16 degrees. With a wind chill of 6 degrees. Good morning Sunday to you too, you frigid bitch. I bundled up, laced up my Newtons and begrudgingly hit the road, mumbling something about the stupidity in training for a spring, hill-infested marathon, in the dead of winter.
Running 16 miles in 16 degree weather with a whipping wind chill is not fun. Ever. For the first time during a run, I didn’t warm up. Never. I didn’t come CLOSE to warming up. My glutes, hamstrings, quads—frozen. They felt like they were two frozen hams. I honestly felt as if I were running with two frozen spiral cut honey hams for legs. And I was trying to coax them into hustling up a hill. Hams don’t hustle. No go. I couldn’t even bear to look at my Garmin, for fear a clown face would pop up, cackle loudly and tell me I was actually running in reverse. It was the Frozen Depths of Misery. I was a running Freak Show.
Like Tina, I too waxed poetic about the joys of running in the cold Connecticut winter. After last week’s deep freeze, I am officially reporting that I AM OVER IT. I’m over the cold. I am also over all of the “5 Tips for Running in the Cold!” lists floating around the internet more so than running in sub-freezing temps. Those perky little lists go something like this:
Colby’s Top 5 Tips for Running in the Cold! (Huge exclamation point. Yeay! Cold!)
- Grab a friend! Really? Whom? All my friends think I am INSANE enough. Waking one up in the early morn, stuffing them into Lululemon fleece, pouring coconut water down their gullet and dragging them on a 16 mile run with a 6 degree wind chill ON A SUNDAY ain’t happening. Ever.
- Dress in Layers! Ya think? Sunday I was in multiple expensive layers, with moisture wicking, wind resistant, fabulous fabric. And yet, my hams were FROZEN solid. Wind is brutal. I don’t care what you’re wearing- baklava included. (Wait. I mean balaclava. Balaclava Colby. No wonder I was frozen! Somehow layers of flaky filo drenched in nuts and honey stuck to my grill does NOT translate into Warm Winter Apparel.)
- Warm Up Pre-Run! I’m running 16 miles. The first 3 are the warm up. If I’m going to run around my house, heel kick and high knee my way down the hallway or push the dogs out of the way to do a few sun salutations in the living room before I trot out into the Arctic Air, I’d just as soon leave my jammies on, pour myself another hot steaming cup of coffee, grab my new Us Weekly and snuggle up by the fire. I don’t dilly dally with Long Runs. Especially not in the cold. Wake up. Coffee. Eat. Hit the Loo. Go. The less thinking and prep involved the better. Especially when the number of miles I’m running exceeds the current temperature.
- Forget speed! Speed. Speed?!?! I never remember speed! Who’s setting a PR on a training run with a windchill of 6? Maybe Scot Jurek. Not Colby. I’m thrilled when I fist-pump in my driveway after finishing a 16 mile run in the bitter cold- however long it took me. I celebrate the fact that I didn’t stay in my jammie’s alternating between cups of coffee and Bloody Mary’s. Speed…Bitch please. I’m happy to finish with dignity.
- Change quickly post run! If I could program my iPhone to draw me a hot shower when I hit mile 15, I would. On Sunday, I drank my post run chocolate milk in a hot shower. I stayed there for 20 minutes. And I STILL emerged slightly hypothermic with cyanotic blue-tinged lips. So not cute.
I ran long on Sunday. Cold, friendless, and slow. My most miserable Long Run to date. I kicked that runs ass though- with my two frozen hams.