Saturday, December 19, 2009

What a difference 10 degrees can make...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I dislike running on the treadmill. But I tolerate it... And you want to know why? It's because I HATE the cold! It's like my own personal kryptonite... And so it was totally out of character for me when I decided to man-up and try to tough out a run through the cold two days ago on Wednesday.

I figured: I'm a runner now, I'm strong, I'm tough, I've ran 26.2 miles non-stop, I ran hill workouts in 106 degree weather this summer, I CAN DO IT!!! So I put on my gear (1 pair tights, 1 pair warm-up pants, 2 pair sock, 1 long undershirt, 1 t-shirt, 1 hooded sweatshirt, stocking cap, and mittens A.K.A. 1 load of laundry) and headed out into the 26 degrees of winter cold for a nice four miler.

It didn't go so well. The first mile I was freezing. I thought to myself "You'll warm up as you keep moving"... WRONG. I just felt like I was getting colder... and colder and colder. By mile 2 I was starting to get tin-man knees and there wasn't an oil can in sight. My mile 3 I was running on popsicle sticks. By mile 4 I felt like the Encino Man (I'm talking about the part where Pauli Shore finds him frozen in a block of ice, not the part where he's dressed up super cool and riding on a skateboard).

So bottom-line: it was miserable. I was running along and hating it. It was the type of run that made me question why I was doing this in the first place. Made me question what's the point of any of this... That was Wednesday.

Friday, I decided to try again (good thing us runners have such short memories). This time it was 36 degrees instead of 26 degrees but I gotta tell you... What a difference 10 degrees can make! I guess it's the whole freezing point thing... you know, under 32 degrees F, where water vapor freezes like ice-cubes in your lungs, and icicles form on your mustache (if this happens to any of my female readership let me offer my condolences right now). Below freezing, where the body (which is made up of over 50% water), begins to turn into a block of ice. Below freezing, where you can slowly feel yourself dying from hypothermia every step you take... (did i mention that I hate cold).

But 36 degrees. Man! How toasty! I felt great! I whipped out 6+ miles at an 8:05 pace with my heart-rate at 78% of MHR. No treadmills, no El Gordo the trainer, no naked old dudes to avoid... just me and the open road. So I just gotta remember... I HATE the cold, but I LOVE running. So I just got to power through. Keep building that base. Keep working that core. And if I can stick with it, then come spring I should have a frontier of speedy-fast races within my grasp just waiting for me to PR them.


  1. I don't think I dislike the cold as much as you do but I agree that 36 is a far better temperature for running. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I like your point about runners having short memories. I think about that too.

  2. Oh man, You have me laughing so hard now, I am about to tumble like those dudes and dudettes in the treadmill video. That was funny. Yeah, I tried going out a few weeks ago, and I THOUGHT I would thaw out as I ran. LOL> NOT! My legs started doing the freeze thing like the bad dude at the end of Terminator 2. Good thing, I didnt burst. Being from NC, and now in PA. I HATE HATE the cold. but 36 is better than below 32. I wonder if there is a difference felt in 33 than 32. lol. Very cool Graphic man. Very cool post! Next time you head out doors, and its freezing, just suck on a popsicle stick. Then maybe you can ignore your legs. As The Emerging RUnner says, love the short memories. Keep up the factual but very funny posts. Later

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