Miles Run = The Temperature

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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!)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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12 thoughts on “Miles Run = The Temperature

    • We get those extreme temp changes sometimes also and they are killer. Body doesn’t know what to do – sweat? Conserve heat? And I find I always end up over- or under- dressing because I don’t really “believe” the temp change.

    • The temperature changes are definitely tough. I did the whole 16 degrees one day high 70s the very next the beginning of January and it was brutal. Last week was awful here though- even for a born and bred New Englander. What doesn’t freeze you to death makes you stronger though right? 🙂

  1. Colby, last week and weekend were rough. Kudos for getting your long run in anyway. Tips. shmips. It stinks no matter what you do. Re: Tip 1 – I would like you to know that I would accompany you on any training run if it would help. Sadly, I don’t have room for a portable space heater in my Bundle Me Jacket, so I don’t think it would. But you are always welcome to ask.
    This week’s temps are kinda nice, though, huh? Were it not for the snow, sleet and rain, it would be downright pleasant.

  2. UUUUgggghhhhhHHH…I totally feel you guys…extreme temps are the worst! It like, totally got down to like, 44 degrees at night the other day. Southern California has no idea what you are talking about, I don’t even own a running jacket, just a pair of lululemon arm warmers. Anyway, you guys are nuts for running in that stuff but while I make fun of you for whining about the ridiculously cold temps, you can make fun of me for whining about it being 90 degrees at 7:30am in the summer while I am training for NYC this summer (again).

    • Oh SoCal. Sigh….
      I am happy to hear that you’ve decided to run it! (Again. Sorta. But this time for reals.) I was hoping you would! I’ll be there, watching and cheering! Making fun of you for running when it’s 90? Oh Poodle. I’ll be right there with you, whining away. 90 degrees with an absurd percentage of humidity. Gotta love Connecticut, Land of the Extreme Seasons. Today is much better. But I’ll need a snorkel. Wicked rain. 🙂

  3. You are tough. Here in the NW, just gotta deal with Rain and maybe upper 30s, at the worst.

    While visiting your part of the world, few Novembers ago, ran in single digits and thought my lungs were freezing up.

    🙂

    • I’m not sure if it’s toughness, stubbornness (I am Italian after all!) or stupidity!!! That is just an awful feeling—but oddly, you get used to it. And besides, it makes you strong like bull right? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!!

  4. Pingback: 2013 Big Sur International Marathon. The Recap. | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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