And I’m in Heaven!
Approximately 7 minutes after I replied to Colby’s Newton post this morning saying that my ankle is tired and I was not planning on running again until our New Year’s 5K, I stuck my nose outside, felt the chill, and couldn’t resist lacing up and heading for a run (ankle feels fine). I LOVE running in the cold. Cannot resist. Especially on a sunny day like today. Warm sun, cold air. Felt awesome. I would take running in the 20’s over running in the 70’s any day of the week.
I particularly like running outside in winter because it gives me a reason to spend an extended amount of time outside. Unlike the other 3 seasons, you are unlikely to find me sitting on my deck with a book, getting my daily dose of fresh air and Vitamin D. The New England wintertime can feel so stale if you stay indoors too much. Hibernating is for bears and other forest creatures. I wither if I spend too much time indoors in the heat. Heading out into the cold air always energizes me and makes me appreciate sitting by the fire that much more.
I did not learn to ski until I was in my mid-twenties, and hands-down, my the first thing I loved about skiing was that it gave me an opportunity to enjoy the cold weather instead of hiding from it. Once I started skiing, I decided to start running outside in the winter instead of escaping to a gym, and I’ve never looked back. Humid summer air makes me feel like a depleted wreck after a hard run. I imagine that my lungs would punch me if they could. Crisp, cold winter air? Just the opposite – it feels so fresh, and I feel like I have cleaned my body from the inside out when I’m finished. Lungs are happy. I am happy.
My brother-in-law asked me the other day if I had a limit to how cold it could be for me to run outside. I took a run last year when it was 9 degrees F (no wind) and it felt great. It wasn’t particularly long (3 miles or so), but I bundled up and felt good. According to my brother-in-law, if I am willing to run in single digit temperatures, then I have no limit, at least for the regular temps we get around here. This fall, I picked up some Yaktrax Runs, so snow won’t even hold me back from winter runs, although my personal priorities dictate that sledding comes before anything else in the event of a snowstorm, so all running bets are off until I get in a few good sledding runs.
The first Spring run in a T-shirt and shorts is always a great thing, and few things beat a run under a crisp blue October sky, but this is definitely my favorite running season.
Fortunately, being in New England, it’s a pretty long one…