Darkness has settled in. A cold wind howls, growing in strength with each passing hour. By morning the wind will reach over 60 km/h and with its relentless crescendo, the temperatures will plunge the suburban enclave into an ice age.
-40C with the windchill. And into this arctic tundra, tiny in the face of Mother Nature’s frigid onslaught, a lone runner will set forth.
I won’t lie. For the first time that I can remember as a runner, I’m scared. Deeply scared. At -30C my clothes froze to my body. Hydration was impossible — the Gatorade still icy even after 8 hours at room temperature.
-40C may be too much. I am scheduled to be doing a 30 km run. That puts me out there for over 2.5 hours. My only weapons being my mind and an armada of layers. Will it be enough?
I will run small laps around the neighbourhood. Home and the promise of its warmth and safety always in reach. If I have to come inside after each lap, I will.
I will need to be strong. I will need to summon my most ardent courage.
For now I must sleep. While the winds outside taunt like rowdy gang members. Menacing. Threatening. And ready to pick a fight. Mother Nature’s thugs. I will need to rest well in spite all this.
Tomorrow I enter their territory.