I love running. I love running outside. I love running outside in hot, warm and cool temperatures. I do not love running outside in very cold temperatures. Last night, however, I was itching to run since it was the first day since the weekend that was not in the single digits (well it was in the morning but we hit near 30 degrees by the time I got out there). I don't run outside in the single digits, and I only run outside. So yesterday I ran.
I never regret a run. Even a bad run. So even though my face and fingers were very cold, and I was pretty slow, it felt great to get out in the fresh air and run. With factoring in the wind chill, the temperature felt more like 20 degrees, but still, the run felt good.
Dressing appropriately for your run is very important, and many new runners run in the winter in more layers than actually needed. I hate to judge though; when I first started running I remember venturing out for a 5 A.M. run layered in three long sleeve shirts and a thick puff vest the first time the temperature ventured into the low 50's. I nearly passed out from how hot I was and almost threw the puffer in a ditch.
I think I have been scarred a little from the experience of running my first half marathon in the fall of 2013. I had trained hard for it so when that November morning came and it was 12 degrees (it never got over 14 degrees while I ran that morning) nothing was going to stop me. I could not feel my face, fingers or toes for a good 30 minutes afterward, and when I crossed the finish line I literally had snot icicles hanging from my nose and frozen beads of sweat in my hair, but I finished. And I did it under 2 hours. Ya know, now that I think about it, that run probably is the reason I don't like running in the cold anymore.
The Gobbler Grind, 2013, with a dear friend.
Our first half marathons.
Now there are crazy runners that don't care about temperatures. The other night while I visited with a friend at her house, her husband, a devoted runner, came home from a run during our chat. It was 5 degrees outside. Now he is a whole different brand of tough than I am, he's a life-long military man, as well as a cancer surviving marathoner. So I don't really put he and I in the same category of wielding strength, but, he ran. Man he had to be cold.
Reaching my 15 mile per week running goal is pretty easy in the spring, summer and fall, but the next few months will be a challenge. I have to run 5.5 miles average on each of these next two days to reach my goal, so I guess I better start changing my attitude on cold runs. And I better change it fast.
Wish me luck!