Monday, May 13, 2013

Frozen Gatorade, Numb Fingers, and a Chemist in Disbelief

This is my second installment of the series of blog posts on my training for the Colfax Half Marathon.

I started training in December 2012 for the May 19 race. December is the coldest month in Colorado. Although Denver winters are fairly mild compared to most of the country, there is always a week or two during the winter when it gets really cold. I discovered that in early December.

Now that is cold!
This was the temperature on a Sunday. I do my long runs on Sunday. And on this particular Sunday, I was planning to do a two hour run on the trails at and around the Bluffs Regional Park on the south end of Lone Tree, CO. I have run before at this temperature, but for a much shorter time. My wife wanted me to go to the gym and run on the treadmill.

Treadmill? Hogwash! I am not a fan of running inside.

The first hour was tolerable. I did dress in warm clothes, and I am a skier, so cold weather is something I am used to. However, the second hour of the run, things started to deteriorate. My hands and face became numb, and during the last 30 minutes, I was running into the wind, which made things feel even colder. I was in a bit of pain to say the least.

I was carrying two Ultimate Direction hand-held water bottles, one in each hand, which means my hands were exposed to the wind, and even though I was wearing gloves, my hands were completely numb. When I ski and get cold hands, I will pull my fingers out of the slots and make a fist in the palm of the gloves to warm them up, but because I was holding a water bottle in each hand, I could not do that.

The last 30 minutes of the run was excruciating.

When I got home, I opened one of my water bottles and this is wat I found. In the inside of the cap, iced had formed. As you can see in this picture.

Ice formed on the inside of my water bottle cap.
Early December 2012 in Lone Tree, CO.
In the top of the bottle, the water froze and looks like it was closing in on the nozzle which means if I had stayed out much longer, the ice would have closed the top of my water bottle, so I would not have been able to drink through the nozzle.

Any longer and the ice would have closed off the nozzle.
Finally, at the bottom of the bottle, you can see ice starting to form. Imagine all of the sloshing that the gatorade did as I ran with the bottle in my hand......and it still froze. As my uncle-in-law (a chemist) described it, "It must have been really cold because the definition of ice is water that does not move."

How does it freeze when it has been
sloshing around in my hands for two hours?

Yes, Gil. I was really cold.

I took the longest, hottest shower I ever took, and I don't think I warmed up until the next day.

Perhaps because I ran on days like this, I will have a great race this Sunday.

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