would think a reporter would look up a word she didn’t know and find out it is ‘staph,’ short for staphlycoccus.

BTW, congrats PQ on maintaining your weight throughout your trials (injury, blahs, food cravings, etc.) in March. Sounds as if you are over them this month. So, does that mean that April ISN’T the cruelest month?

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Becca • April 6, 2008 at 8:28 am

You have outdone yourself. I laughed out loud several times while reading. Hilarious.

I have oft used the disturbing amount of duck and goose feces as an excuse to avoid the canal area. Congrats on not being scared away.

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MamaMaven • April 6, 2008 at 9:20 am

Thanks for the meteorology lesson, I never knew there were so many kinds of fog! I had my own run in with the geese this morning, two of them along the path looking rather menacing. One gave me a great big honk but thankfully they didn’t come after me!

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Julie • April 6, 2008 at 1:08 pm

My daughter HATES any kind of birds but mostly ducks and geese. It all started when she was little and went to feed them with my brother. Apparently one “bit” her finger and she’s been scarred for life every since lol.

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Reb • April 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Freezing fog – yuck! Good for you for going out in it anyway and doing the run. I am also glad you avoided temptation to assault a fellow runner and use him as a raft.

There is an Excellent Blogger Award for you on my site if you want to pop by and pick it up.

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K • April 6, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Brrrrr! That sounds extremely chilly. We have had snow here in the last couple of days (finally!) but I haven’t been running in it…

Fancy you having heard of the Proclaimers!

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PastaQueen • April 6, 2008 at 6:28 pm

That Proclaimers song was on the soundtrack for a movie called Benny and June and became quite a hit back in the 90′s.

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Amanda • April 6, 2008 at 9:29 pm

AH! You used eleventy-billion! We used it all the time in college. I wonder if it spread beyond Indiana (Whereas I’m in Virginia now, I never hear it here, and I went to Ball State.) You made my day!

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psychsarah • April 7, 2008 at 10:42 am

LOL-I love the weather forecast with the frog!

Props to you for running in the cold and fog. Since I joined a running clinic a few weeks ago I have run in rain, snow, fog, drizzle, wicked wind and finally, yesterday-sun! I’m quite sure I wouldn’t do it if not for the others I run with. Nothing like a little peer pressure to get your butt out the door!

Good luck next week-15k sounds like torture. I have to do my first 10k next Sunday and I’m scared. I did 8k yesterday and it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other for the last 1/2k.

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beth • April 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Driving through fog always strongly reminds me of Enduro too! I guess that makes me also old (I think we’re nearly exactly the same age).

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

PermalinkReply

Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

PermalinkReply

Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

PermalinkReply

Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

PermalinkReply

Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

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PastaQueen • April 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm

Are GU gels different than PowerGels? What is GU anyway?

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Gwen >> My Relationship Resume • April 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Can you get Gu gels? They have berry and fruit flavours – I’ve tried lemon-lime and like it – and dessert flavours that I’ve loved all of: mocha, espresso love, vanilla bean!

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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