Sunday, January 4, 2009

Why I HATE my glasses!

I really do. I hate my glasses.

But first, a little background.

What an adventure!

Here are the pics:

Puddle Thumper and I ran on Cougar Mountain this morning.

Incredible sunrise and driving out to Cougar we could see the Cascades and the Olympics looking so sharp that it seemed as if they could cut, a result from what Cliff Mass calls "diabatic effects". The closer we got to the Sky Country Trail head the more and more snow we saw and the road became a series of slippery icy ruts. There were four cars in the parking lot when we got there, three Subarus (why is it always Suburus?).

It was BEYOUTEEFULL up there with quite a bit of snow and ice Pretty dang cold too with a little wind coming through the trees. I decided to wear my tights.

The plan was to run about 5 miles: Sky Country trail head, Old Man to By Pass, Right on Fred's Railroad, Left on East Fork Trail, Left on Mine Shaft Trail to Clay Pit Road, Crossing Clay Pit to Cougar Pass Trail, Left on Protector Trail up to Lost Beagle Trail, Left on Klondike Swamp Trail back to By Pass and Old Man to Sky Country.

Pretty slow going from the Sky Country trail head out on Old Man and By Pass Trail. Many trail users had worn tracks into the snow and so we had a well-marked track. It was pretty uneven and slippery. The sun was trying to come out making for a very pretty scene.

We saw just 6 other runners out there, one of whom jokingly (perhaps seriously) asked if we thought that all this snow and ice made us wish for mud, and one very large and happy Golden Retriever.

This was just one of those mornings where you have to stop, take it all in, and goof around a bit (PT was wearing her genuine 100% "Permasmile"). The snow made everything familiar look strangely and beautifully different: example, I have no idea how long this tree trunk has been around but in all the hours and miles running on Cougar this is the very first time I saw it. So many trees were snapped in half or simply bent down to the ground with the weight of snow and ice that we had many more interesting obstacles to negotiate and herein lies my downfall. 

I've had some rather recreation-related injuries (stress fractures, real fractures, concussions, stings, scrapes, bumps, sprains, twists, run into barbed wire on a mountain bike, you know, the normal stuff.) but this is a new one on me and here is why I hate my glasses. 

My glasses fog. I like them quite a bit under normal circumstances but unless they constantly have air moving over them they fog over, badly. The problem is especially acute when running on snow and, before you ask/suggest, I do apply anti-fogging wipes AND I cannot run effectively without them. 

My glasses were fogging as we were going up toward Lost Beagle trail (the intersection of N7 and N9 for those of you with maps). I was running ahead when I felt something go into my mouth and something else impact my nose from the upper left (I could see to my right). I stopped and yelped. Backed up slowly and felt and saw a long branch coming out of my mouth just as the salty iron-taste of blood started filling my mouth. Not sure what PT had to say, "Oh My!" maybe, but there was a pretty interesting look on her face. 

I stood there spitting blood and trying to figure out what had happened while my mouth and nose started throbbing. Spat some more, ran my tongue along the inside of my mouth to assess the damage—it is pretty scraped up in there but no major holes (Whew! Nothing like the scene in Pan's Labyrinth where Captain Vidal sews his cheek shut)

What are the odds of this happening? I am really lucky! :-)

PT made the sensible suggestion of packing some snow in there to try to keep the swelling down. Great idea! The snow was so cold and tasted wonderful, infused with nice woodsy pine essence. Made for a nice treat during the remainder of the run. 

My nose is another story. I have a fairly largish gouge at the tip that is going to leave a nice scar and looks, for all the world like a cat scratch. Is this character development? Will I have to get a new passport picture taken?

ANYWAY! This could have been so much worse and I wouldn't be writing about it except that almost getting impaled on a tree branch is such an odd thing to have happen. Besides, it isn't really a trail run if there is no blood, right?

How was the rest of the run?

Spectacular. Lots of incredible views and challenging footing. 

On the way back home PT remarked "We have certainly started 2009 off right!" Yep! We have!

AND, I have a new New Year's Resolution–get contacts and use running glasses that defog on their own. 

One more thing. Disinfecting was just a joy. Ouch! Thanks Listerine. 

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