Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ice Dancing with Dawn

Dawn is my girlfriend. We started running together and subsequently dating in the Spring of 2007. We met through rock climbing, and she's every bit my equal or better when it comes to scaling vertical or overhanging rock walls. She kicks my butt at the rock gym regularly.

Dawn enjoys running, but can only get out to run a few days a week. Nevertheless, she's completed a few half-marathons with very respectable times. I like to run with her, but I'm not sure she would call it running together. She describes it as if she were chasing a bunny rabbit.

Last week, we did our regular loop at the West Hartford Reservoir in about 1:16. It's 7.25-7.5 miles or so, but the path was covered in snow and ice. This was a new experience for Dawn. She was a real trooper, but it took a lot of effort. She normally does this route in just over an hour.

This week, we planned to do the same route. The footing was somewhat better although very slippery in areas that had turned to ice. We were moving very well from the start. My quads felt a little fatigue from the run with Matt, but I was just happy to be outside. The sun was shining and the wind was minimal.

Dawn chugs along at her pace, and I cruise along at mine. Invariably, we get some distance between us and I loop back to see how she's doing from time to time. We chat here and there, but spend more time apart than together.

Once we get to the high point on the run, Dawn seems to relax a bit more. There's no visual or verbal indication, but I know she likes to get that hill behind her. On the way down the hill (approx. 4 miles into the run), a couple hikers asked for directions. One of the hikers turned out to be the infamouse John Rek from our rock climbing group, Connecticut Climbers and Mountaineers. The "Wrecker" is a big hiker, and has previously completed the Appalachian Trail. They were looking for the Metacomet Trail and I asked which way they were heading. John said "North" in just that may words, and I pointed them in the direction were were going.

There's a fairly wet and woodsy section on the way back in that causes some footing issues. I detoured around some icy patches and thought Dawn saw me. I turned to watch her, and she proceeded to go straight across the ice. She started sliding and I thought she was going to wipe out. Somehow, she held it together for about 15 feet, and got herself off the ice. She said, "It's a good thing I know how to skate". She's one tough cookie. I smiled. It looked more like ice dancing to me ;-)

We rolled into the parking lot at about 1:15 (approx. the same time as last week). Another great run with Dawnie!

No comments: