Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 340 - Cold + Wind = Trouble

I have been an all-season outdoor runner for over 15 years.

I have very good gear, and an excellent sense for what to wear for virtually any conditions.

But today, I blew it.

I'd packed for a lunch run, under sunny skies, with calm winds. That didn't happen, so I squeezed in a run after work.

Problem is, I hadn't reassessed the weather. I had no appreciation for how cold it was. Nor how windy it was.

Note: If you have a chance to run when it's sunny and calm and you live in the Midwest and the sky is clear and a big tongue of Canadian air is coming your way, run in the sunny calm, because in the evening, all of the heat will get sucked into the vacuum of space and the wind will blow your face off.

So went my evening micro run.

As I started, nestled in the protective bosom of the trees on my street, I was feeling pretty good and was thinking I could squeeze in at least a 5K before boyfriendly duties called. But at the end of the block, I turned into the wind, the very breath of Snow Miser. My cheeks went numb, instantaneously.

The temperature was 14F, which I was prepared for, but the wind...  the wind was at least 20mph.

I couldn't take more than half a mile of that feeling robbing, soul sucking, manhood shrinking, nard retracting, bitter, cold, wind. Luckily, that half mile got me to the woods, where I found some relief from the shelter of more trees. It was enough to make up for the cold snow on my feet.

Turning toward home, even with the wind at my back, 3 of my fingers on my left hand, my dog leash hand, were numb. Yet they also hurt like hell. And this is with gloves on. The dog was unfazed.

As short as the run was, I was never so glad to be back home. My toes were frozen. My left hand aching. The rest of me was just getting warmed up. Most of me was ready to run more, but you kinda need unanimous consent.

Wind is easy. Cold is bearable. Put the two together, and you have trouble, and it comes in a hurry. Mind your extremities by adding a layer and seek the shelter of a trail to cut down on the wind. If you get behind, if parts start to freeze, don't be a hero, get home and get warm.

All things considered, it was still better than a treadmill.

Good running,
Doug

Numbers: 1.4 frigid miles, and I couldn't have done another 1/10th.